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Role and Importance of Organizational Culture Structure on Project ManagementResearch Proposal

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Culture Management

The Role and Importance of Organizational Culture and Structure in Project Management

Project management is a key practice of effective organizations in a variety of fields, and increasingly so as the increasing pace of technological growth and the rapid shrinking of the world in terms of communication and transportation make innovation and continued flexibility of paramount importance to organizations both large and small. A great deal of practical and academic study has been conducted regarding the most effective means for managing projects within organizations both large and small, involved in a variety of industries. Key features of individual task management and leadership styles have been identified, but the literature has not unified these findings into a more general understanding of the needs of project management in the most efficient and successful manner.

The research proposed herein will address this need for a comprehensive view of overall organizational strategies and perspectives that can be employed to more adequately and properly carry out project management tasks and needs by examining the relationship that organizational culture and organizational structure have to the specific practices of project management engaged in by various organizations, and the efficacy and stakeholder satisfaction of these practices. An overview of the context and purpose of the proposed research study is accompanied by the identification of key specific research questions that will be addressed in the study, and by a description of the strategies and methodologies that will be employed in the collection and analysis of the research data.

Academic Context and Background

An abundance of previous research has shown that project overruns are a highly common occurrence, signifying that project management is not only somewhat ineffective at maintaining specific project goals but that project management is even expected to be somewhat ineffective in certain capacities (Landaeta 2008; Gillard 2009; Williams 2008). This state of affairs is tantamount to the approval of gross inefficiencies within a variety of organizations and industries, a perspective which is in direct juxtaposition to standard business practices and policies. Especially as the geographic distance between various parts and members of many projects continues to grow and as other logistical features become more and more complex, creating greater efficiency and accountability rather than allowing for the inefficiencies of the past to be perpetuated is an absolute necessity for any organization that wishes to remain viable and successful in the long-term (Kock 2008; Liu & Jian 2010).

Previous research has suggested several key aspects to successful project management, including an increased emphasis on partnership aspects of inter-organizational projects and an adequate level of interpersonal "soft" skills in team leaders (Manley et al. 2007; Gillard 2009). Organization structure has also been examined in some research as it directly relates to issues seen in project management with researchers coming to varying conclusions and recommendations, yet a general consensus has been formed that a more flexible and individual-oriented structure assists in project management (Cheng et al. 2003; Orr 2010).

This research will largely utilize the previous research that has been conducted, and hopes to expand on earlier findings regarding the relationship of organizational structure and culture to project management. The key leadership and personnel features that have been identified in the literature will also be utilized in the proposed research, providing preliminary grounds for a detailed examination of organizational culture and structure as it relates to project management. Leadership personalities and styles are both influenced by and act as mediators of organizational structure and culture, and understanding of all of these interrelated issues is needed in order to develop a truly comprehensive and valid view of the issues that allow the inefficiencies of project management to perpetuate. The context of the ever-changing business world will be dominant in the perspective evident throughout the conducting of the research and the publication of results.

Research Objectives

The primary research objective of the proposed study will be to determine the degree to which organizational culture and organizational structure affect project management, and the mechanisms by which project management is influenced by these organizational features. A better understanding of the role that organizational culture and structure plays in project management will suggest avenues for further research that can better define more efficient project management best practices and values while at the same time providing direct practical preliminary recommendations to organizations as well.

In order to achieve the primary research objective, several smaller objectives must be attained. The identification of measures for the success of project management practices must be accomplished in order for the research to have any validity; much of this can be accomplished through a review of relevant literature, much which already exists on the topic (Cheng et al. 2003; Kock 2008; Wong et al. 2010). Research objectives will also include an understanding of the relationship between organizational culture and specific leadership styles, and between these leadership styles and the success, failure and level of stakeholder satisfaction that is achieved in project management endeavors and activities. Rates of knowledge transfer and communication among the project team, having been identified as key determiners of project management success, will also be examined in their relationship to varying organizational structures and cultures (Landaeta 2008; Orr 2010).

Methodology

In order to achieve these research objectives, a primarily qualitative strategy will be employed. Qualitative research will allow for a more adjustable and comprehensive analysis of the various issues affecting organizational culture, organizational structure, leadership style, project management, and stakeholder satisfaction. The complexity and largely subjective nature of many of the different aspects of the study makes quantification difficult at best, and the results of quantitative research would not be as directly applicable to the research questions at hand (Hudson 2007). Therefore surveys, interviews, questionnaires, and other qualitative data gathering techniques will be employed, and the data subjected to statistical analysis.

The overarching strategy of the proposed research will be to conduct a broad survey of many different organizations in a wide array of industries, targeting project management leaders and project team members both for a balanced view of the efficacy of certain practices, values, and perspectives in project management activities. Organizational leadership personnel will also be utilized in the study when available, as will the clients of certain projects when project were ultimately aimed at inter-organizational business. This strategy will allow for the most comprehensive understanding of the issues facing project management and the way that these issues are perceived by the various stakeholders of project management goings-on (Cheng et al. 2009). The broad base of organizations and industries incorporated into this overall strategy will allow for a greater validity and applicability of the results in the broader context of the business world.

The setting for the research will include both domestic and foreign companies, though personnel responding to surveys and questionnaires in non-English speaking countries will be separately contacted in order to ensure that interpretations of instrument items do not vary too greatly. An international setting for the research will again make the results more valid and widely applicable, ensuring that a multitude of perspectives on the issue rather than simply a cursory understanding of the domestic perspective on the research questions will be obtained. In a world where globalization is a reality of ever increasing interconnection, such a setting ever more vital to providing adequate understanding (Kock 2008; Manley et al. 2007).

Primary data for use in the research study will be obtained through questionnaires and surveys distributed via email to the members of organizations who respond favorably to initial contact from the researcher. This method of delivery is expected to yield higher return rates and can be designed to ensure anonymity of the respondents while greatly reducing costs and collation/analysis time for the research team. Certain respondents will also be selected randomly for follow-up phone interviews, enabling these respondents to provide a… [END OF PREVIEW]

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