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- PublicationHuman resource management and project based organizing: Fertile ground, missed opportunities and prospects for closer connectionsWe explore publishing trends regarding HRM and PBO in the main journals in the field of project management to highlight key empirical and theoretical contributions during the period 1996¿2016. We offer three contributions to the field of project management. The first is theoretical where we analyze twenty years of research in key project management journals by adapting and extending the framework of Wright and Boswell (2002), and identifying categories of HRM research at three levels of analysis. This analysis provides an overview integrating exemplary research to date on the HRM-PBO link at different levels, showing areas where research is well-developed and also areas that, while promising, have not been examined in a systematic manner to date.Our second contribution is that we highlight a variety of theoretical as well as methodological resources from the HRM field that can be applied in project studies and in so doing promote cross-fertilization of ideas and approaches between these two fields.Finally, a key managerial contribution is that we introduce the project as a temporary organization level of analysis, explicitly making visible HRM practices on the project. This can guide both HRM practitioners, and project managers, in terms of the importance of projects as sites for human resource management and employment activities including careers, employee participation and employment relations all of which are critical issues and deserve more attention.
1180Scopus© Citations 48
- PublicationHuman resource management in organizational project management: Current trends and future prospectsIt is increasingly common for work activities to take place in projects, and projects are therefore of growing importance as sites for career development, for leading and managing professional workers, and for individual and organizational development. Links between human resource management (HRM) activities that occur on projects, and their broader implications for project-based organizations in terms of knowledge, learning, and competence development, are therefore important foci for research. Projects are also important from the perspective of the well-being, ethical treatment, and motivation of workers. Projects are established within and between organizational functions (Bredin & Söderlund, 2011) but also span organizational boundaries (Lundin & Steinthórsson, 2003; Swart & Kinnie, 2014). Projects involve people from within and between organizational departments and also within and between disciplinary specialties. The implications of project-based organizing for managing human resources would appear to be significant (Huemann, 2015; Keegan, Huemann, & Turner, 2012; Palm & Lindahl, 2015; Söderlund & Bredin, 2006; Vicentini & Boccardelli, 2014), and yet traditional HRM models, where projects are not a key consideration, continue to dominate mainstream HRM theorizing (Swart & Kinnie, 2014). In mainstream HRM theorizing, traditional long-term and stable employment relationships are assumed and focal organizations are those with clearly defined internal and external boundaries. Project management literature has also traditionally downplayed what could be called the human factor – human capital or people aspects of project organization and management (Keegan & Turner, 2003). A shift from the mainly technical to increasingly people-focused aspects of project management has, however, been discernible in the past decade (Huemann, Keegan, & Turner, 2007). Project management researchers have started to explore more systematically HRM issues and their possible contribution to the performance of organizations that do most of their work in projects (Bredin & Söderlund, 2011). The systematic study of project professionals’ careers has developed recently, reflecting an increased appreciation of the importance of projects as a major part of many organizations (Crawford, French, & Lloyd-Walker, 2013; Hölzle, 2010) and the resulting increased importance of HRM issues and “people capabilities” (Bredin, 2008) required of project-based organizations is slowly increasing. Similarly, even though HRM theorists have not, to date, fully embraced the importance of the project context for practices, processes, and outcomes, this too appears to be changing as studies of HRM become more contextually sensitive.
978Scopus© Citations 2
- PublicationWho Supports Project Careers? Leveraging the Compensatory Roles of Line ManagersThis exploratory research examines who supports what aspects of career development on projects. Our main finding is that, although project professionals receive support from formal and informal sources, a compensatory mechanism is at play. When support does not come from direct line managers, project professionals are compelled to initiate informal practices, including mentoring, buddy systems, and communities of practice. Practical implications arise for organizations regarding how to ensure sufficient mechanisms are in place to compensate for lack of line management career support and to allow project professionals to access the development opportunities they need by supporting their self-initiated efforts.
183Scopus© Citations 7