Critical Analysis of a TextText: Sage, D, Dainty, A & Brookes, N 2013, "A critical argument in favor of theoretical pluralism: Project failure and the many and varied limitations of project management, " International Journal of Project Management, p.1-121.What review question am I asking of this text? The research questions that guided the text include: How alternative empirical analysis of project failures proposed by different theoretical perspectives can help conceptualise the limits of project management? What is the political and social contextualisation of performance in project management? The objective of this analysis is to examine whether the research text answered the research questions in explaining how project failures can be overcome with better management. 2.What type of literature is this? The text is based on a research conducted into project failure and success.
The research developed translations of project failure using four various theoretical approaches, namely structural Marxism, positivism, ANT and interpretivism. Each approach presents theoretical approach to project failure differently. While the authors do not assume that they can decide disproportionate epistemological, methodological and ontological perspectives, all the approaches used offer political insights into ways in which project failures generate critical concerns with the impacts and transformations of managerial power, interests and identities.
The research goes beyond merely rehearsing the established dissimilarity between project management failure and project failure. 3.What sort of intellectual project for study is being undertaken? a)How clear is it which project the authors are undertaking? The authors are undertaking knowledge-for-understanding and knowledge-for-action projectb)How is the project reflected in the authors’ mode of working? The authors used structured survey questions after coming up with a series of questions based on varied aspects of project failures and success.
The rationale for this is to understand the practices that lead to organisational failures and how project management can be applied to overcome the failures. The aim of the paper is to contribute to knowledge on project management and practice. c)What value stance is adopted towards the practice or policy investigated? The authors have adopted the Factors/Success School to orient their analysis around the descriptive statistics on the factors and criteria for project success of failure. Using this stance, rather than examining how empirical analysis of project failure can present better project management theories, they inquire into how substitute empirical analysis, proposed by different theoretical perspectives, can help establish the limits of project management. d)How does the sort of project being undertaken affect the research questions addressed? The research questions suggested by the authors present the idea of theoretical approaches in project failures that the authors aim to examine.
They also offer a foundation into the objective of the author. The questionnaires used present limits on the questions to be addressed. This is consistent with commentaries from other researchers who have suggested that this type of research may only present restricted understanding of the project management failures, successes and practice.
While this empirical study aims to add knowledge to the approaches that can explain project management activities, the survey-based deductive nature of this research to a small extent aims to promote an understanding on how project managers fail in their practice. Other interventions such as grounded research methods and ethnography integrate the deductive attribute of survey-based research with inductive approach in theory development to promote an understanding into the project management practice.