Project Management in High-Tech Organizations: A Field Study
1. Investigators (co-investigators)
Clay Spinuzzi, University of Texas at Austin
1. Hypothesis, Research Questions, or Goals of the Project I seek to answer the following research questions:
* How do people in high-tech knowledge work organizations manage projects? What tools and texts do they use? * How, and to what extent, do they collaborate in management? *
* How, and to what extent, do they share information? * What training have they received?
* How has project management changed in their organization?
1. Background and Significance:
NOTE: For this section, just give us a bit of background on the organization itself: What it does, how many people work there, why you think it would be an interesting place to study. 1.
In knowledge work organizations, work in which the primary product is knowledge, information that is continually interpreted and circulated across organizational boundaries. It tends to be organized in distributed, heterogeneous networks rather than in modular hierarchies such as those Marx described (1990). Whereas modular organization encouraged "silos" with rigid hierarchical separations and few connections, knowledge work encourages proliferating connections across trades, fields, and disciplines, connections across which texts circulate. These connections lead to more flexibility and collaboration within networked organizations, but also more communication problems: workers from historically separated activities suddenly must interact, collaborate, and learn enough of each others' social languages and genres to work together. Complexities become more difficult to manage, and everyone needs to learn a little about everyone else's work.
High-tech organizations, such as software and web services companies, fit this...