project management

Topics: Management, Project management, Operations research Pages: 12 (9623 words) Published: October 17, 2014
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International Journal of Project Management 27 (2009) 435–446 www.elsevier.com/locate/ijproman

Analyzing project management research: Perspectives from
top management journals
Young Hoon Kwak *, Frank T. Anbari 1
Department of Decision Sciences, Funger Hall 411, School of Business, The George Washington University, 2201 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20052, USA Received 7 June 2008; received in revised form 10 August 2008; accepted 14 August 2008

Abstract
This paper examines project management research from the perspective of its relationship to allied disciplines in the management field and provides a view of the progress of project management as a research-based academic discipline. This study which is partially funded by the Project Management Institute specifically investigates project management research in allied disciplines from 18 top management and business journal publications and categorizes it into eight allied disciplines. The evolution and trends of project management research are analyzed by exploring, identifying, and classifying management journal articles on project management in the allied disciplines. The analysis of project management research in the allied disciplines reveals an explosion of popularity and strong interest in project management research. The ranking of occurrences of the eight allied disciplines from most to the least appeared subjects over the last 50 years are (1) Strategy/Portfolio Management; (2) Operations Research/Decision Sciences; (3) Organizational Behavior/ Human Resources Management; (4) Information Technology/Information Systems; (5) Technology Applications/Innovation; (6) Performance Management/Earned Value Management; (7) Engineering and Construction; and (8) Quality Management/Six Sigma. Result of this study help us better understand the evolution of project management as a field of practice and an academic discipline, and allow us to provide suggestions for future project management research opportunities. Ó 2008 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved.

Keywords: Project management; Allied disciplines; Trends analysis; Top management journals

1. Introduction
There has been a long debate in the management education community as to whether ‘‘project management” is a practice or an academic discipline. In the R&D field, tools and techniques of project management are applied and

implemented to complete complex projects successfully.
In the construction engineering and management discipline, people learn and implement planning, managing, and controlling of engineering construction projects to
meet the time, budget, and specifications. In the engineering field, production planning, scheduling and quantitative *

Corresponding author. Tel.: +1 202 994 7115; fax: +1 202 994 2736. E-mail addresses: kwak@gwu.edu (Y.H. Kwak), anbarif@gwu.edu
(F.T. Anbari).
1
Tel.: +1 202 994 0404; fax: +1 202 994 2736.
0263-7863/$34.00 Ó 2008 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.ijproman.2008.08.004

methods are applied to manufacturing systems to achieve
higher productivity. However, when it comes to the business and management field, scholars often appear puzzled and unconvinced of the notion ‘‘project management”.
The origin, history, and evolution of project management,
and its academic background, foundations, and underlying
theory, have been debated and studied only to a limited
extent from the management field’s academic perspective,
and supporting literature is limited. As a result, previous
research had limitations to transfer the message outside
of the project management field to the broader business
and management academic audience.
There have been important efforts among international
PM researchers and practitioners to identify and rethink
PM [1], and the findings were disseminated widely within
the PM community. Several other studies aimed at understanding trends in PM research and...

References: [1] Winter M, Smith C. Rethinking project management (EPSRC
Network 2004-2006)
[9] INFORMS. http://www.informs.org/index.php?c=7&kat=ABOUT
archived on Oct 23, 2007.
[10] Academy of management. http://www.aomonline.org/aom.asp?page_ID=36 archived on Oct 23, 2007.
[12] Academy of management. http://www.aomonline.org/aom.asp?page_ID=36 archived on Oct 23, 2007.
[13] Academy of management perspectives. http://journals.aomonline.org/amp/ archived on Oct 23, 2007.
Y.H. Kwak, F.T. Anbari / International Journal of Project Management 27 (2009) 435–446
[17] Townsend AM, DeMarie SM, Hendrickson AR
[36] INFORMS. http://www.informs.org/index.php?c=7&kat=ABOUT
archived on Oct 23, 2007.
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