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- Volume 17, Issue 1, 2014
South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences - Volume 17, Issue 1, 2014
Volumes & issues
Volume 17, Issue 1, 2014
Author Pieter BuysSource: South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences 17, pp I –III (2014)More Less
The year 2013 was a major milestone in the history of the South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences (SAJEMS). It was the year in which we commemorated SAJEMS' 25 years of publishing high-quality academic research. It is one of the few South African accredited journals covering the broader economic and managerial sciences. As an interdisciplinary publication, SAJEMS addresses a wide spectrum of topics, with a focus on consumers, firms and/or regulators. This spectrum includes contemplation of the philosophical presuppositions of scientific disciplines on the on hand, through to qualitative and quantitative research, across a wide spectrum of methodologies and scientific world views.
Linking project-based production and project management temporary systems in multiple contexts : an introduction to the special editionSource: South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences 17, pp 1 –6 (2014)More Less
As organisations in more and more industries look for flexible ways of production in the wake of rapidly changing market environments, project-based organising is becoming anincreasingly important mode of organisation (Eisenhardt & Tabrizi, 1995). Whereas projectbased organisation was traditionally mainly the domain of industries such as film making (Sorenson & Waguespack, 2006), theatre (Goodman& Goodman, 1976), and construction (Gann & Salter, 2000), a project-based mode of operation has recently pervaded many other sectors in the economy, including software development, advertising, biotechnology, consulting, emergency response, fashion, television and complex products and systems (Grabher, 2004; Hobday, 2000).
Source: South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences 17, pp 7 –21 (2014)More Less
In this article, we argue that an increased focus on the processes of projectification would be beneficial to project research. By introducing a distinction between narrow and broad conceptualisations of projectification, we extend this research area from its current concern with the increased primacy of projects in contemporary organisational structures into an interest for cultural and discursive processes in a society in which notions of projects are invoked. Through an illustration from our earlier empirical research on the sustenance of project work form and its consequences, the implications of applying broad conceptualisations are further discussed.
Author Michiel C. BekkerSource: South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences 17, pp 22 –32 (2014)More Less
The terminology, definition and context of project governance have become a focal subject for research and discussions in project management literature. This article reviews literature on the subject of project governance and categorises the arguments into three schools of thought namely the single-firm school, multi-firm school and large capital governance school. The single-firm school is concerned with governance principles related to intra-organisational projects and practice these principles at a technical level. The multifirm school addresses the governance principles concerned with two of more organisations participating on a contractual basis on the same project and focuses its governance efforts at the technical and strategic level. The large capital school considers projects as temporary organisations, forming their own entity and establishing governance principles at an institutional level. From these schools of thought it can be concluded that the definition of project governance is a function of stakeholder complexity and functional positioning in the organisation. It is also evident that further research is required to incorporate other governance variables and related theories such as transaction theory, social networks and agency theory. The development of project governance frameworks should also consider the complexity of projects spanning across international companies, across country borders and incorporating different value systems, legal systems, corporate governance guidelines, religions and business practices.
A maturation model for project-based organisations - with uncertainty management as an ever-present multi-project management focusAuthor Anna JerbrantSource: South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences 17, pp 33 –51 (2014)More Less
The classical view of multi-project management does not capture its dynamic nature. Current theory falls short in its ability to explain how the management of project-based companies evolves because of their need to be agile and adaptable in a changing environment. The purpose of this paper is therefore to present a descriptive model that elucidates the maturation processes in a project-based organisation as well as to provide an enhanced understanding of multi-project management in practice. The maturation model illustrates the way the management of project-based organisations evolves between structuring administration and managing uncertainties, and emphasises the importance of active individual actions and situated management actions that have to be undertaken in order to coordinate, synchronise and communicate the required knowledge and skills. The outcomes primarily reveal that, although standardised project models are used and considerable resources are spent on effective project portfolio management, the way information and communication are dealt with is vitally important in the management of project-based organisations. This is particularly true of informal and non-codified communication.
No creative person is an island : organisational culture, academic project-based creativity, and the mediating role of intra-organisational social tiesSource: South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences 17, pp 46 –69 (2014)More Less
This paper examines the relationship between perceptions of organisational culture, academics' social embeddedness and their creative paper project output. It argues that the extent to which researchers working on paper projects are socially embedded through social ties with colleagues inside and outside their academic department (but within the same university) is a causal step linking organisational values and norms to creative outputs. This study does not, however, find support for the proposed mediating effects. Instead, results indicate that three organisational culture dimensions - i.e. performance orientation, environmental orientation and innovation support - affect employees' creative project output through their social embeddedness outside the department (but within their own university). As the organisational culture and social embeddedness of employees outside the department are both contextual factors that matter (either indirectly or directly) for the generation of creative project outputs by researchers, this study concludes that "no creative person and no project is an island".
Multiple project team membership and performance : empirical evidence from engineering project teamsAuthor Kai-Ying ChanSource: South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences 17, pp 76 –90 (2014)More Less
Individuals are increasingly involved in more than one project team. This implies that an employee simultaneously has multiple memberships in these project teams, a phenomenon known as multiple team membership (MTM). Previous, predominantly theoretical studies have acknowledged the impacts that MTM has on performance but very scarce empirical evidence exists. The aim of this study is to provide empirical support for some of these theoretical claims using data collected from 435 team members in 85 engineering project teams in South Africa. Results show that MTM has an inverted-U shaped relationship with individual performance and a positive linear relationship with team performance. When a person is working in multiple project teams simultaneously, he/she may encounter more diverse sources of ideas across all teams and thus enhances his/her innovative performance. However, as the number of MTM increases, the negative effect of task switching and fragmented attention will negatively impact on individual performance. At the project team level, a large number of MTM in a focal team allows the team members to integrate diverse sources of knowledge and resources into the focal team. This study also found that individuals' emotional skills and cognitive skills impact on individual performance. It is recommended to programme and project portfolio managers, who often are involved in scheduling human resources to multiple projects, to acknowledge both the positive and negative impacts of MTM on performance. Moreover, in high MTM situations, project team members with high emotional and cognitive skills should be selected.
Intra project team disagreement, conflict communications, and team performance in cross-functional new product project teams : a decision-making quality perspectiveSource: South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences 17, pp 91 –104 (2014)More Less
This paper develops and examines a model of the antecedents and consequences of decision-making comprehensiveness during the new product development process. This model suggests first a concave relationship between intrateam task disagreement and decision-making comprehensiveness. It also conjectures that conflict communications influence the effectiveness of decision-making comprehensiveness on new product project teams' performance. An empirical test of the proposed framework involves a survey of 220 cross-functional new product project teams. The findings show that an inverse U-shaped relationship exists between a project's intrateam task disagreement and its decision-making comprehensiveness. It also indicates that collaborative communication has a negative effect on innovativeness, whereas contentious communication adversely affects constraint adherence. However, decision-making comprehensiveness partially moderates the relationships between conflict communications and project team performance. Some managerial and research implications of the findings were also discussed in this study.
Project-based production and project management : findings and trends in research on temporary systems in multiple contextsSource: South African Journal of Economic and Management Sciences 17, pp 105 –108 (2014)More Less
Globalisation is challenging almost every aspect of the political, economic, social and technological environment. Organisations, whether public or private, have to adapt their strategies and operations to stay competitive and efficient. Historically, organisations adopted project-based operations as a mode to stay competitive, although the applications tended to be the once-off type of operations such as construction and system development projects (Edum-Fotwe & McCaffer, 2000). As the world changed from an industrially driven to a more knowledge driven economy and the pace of continuous change became more intense, organisations adopted a project-based mode of operations on a broader scale.