South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences, Vol 17, No 1 (2014)

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Project-based production and project management: Findings and trends in research on temporary systems in multiple contexts

Tinus Pretorius, Leon Oerlemans

Abstract


Globalisation is challenging almost every aspect of the political, economic, social and technological environment. Organisations, whether public or private, have to adapt their strategies and operations to stay competitive and efficient. Historically, organisations adopted project-based operations as a mode to stay competitive, although the applications tended to be the oneoff type of operations such as construction and system development projects (Edum-Fotwe & McCaffer, 2000). As the world changed from an industrially driven to a more knowledge driven economy and the pace of continuous change became more intense, organisations adopted a project-based mode of operations on a broader scale. The knowledge economy lead to the creation of many service orientated industries. Organisations started facing portfolios of projects where the nature of these projects differed in technological complexity, urgency, customer value and social impact (Gutjahr & Froeschl, 2013). Based on their experience with more technically orientated projects, organisations focused their attention more intensely on new project management methods, tools and processes and not necessarily on the human and organisational interfaces. This paradigm changed however, especially since the 1980s and more and more organisations adopted temporary organisational forms (Bakker, 2010) in order to improve their competitiveness. The contributions in this special edition of the South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences have a common focus on the importance of the human and organisational interface of project-based operations on project success. The purpose of this concluding article is to analyse the findings and recommendations in these papers and to detect trends and future research opportunities in the field of project-based operations.

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EISSN 2222-3436 (Online)