Managing the institutional context for projects

Peter W. G. Morris / Joana Geraldi

Project Management is widely seen as a discipline for delivering undertakings on time, in budget, to scope . This conception fails however to address how the development of these targets in the project definition stage is managed. Addressing this moves the discipline to a second and more strategic level, in effect creating a new paradigm for the domain. This paper proposes a third level of conceptualisation the institutional, where management is focussed on creating the optimum conditions to support and foster project management, both in its parent organization and its external environment. Management here is done to and on the project rather than in it. Examples are given of issues at this level, addressed from several theoretical perspectives, not least institutional theory. We show that seeing management as related in concern at this level offers an enlarged research agenda that should result in improved performance, and may come to constitute