Idiosyncratic musings on studying cases

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Christophe Bredillet


For the past 60 years, organisations have increasingly been using projects and management of, by and for projects to achieve their strategic objectives (Morris & Jamieson, 2004; Morris & Geraldi, 2011). Project management (PM) makes an important and significant contribution to value creation globally. However, the ‘glocal’ context in which projects are performed shows increasing volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity (‘VUCA’) affecting organisations and the socio-economic environment, within which they operate (Gareis, 2005). Two main dimensions are considered in research: uncertainty (and its two dimensions: volatility and ambiguity), and complexity (Bredillet, 2015).  Because action takes place over time, and because the future is unknowable, action is inherently uncertain (Aristotle, 1926, 1357a). Acts involve time, irreversibility, indetermination and contingence, and uncertainty (Sanderson, 2012; Knight, 1921). "We simply do not know" (Keynes, 1937, pp. 113–114).  Management situations (here both Practice and Research) are complex systems in the way they involve interdependence and connections between actors, ‘objects’ and the context. 

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