First an insight on projects and their use in contemporary organisations is provided, followed by an analysis of the influence of organisational culture on project structure, teams and performance, ending with a summary and discussion on the topic.
This is the shortest yet the most comprehensive definition of what a project is; a one time event, with a beginning and an end, with quantitative and qualitative outcomes, comprised of many depended activities with a sole purpose of solving a problem (Meredith and Mantel 2010, PMI 2008).
Projects are managed through a process defined by a project management methodology used on all projects to increase the likelihood of achieving project success, excellence and maturity (Kerzner 2009). A standardized definition of Project management comes from the PMBOK (PMI 2008, p.6) where it is defined as “an application of knowledge, skills, tools and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirements”.
As a relatively new discipline PM emerged from the post world war’s defence methodologies applied in managing large-scale initiatives. At the beginning, what literature refers today as “traditional projects”, were stand-alone projects with dedicated resources and without larger consequences if the deadlines were not met (Taylor 2003). These projects were characteristic for the construction industry.
From the 1980s onwards, the rapid development of IT and its rising penetration in the value chain of organisations, increased the number IT projects and shortened the project life cycle (IT technology has a short life cycle), while the dependency of project’s processes from the parent organisation increased. As a result the old tools and techniques in managing traditional projects were found to be less efficient, even counterproductive and practitioners and researchers begun to recognise the growing importance of introducing the systems approach in analysing and managing projects (Gardiner 2005, Taylor