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Advancing Project Management: Authenticating the Shift From Process to “Nuanced” Project-Based Management in the Ambidextrous Organization

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Abstract

In this article, we recognize the ambidextrous nature of organizations, and use this concept to analyze the changing nature of the understood project management paradigm. Specifically, the ambidextrous nature of the modern organization explores and leverages both exploitation of existing processes, frameworks, and structures, and the exploration of new ways of achieving tasks and activities, embracing improvisational and nonroutine activity, as well as the more rigid and documented process-based activity embedded in organizational procedures. Initially, we examine the emergence of new and novel developments within both the processual and the behavioral domains within project-based management. A discussion follows that focuses on the relevance and importance of those developments from both areas and the likelihood of their influencing or contributing to a new and improved project management paradigm. Management by projects is an interesting developing field, and one that is growing in influence. The analysis we undertake points toward the emergence of a new project management paradigm, which reflects a distinct shift from the understood project management life cycle, toward a model where planning and execution merge into a more “organic” archetype, requiring skills and techniques that are advancing the required skill set of the competent project manager.

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