A titleless manuscript

A titleless manuscript

We will for next week have a ‘titleless’ manuscript in need of comments. Together with Anders Söderholm and Rolf Lundin, I’m working on a manuscript revisiting one of the old (and boring?) questions in regards to research on projects and temporary organizations. Namely, what is a project and how does that differ from a Temporary organization? We however think we have an interesting answer to the question!

The main question for the seminar, what would an appropriate title for the manuscript be? As usual, the full manuscript will be distributed via email.

Abstract

The “what is a project” question is probably one of the most repeated sentences in research related to projects and temporary organizations. The question is natural because if you are going to make assertions or grounded statements about any phenomenon, you need to be clear on what it is to make sense. Since the question has been repeated in several contexts the answers are also fairly disparate, at least if you believe in research as putting the phenomena and research results under scrutiny. Similarly, the temporary organization concept is unclear, both depending on context and on what characteristics are being studied. At that, for some but not all researchers, the denomination temporary organization is thought of as a theoretical construct whereas projects refer to the empirical phenomena. Attempts to define the concept have also been numerous in the past, but the success in doing so has however been limited. As we want to promote pluralism and diversity we pose the question of how these concepts can be defined without hindering pluralism in understanding, development, and theorizing? In this paper, notions of family resemblance in a Wittgenstein meaning – the idea that it is not a specific trait, but a variety of traits that are shared by some, but not all, members of a family – are used in this effort to contribute to forwarding the research area towards more opportunities for theorizing.