Three domains of project organising

Three domains of project organising

Next week we will have a paper recently published in IJPM by professor Graham Winch. Professor Winch is currently the Director for Social Responsibility and Programme Director of the BP Managing Projects executive education programme at Manchester Business School, and in the paper, he proposes a conceptual framework which defines three domains of project organising. The full paper can be downloaded here, and a free ‘preprint’ version can be accessed here.


It has become axiomatic in research on project organising that projects are temporary organisations. Yet there are a number of challenges to this axiom: research on matrix organisation, the embeddedness of projects in project ecologies, and projectification all emphasise the relationship of the project to permanent organisations. Similarly, research on project-based firms and owner organisations which are relatively permanent challenges this axiom. This paper develops a conceptual framework which defines three domains of project organising: project-based firms; projects and programmes; and owners and operators as its principal theoretical contribution. This conceptual framework draws our attention to two important new areas for future research in project organising. The first is at the interfaces between the three domains of project organising: commercial, resourcing, and governance. The second is on project organising as temporary configurations of permanent organisations in coalitions to deliver particular outputs.

To cite; Winch, G. M. (2014). Three domains of project organising. International Journal of Project Management, 32 (5), 721-731.

Biography  (more information about Graham can be found here)

Graham joined MBS in October 2004 from the Manchester Centre for Civil and Construction Engineering at UMIST. Prior to joining UMIST in 2001, he taught at the Bartlett School of Graduate Studies at University College London and researched at Warwick University Business School, where he obtained his PhD, and Imperial College London. He was Visiting Professor at the Danish Technical University from 2000-2001, Visiting Professor at Copenhagen Business School 2006-2009, and Chalmers University 2011-2012. He is a graduate in sociology and politics from the University of York.