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Project Management Assignment: The Journal Article Review


Respond to the following project management assignment instructions concerning the journal article titled: Organisational Learning in Project Based Companies: A Process Thinking Approach” by Koskinen, K. U. (2012) in the Project Management Journal no:43(3):40-49.

A copy of this article is attached below:

  1. In your collective view, summarise the core issues/opportunities presented in this paper.
  2. Drawing on this paper and on any number of other appropriate academic publications (which cover similar issues), critically assess and discuss how the issues identified might impact the management and the leadership of a project team.


The concept of process thinking explored in the present context of project management assignment can be regarded as the critical success factor that is used in the management of the project as well as the varied types of an operational process. Process thinking can be considered to be important to an organization because the processes add value as well as play an effective role across the functions, departments, and the organization (Chronéer and Backlund, 2015 p.68). The organizational learning approach assists the companies to transfer individual knowledge into organizational knowledge. It has been found that different organizations try their best to implement the practical approach that arises due to varied types of concrete prescriptions. It is the responsibility of the organizations to tackle the learning process that is involved with the improvement of the long-term performance as well as the growth of the organization (Yu, 2017 p. 34). There are different approaches to organizational learning such as learning from the perspective of the firm as well as the cognitive perspective. All these views of organizational learning can be considered complementary rather than being contradictory to each other. This study will highlight the different issues as well as the opportunities discussed in the research paper published by Koskinen (2012). Further, it will also carry out a critical assessment as well as discussion on the issues affecting the leadership and the management.

Summary of the issues and the opportunities highlighted in the paper
The project management tools that are linked with organizational learning focuses narrowly on the management of the individual projects and thus the tools are provided with lower value by the project managers (Koskinen, 2012 p. 41). There exist variations in some of the projects and thus the companies fail to tackle the differences that arise in the history and the processes. On the other hand, it has been found that some of the projects that exist in the organization arise from historical processes where the processes are more valued than the results or the formal structures (Koskinen, 2012 p. 41). There also exist problems in understanding the dynamic approach linked with organizational learning where it becomes difficult to arrive at a valid conclusion. It has been found that the varied project-based companies also deny the existence of different types of events, the entities, or the states thereby insisting on the complex transaction activities. Further, it has been found that different companies make varied types of assumptions on the external referents, and thus it is likely to create difficulty in the organization (Koskinen, 2012 p.43). The events that arise in the organizations fail to take into consideration the established patterns, the alteration of the characters that can be regarded as a qualitative process.

As organizational learning can be considered as the change process, there emerges growing needs in the companies to move beyond a hand in solving the problems and thus enhancing the knowledge and the skills of the project manager in face of the changing situation. The competitors of the project-based companies also face difficulty to tackle the competitive advantage in the long run. Further, the different learning parts that take place in the organization also creates difficulty in the management of the work processes. Although it has been found that know-how, as well as tacit knowledge, is crucial for the development of professional identity, it is difficult to teach or incorporate those processes in the organization either through training or the formal learning process(Koskinen, 2012 p.42). It becomes difficult for the individuals to know how the change or the learning can be accomplished in project-based organizations easily. This is because the varied types of organizational routines emerge through accomplishments or the perpetual interaction or the change process. Different process-oriented thinkers have opined that change must not be treated as the inherent property of the organization, rather it is an emergent process. Moreover, the micro-macro problem is also faced by the project-based companies where it becomes difficult to tackle the new knowledge that is required by the companies for its growth and development (Koskinen, 2012 p. 45). In some cases, it can be said that the organizational levels collapse because the varied levels are tangled and separated which is likely to create the process of destruction. The traditional projects also fail to lay out the varied patterns of relationship and thus it can be understood as the emergent process of change.

The opportunities that have can be noted from the article published by Koskinen (2012) include how change is ontological and occurs prior in the organization for the enhancement of the organizational identity. Different organizations tend to attempt the intrinsic flow of human actions for tackling the ends and providing particular shape to the organization through generalization and institutionalization (Koskinen, 2012 p.44). It is also necessary to understand how the individuals work on specific projects to gather knowledge, learn about the events and thus solve out the problem accordingly. The learning process is likely to enhance the efficiency as well as the capability of the organization to cope up with the emerging changes (Koskinen, 2012 p.46). There exist different types of factors in the process of successful learning and thus all these factors are likely to enhance the capability and the efficiency of the organization to a great extent.

Another important opportunity that has been discussed in the paper written by Koskinen (2012) includes the idea of sensemaking and negotiation that helps to find out and interpret the varied types of meaningful features across the world. There can also be successful attempts made to carry out the ongoing retrospective development with the help of sensemaking so that it becomes easier for the individuals to rationalize the objects accordingly. Further, the process of sense-making also attempts to explain the inter-subjectivity constraints, the meanings, and the interpretations that will assist in analyzing the objects and the phenomena. On the other hand, it can be said that with the help of negotiation, the varied types of problems disappear and thus it can be regarded as the temporal point through which the entire aspect has to follow a systematic process (Koskinen, 2012 p.48). The project-based companies can also develop with the help of interaction as well as planning that will make it easier to exchange the information and tackle the free-role. However, planning as well as interaction differs based on the type or the complexity of the project that is used to relate the processes at varied levels accordingly.

Critical assessment and discussion on the identified issues affecting the management and the leadership of the project team
Ahern et al. (2014 p. 1426) have opined that emergent and pre-knowledge formation is essential for the delivery of complex projects. It is the responsibility of the project manager to follow the specified guidelines that are linked with the problem-solving process and facilitate the formation of the knowledge during the life-cycle of the project. However, the author has also highlighted that project managers often face difficulty in applying new knowledge to solve complex problems. In certain cases, the team members might not possess adequate knowledge in carrying out the advanced planning as well as the problem solving affecting the community of learners. Further, it has been found that Dorofeeva et al. (2020 p. 12020) have opined that the project manager often fails to understand the indicators and the content of the project that is used in tackling the mastered volume of varied project management practices. It also becomes difficult for the project manager to analyze the deviations as well as determine the causes that are essential for the long-run success and development of the project. Further, it has been found that a higher level of the problem also occurs in tackling the value-oriented management that can be regarded as the crucial part of the foreign methodologies. The opportunities that are generally witnessed in the management of the project include the cost and the fiscal aspects that assist in managing the single information linked with the project stream. The concept of the project is also linked with the introduction of the project office which is one of the vital parts of strategic development.

Koskinen (2010 p.259) has opined that the project basing which is a part of the customized products faces varied types of problems to share and capture the information across the project learning process. Learning through this project can be considered to be effective for the project-based companies and thus the knowledge that is acquired through this process enhances tackling the nature of the project. The complexities faced by project-based companies make it difficult to analyze the type of project at varying levels. The decentralization of the project-based company also highlights that there should be a higher degree of discretion that is generally granted across the lower levels in the organization (Sims, 2019 p.448). The project-based companies are loosely coupled and thus it becomes difficult to tackle the knowledge dimensions accordingly.

Koskinen (2012 p.46) has highlighted that the problem that generally emerges in the project-based companies creates an undesirable gap between the observed as well as the expected state affecting the ability of the individual to complete the task. However, in most cases, it is found that the lack of awareness of the individual creates difficulty or challenges to arrive at proper resolution or towards the contribution of the common goal. There might also be varied problems witnessed by the team members of the project for tackling the delivery of the project affecting the quality of life. On the other hand, Lytvynov (2020) has stated that the information system management culture can be interpreted in terms of the value system linked with the managerial process of information as well as the manifestation of values in the system. It also becomes difficult for the project manager to analyze the influence of a culture that is associated with the value system in the project. Further, Price (2003 p.290) also stated that the varied types of strategic success factors that govern the time scale for tackling the horizons as well as the level of personal involvement help in the growth and the development of the organization. The different types of issues also make it difficult to tackle the internal and the external audit process for the application of the techniques and tools. Niederman et al. (2018 p.18) have opined that the traditional process theory that is linked with project management is generally derived through an examination of the varied components from the system perspectives. The conceptualization process along with professional domains helps in the development and growth of the project manager. The formation of the matured process also helps in the enhancement of the knowledge of the project manager.

Thus, it can be said that the intrinsic flow of actions helps in tackling the ends as well as providing growth and shape to the project managers for the smooth delivery of the project. The process-oriented thinkers must try their best to focus on the change process and the varied level of interactions that are used in handling the project. Therefore, it can be said that understanding the dynamics of the project-based organization assists in the enhancement of knowledge of the project manager.

Ahern, T., Leavy, B., and Byrne, P.J., 2014. Knowledge formation and learning in the management of projects: A problem-solving perspective. International Journal of Project Management, 32(8), pp.1423-1431.

Chronéer, D. and Backlund, F., 2015. A holistic view on learning in project-based organizations. Project Management Journal, 46(3), pp.61-74.

Dorofeeva, VV, Kaverzina, LA & Nuzhina, IP 2020, ‘The process and project approach as the basis for harmonization of the development management system of a construction company’, IOP conference series. Materials Science and Engineering, 911(1), p. 12020.

Koskinen, K.U., 2010. Recursive view of the project?based companies' knowledge production. Journal of Knowledge Management. 14(2), p. 259

Koskinen, K.U., 2012. Organizational learning in project-based companies: A process thinking approach. Project Management Journal, 43(3), pp.40-49.

Koskinen, K.U., 2012. Problem absorption as an organizational learning mechanism in project-based companies: Process thinking perspective. International journal of project management, 30(3), pp.308-316.

Lytvynov, V., Dorosh, M., Bilous, I., Voitsekhovska, M. and Nekhai, V., 2020. Development of the Automated Information System for Organization’s Information Security Culture Level Assessment. Technical sciences and technology, (1 (19)), pp.124-132.

Niederman, F., Müller, B. and March, S.T., 2018. Using process theory for accumulating project management knowledge: A seven-category model. Project Management Journal, 49(1), pp.6-24.

Price, AD. 2003, ‘The strategy process within large construction organizations, Engineering, construction, and architectural management, 10(4), pp. 283–296.

Sims, A., 2019. Blockchain and Decentralised Autonomous Organisations (DAOs): The Evolution of Companies?, 10(28),pp.423-458

Yu, JE 2017, ‘Proposing a Process-Oriented Systems Research for Systems Thinking Development’, Systems (Basel), 5(2), p. 34.


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