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School of Business | Department of Information and Service Economy | Logistics | 2014
Thesis number: 14518
Challenges of virtual and temporary project management - a case study
Author: Määttänen, Lauri
Title: Challenges of virtual and temporary project management - a case study
Year: 2014  Language: eng
Department: Department of Information and Service Economy
Academic subject: Logistics
Index terms: logistiikka; logistics; johtaminen; management; projektit; projects
Pages: 60
Full text:
» hse_ethesis_14518.pdf pdf  size:2 MB (1240771)
Key terms: project management; virtuality; temporality; challenges
Objectives of the Study

Matrix and project based organizations have increased their popularity and virtual project teams are common in today's multinational organizations. With project base work and virtual teams, also the temporality of project teams has increased. This has changed the challenges of project managers. Project teams can be assembled regardless of location of an employee allowing efficient resource pooling across the globe. Efficiency is also a driver for temporary teams. The project team can be pooled for filling the needs of a single project. The objective of this research is to study how the challenges of virtual project management change when the effects of temporality are taken into account.

Academic background and methodology

Because of scarcity of the research in the field of virtual and temporary projects, and that there is no framework existing to study the research field, this study built a research framework based on an extensive literature review of previous scientific work done in the field. The research framework combines the four most popular and sonorous challenges of virtual project management and mirrors them to the four concepts of the theory of temporary organization. This research framework act as the basis of the interviews giving them a coherent structure. The methodology in this thesis is qualitative single case study. The people from the case company interviewed for the thesis are all experienced in the management challenges of the virtual and temporary projects.

Findings and conclusions

The findings of the study are multifold. The study identified that the concept of the theory of temporary organization effects on the challenges of virtual project management. Depending on the challenge and the element of temporality, the effect differs. The role of communication was emphasized and more task orientated. Trust in people was replaced by control of the project manager and the focus of trust was transferred from people to project and the change that the project brought to the parent organization. Due to the strong organizational culture in the case company, findings regarding that challenge were limited. Only time had some effect in regards of new employees. This study focused, due to lack of prior research, on the challenges independently, although strong dependencies were identified between the challenges as the study continued.
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