Towards a political framework for the successful implementation of project management

Oosthuizen, Yolande(Yolande Helene) (2003-12)

Study project (MBA)--University of Stellenbosch, 2003.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Organizational politics and the political environment of organizations are topics that have been extensively researched and debated in the academic literature. Organizations are not always strategically focused on this area of management and are not always aware of the consequences of the negative impacts of organizational politics on the success of their business. Project management also takes place within this political environment of organizations and is thus subject to its influences. The aim of this study was to provide project managers with some insight into the nature of organizational politics and political behavior and to assist them in understanding how these concepts impact on the project management process. The study takes the form of a literature review on the topics of organizational politics and project management. The study can be divided into five main sections: • Organizational politics is reviewed in terms of the definition of political behavior, dimensions of political behavior and the political environment of organizations. Examples of political behavior are given and the functional roles of politics in organizations are discussed. • The second section deals with the social perspective of project management in terms of the inherent nature of teams, operation within a matrix structure and leadership requirements of the project manager. Project management skills and success criteria are also studied. The third section views project management in terms of organizational politics and readdresses the areas of management of the project manager and the importance of stakeholder analysis. The power base of the project manager is evaluated and the use of influence discussed. The political activities that occur around resource control and decision-making is considered with reference to organizational culture. Guidelines are laid down for project managers regarding the management of political behavior. • The fourth section moves towards putting a framework there for project managers with reference to implications for project management success, the use of constructive political tactics and the adoption of appropriate political skills. • The fifth section tests assumptions made regarding possible problems areas for project managers in the context of organizational politics. Personal interviews were conducted with eight project managers in a development and management company and questions were designed around two themes, namely problems experienced on a more personal level and problems relating to the organizational environment. The current and ideal situations for each theme were discussed.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Organisasie politiek en die politiese omgewing van organisasies is onderwerpe wat uitgebreid nagevors en gedebateer is in die akademiese literatuur. Organisasies is nie altyd strategies gefokus op hierdie bestuursarea nie en is derhalwe nie altyd bewus van die negatiewe effek van organisasie politiek op die sukses van hul besigheid nie. Projekbestuur vind plaas binne hierdie politiese omgewing en is dus onderworpe aan die invloed daarvan. Die doel van hierdie studie was om aan projekbestuurders 'n mate van insig te verskaf met betrekking tot die aard van organisasie politiek en politiese gedrag, en om 'n beter begrip van die impak van hierdie konsepte op die projekbestuur proses te kweek. Die navorsing is in die vorm van 'n literatuurstudie rondom organisasie politiek en projekbestuur. Die studie word onderverdeel in vyf afdelings: • Eerstens word 'n oorsig van organisasie politiek verskaf, met spesifieke verwysing na die definisie van politiese gedrag, die dimensies van politiese gedrag en die politiese omgewing van organisasies. Voorbeelde van politiese gedrag word aangebied en die funksionele rol van politiek in organisasies word bespreek. • Die tweede afdeling handeloor die sosiale perspektief van projekbestuur in terme van die inherente aard van projekspanne, die werking van projekbestuur binne 'n matriks struktuur, en die leierskap vereistes van die projekbestuurder. Projekbestuur vaardighede en sukses maatstawwe word bestudeer. • Die derde afdeling fokus op projekbestuur binne die konteks van organisasie politiek: die bestuursareas van die projekbestuurder word weer beskou en die belangrikheid van insethouer-analise (stakeholders) word aangedui. Verder word die magsbasis van die projekbestuurder ge-evalueer en die aanwending van die proses van invloed word bespreek. Die politiese aktiwiteite wat gepaard gaan met hulpbron-beheer asook besluitneming word ondersoek, met verwysing na organisasie kultuur. Etlike riglyne met betrekking tot die bestuur van politiese gedrag word neergelê vir projekbestuurders. • Die vierde afdeling fokus op die daarstelling van 'n raamwerk vir projekbestuurders, wat onder andere verwys na implikasies vir projekbestuur sukses, die gebruik van konstruktiewe politiese tegnieke asook die aanwending van aanvaarbare politiese vaardighede. • Die vyfde afdeling behels die toetsing van etlike aannames wat gemaak word aangaande probleemareas vir projekbestuurders binne die konteks van organisasie politiek. Persoonlike onderhoude is gevoer met agt projekbestuurders, werksaam by 'n ontwikkelings- en bestuursmaatskappy. Die onderhoudsvrae was saamgestel rondom twee temas, naamlik: probleme wat ondervind word op 'n meer persoonlike vlak; en probleme wat verband jou met die organisasie omgewing. Die huidige asook die ideale situasie vir elke tema was ondersoek en weergegee.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/53700
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