Comparison between PM Theory and PMT 2.0

To compare PM current theory and the PMT 2.0, the study gathered raw data from multiple sources including unfiltered open-ended interviews, archival documents, direct observations, policy papers, survey data, and annual reports. As opposed to the closed-ended question based on the short answer, an opened-ended question questionnaire encourages participants to express, entirely, their views, real feelings, attitudes, or experiences about PM phenomena. The application of multiple sources can lead to unexpected discovery from participant responses. An open-ended questionnaire also encourages participants to address complex, chaotic, uncertain adequately, and nonlinear PM phenomena. These empirical data were used to compare data from one case unit of analysis to another, industry to industry, PM chapter member participants to another PM chapter member participants, and PM practitioners from one site to another (Sbaraini et al. 2011; Yin, 2014). In other words, data were used to perform cross-case synthesis, literal replication, and pattern matching (Yin, 2014).

The result was evaluated on seven theoretical propositions, participant responses to the research questions, literature reviews, and the criteria of the four essential theoretical elements (See Figure 2). The essential elements include definition, domain, relationships, and predictive capacity.  Furthermore, the result was evaluated based on the eight criteria of the virtues of a good theory. These virtues are uniqueness, parsimony, conservation, generalizability, fecundity, internal consistency, empirical

Figure 2. Criteria used to compare PM theory and PMT 2.0

riskiness, and abstraction (Gelso, 2006; Harlow, 2009, 2010; Wacker, 1998).

The research goal was to provide an in-depth understanding of these theories, examine whether they were aligned with or relevant to PM phenomena due to PPGE efforts, had internally consistent relationships among the constructs, and met the criteria of virtues of a good theory (Greenwald, 2012; Naor et al., 2013). A choice of good and virtuous theory is essential to the realm of project management; PM practitioners and training institutions rarely weigh the potential benefits and risks of a PM theory before practice. Connelly (2014) showed that the absence of theory could misguide practitioners.

The Project Management Institute’s Project Management Body of Knowledge Guide derived from various grand scale theories and canonical practices such as Eliyahu M. Goldratt’s seminal theory of constraints, the work breakdown structure, earned value management, critical path method, program evaluation procedure technique, and projects portfolio management (Padalkar & Gopinath, 2015; Simsit et al., 2014). Due to PPGE efforts, the project management field has shifted gears from a little emphasis on a project’s scope, time, and cost to the application of a holistic approach to managing projects. The manifold, interconnected, and interdependent constraints that project management domain constitutes, along with the dismal failures of projects across industries to complete projects on time and within budget, has sparked intensive theoretical debate among project management practitioners.

Two of the controversial areas are deductive or deterministic and inductive or interpretative processes of theory development (Bland & Roberts-Pittman, 2014). The deductive and deterministic-cause and effect- approach to theory building answers how much and how many or how often questions. These questions and answers explain the fundamental justification of the theory and the interrelationships among the constructs. The interpretative and inductive approach focus on who, where, how, and what questions about phenomena. This approach is in line with a constructivist perspective as opposed to the belief that knowledge is absolute (Taephant et al., 2015). Wacker (1998) also included the should, could, and would questions. The what question identifies and describes phenomena and arranges constructs or variables in a logical order. The where defines the theory’s boundary and who answers questions about the parameters of the theory (Byron & Thatcher, 2016; Crane et al., 2016). Yoshikawa et al. (2013) indicated that to understand and indeed predict phenomena in the project management domain including its manifold and uncertain constructs requires the combined application of deductive and inductive approaches.

The application of both inductive and deductive approaches makes the application of PMT 2.0 theory not only conducive but comparable to the project management field and managing megaprojects. PMT 2.0 describes, explains, and predicts events as being nonlinear, adaptive, self-organizing, holistic, and unpredictable (Bergman et al., 2013; Maranon & Pera, 2015). The concern that has remained unanswered is that, despite its expansion due to PPGEs that function beyond the traditional trilogy and lifecycle, project management theory has remained stagnated and disconnected from these new realities. PM theory 2.0 (PMT 2.0) proposes an alternative to the PM extant theory. PMT 2.0 views phenomena in terms of three conceptualizations:  sustainable competitive edge (immortality), complex, uncertain, chaotic, and nonlinear (mortality) and advanced knowledge (the game changer). The manifold and interconnected issues that project management practitioners encounter in managing projects, especially PPGE-based projects, cannot be resolved through prescriptive solutions. The survival of project management, as we know it, will depend on how dissimilar, interconnected stakeholders, legal, economic, cultural, linguistic, and environmental boundaries will interact and self-organize to share information and create innovative, efficient, and practical solutions to managing projects. The sustainability (immortality) and competitiveness of a project will depend on the harmony, steadfast commitment, and cooperation that the web of individuals and institutions will establish. Contrarily, if the project’s different network of interconnected and interdependent stakeholders does not create a fertile, collaborative, and harmonious working environment, the project is doomed to fail or die.

In an ethnographic field study of the Panama Canal expansion megaproject, for instance, Marewijk and Smits (2015) found that the cultural attributes such as governing style and lifeways influenced the way employees made essential project decisions. Ignorance of the dynamic of culture and how it impacts the way employees to make decisions in a specific environment can obstruct progress and is, therefore, chaotic. Advanced knowledge or continuous learning (the game changer) will focus not only on technical savoir-faire but also encompass a profound understanding of intercultural communication, projectification, programification, and globalization. It will determine and predict the survivability of the project; it can alter the status of a portended and an imminently chaotic situation. PMT 2.0 will describe, explain, and predict the complex nature of PM occasioned by the development and integration of PPGE efforts.

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