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This PhD-project is about innovation and project management. It is about the challenges and dilemmas companies and participants in innovative activities experience in relation to generate innovation, but especially the project is about how innovative activities can be organized in project-oriented organizations. Project organization and project work are forms of organizing and working that becomes more and more widespread with project management as the dominant way of managing. At the same time there is an increased demand and request for more innovation in many companies and organizations. However studies indicate that project management is not the best way to manage and support innovative work. Hence there was a need for looking further in to this in preparation for developing ways of organizing that can overcome problems within the project frame and contributing to support the process. The objective of the project is to investigate the organizational possibilities for developing ways of organizing so that innovative processes in project-oriented companies can be supported. The problem is answered through a literature review of theories within innovation, project management, and project organizing and two qualitative studies. One study is a multiple case study based on qualitative interviews in four different companies focusing on problems and challenges that participants in innovative processes experience in relation to the way innovative work is organized in projects. The other study is a single case study based on qualitative interviews and a history chronicle. In this study the story of a development process in a research and development department is told with regard to the problems and challenges that occurred in the project process and how they were handled. Both project work and innovation work are enrolled in the concept of modern work, which amongst others is characterized by being knowledge intensive, immaterial, and more fluent than classical industrial work. In the same process the structural organizing of work and the organizational structure have become less significant, whereas the work process has become more critical to the production process both project work and innovation work are part of. However there is only little knowledge on the character and content of these work processes. In order to get a better understanding of this work, the problem has been looked into in a process perspective. In this way the project also contribute methodically by refining and adjusting methodologies for studying the work process in knowledge intensive work forms. The project shows that project management is a useful tool in the management and organization of innovative processes but it is also limited and can therefore not stand alone. In the studies it becomes clear that knowledge creating processes and processes of change are a a huge part of the innovation process, but also that these processes are not recognized and they are therefore not handled in the organization of work. Further the study shows that several breakdowns in the work process occur during the innovation process and additionally that points to the need of designing and organizing the processes of coordination and communication specifically to the purpose and situation of the work process. In the project organization this goes particularly when organizing meetings in the project, as they are arenas for coordination and communication processes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication dateDec 2010
Place of publicationKgs. Lyngby
PublisherDTU Management
Number of pages165
ISBN (print)978-87-92706-03-4
StatePublished
NamePhD thesis
Number5.2011
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