Theory of Project Management Revisited

Jouko Vaskimo

Having existed for millennia, project management has attracted increasing academic interest in the last three decades. Surprisingly few attempts have been made to establish a formal theory of project management despite a general understanding such a theory is required. These attempts, some by the most renowned contemporary researchers and writers, have not been successful in establishing a theory with sufficient general acceptance to be considered a true theory of project management. This paper analyzes the current status of theory of project management research, identifies the central themes, and indicates directions for further research. Research aiming for a formal theory of project management is considered critical for researchers as well as practitioners operating in the field of project management: Many consider it the single most important issue for the future of project management.