Participative project management as a comprehensive response to postmodernism criticisms: The role of communication

Mehrdad Sarhadi, Saied Yousefi, Amin Zamani

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand the philosophical changes which underpin research and practices in project management. This study is an attempt to challenge previous studies that have tried to explain this change in order to provide a better explanation. Design/methodology/approach: The authors adopt a critical review research method to challenge previous explanations of the paradigm change and definition of communication. For this purpose, philosophical and social theories and concepts have been used. Findings: This paper proposed changing the paradigm from modernism to postmodernism and the paradigm shift, which happens from postmodernism to participation, as a better explanation for the paradigmatic change in project management. Furthermore, the important role of communication has been illustrated in the participation paradigm. Originality/value: For the first time in project management, the authors attempt to clarify the role of power in this paradigmatic shift, especially because this concept is an axial concept in postmodern philosophy and a neglected concept in project management literature. In addition, communicative action theory has been used with the aim of pursuing the influence of informal power in the participation paradigm and paving the way for confronting its emerging challenges in future studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)935-959
Number of pages25
JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 15 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

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© 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited.


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