About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5857-5867
Publication year: 2012
ISBN: 978-84-616-0763-1
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 19-21 November, 2012
Location: Madrid, Spain

ACTION RESEARCH IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT: AN EXAMINATION OF AUSTRALIAN PROJECT MANAGERS

C. Algeo

University of Technology, Sydney (AUSTRALIA)
This paper will present an investigation of project managers in Australia exchanging knowledge while managing projects. The personal drivers, the workplace environment, and tools and techniques used to facilitate this knowledge exchange process were explored using a literature review and through action research. Action research methodology was selected to allow the study of project managers in a social setting and has been defined as an “emergent methodology [where] method and data and interpretation and action develop simultaneously, and from cycle to cycle.” (Dick 2012, p2).

The development of a theory based on the emergent patterns requires assumptions to be made about the motivations of the project managers and their intentions. This sequential process of developing a theme required the review of motivation theory, social exchange theory, and the theory of reflection.

The research sample included multiple project managers with a minimum of ten years project management experience who were employed full time as project managers in Australia. The project managers worked on projects across a variety of industries and held either a formal qualification or a recognised professional certificate in project management. The sample size was based on work undertaken by Kotter in the late 1990’s when observing how managers and leaders worked.

The research method included convergent interviews, in situ observations and collaboration with the project managers to reflect on how they exchanged knowledge. This form of data collection included three ‘interventions’ where meetings with the project managers occurred and the consequences were reflected upon before a re-planning process took place. The interventions were designed to understand the personal and workplace context in which the project managers exchanged knowledge and the tools and techniques used in this process.

To ensure validity and a level of rigour in the research method, an external reference group was formed to consult and reflect on the progress of the research. The group included representatives from project management industry associations, academia and practitioners that were either experienced in project management or the academic rigour required for research.

The interpretation of the transcribed data, undertaken using a grounded technique to compare each project manager across the three interventions, will be presented. This technique provided the researcher with an ability “to test any emerging agreement and to explain any emerging disagreement” (Dick 1999, p4).

Through using action research to understand how project managers exchange knowledge, the researcher interprets the facts through their own experiences which contradict the search for knowledge which traditionally has been based on science (Polanyi 1969).
@InProceedings{ALGEO2012ACT,
author = {Algeo, C.},
title = {ACTION RESEARCH IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT: AN EXAMINATION OF AUSTRALIAN PROJECT MANAGERS},
series = {5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2012 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-616-0763-1},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {19-21 November, 2012},
year = {2012},
pages = {5857-5867}}
TY - CONF
AU - C. Algeo
TI - ACTION RESEARCH IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT: AN EXAMINATION OF AUSTRALIAN PROJECT MANAGERS
SN - 978-84-616-0763-1/2340-1095
PY - 2012
Y1 - 19-21 November, 2012
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 5th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2012 Proceedings
SP - 5857
EP - 5867
ER -
C. Algeo (2012) ACTION RESEARCH IN PROJECT MANAGEMENT: AN EXAMINATION OF AUSTRALIAN PROJECT MANAGERS, ICERI2012 Proceedings, pp. 5857-5867.
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