nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2009‒06‒03
four papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Parnu College - Tartu University

  1. Walking Through Jelly: Language Proficiency, Emotions, and Disrupted Collaboration in Global Work By Tsedal Beyene; Pamela J. Hinds; Catherine Durnell Cramton
  2. The Efficient and Fair Approval of "Multiple-Cost - Single-Benefit" Projects under Unilateral Information By Kahana, Nava; Mealem, Yosef; Nitzan, Shmuel
  3. Indigenising Development By Alcida Rita Ramos; Rafael Guerreiro Osorio; José Pimenta
  4. Evaluation of the Impact of the Mother and Infant Health Project in Ukraine By Olena Nizalova; Maria Vyshnya

  1. By: Tsedal Beyene (Harvard Business School, Organizational Behavior Unit); Pamela J. Hinds (Department of Management Science & Engineering, Stanford University); Catherine Durnell Cramton (School of Management, George Mason University)
    Abstract: In an ethnographic study comprised of interviews and concurrent observations of 145 globally distributed members of nine project teams of an organization, we found that uneven proficiency in English, the lingua franca, disrupted collaboration for both native and non-native speakers. Although all team members spoke English, different levels of fluency contributed to tensions on these teams. As non-native English speakers attempted to counter the apprehension they felt when having to speak English and native English speakers fought against feeling excluded and devalued, a cycle of negative emotion ensued and disrupted interpersonal relationships on these teams. We describe in detail how emotions and actions evolved recursively as coworkers sought to relieve themselves of negative emotions prompted by the lingua franca mandate and inadvertently behaved in ways that triggered negative responses in distant coworkers. Our results add to the scant literature on the role of emotions in collaborative relationships in organizations and suggest that organizational policies can set in motion a cycle of negative emotions that interfere with collaborative work.
    Date: 2009–06
  2. By: Kahana, Nava (Bar-Ilan University); Mealem, Yosef (Netanya Academic College); Nitzan, Shmuel (Bar-Ilan University)
    Abstract: This paper focuses on indivisible multiple-cost–single-benefit projects that must be approved by the government. A simple mechanism is proposed that ensures an efficient and fair implementation of such projects. The proposed mechanism is appropriate for a unilateral information structure: the single beneficiary has complete information on the cost and benefit of the project while the government official has no such information and the cost bearers have information only on each other's costs.
    Keywords: indivisible project, single beneficiary, multiple-cost bearers, unilateral information, efficient and fair implementation
    JEL: D61 D62 D78
    Date: 2009–05
  3. By: Alcida Rita Ramos (University of Brasilia); Rafael Guerreiro Osorio (International Poverty Centre); José Pimenta (University of Brasilia)
    Abstract: Among the many social groups that have been historically excluded, indigenous people comprise one that offers great challenges to development. Although their assimilation has been a goal of the national societies that engulfed them, it is disputable whether indigenous people desire the type of social inclusion that development, in its many forms, can produce. At the same time, development seems irreversible, and resistance to it might have consequences far more adverse than those brought by acceptance. The best way to overcome the challenges seems to be to indigenise development: to put it to work on behalf of indigenous people instead of putting them to work for a model of development that is not only alien to them but that frequently does violence to their culture. With this in mind: Alcida Rita Ramos, Rafael Guerreiro Osorio and José Pimenta introduce the theme and the challenges to indigenising development, considering points raised by the other contributors. Gersem Baniwa writes about the dilemmas that development poses to indigenous people in Brazil, who simultaneously want to enjoy its benefits, particularly the material and technological resources of the modern world, and to also keep their traditions. Myrna Cunningham and Dennis Mairena explain that the very concept of development is inimical to some core values of many indigenous cultures of Nicaragua, such as collective labour and property, egalitarian distribution, and holistic world views. Jaime Urrutia Cerutti presents his thoughts on why in Peru, unlike Bolivia and Ecuador, there is no massive and strong social movement of indigenous people. The indigenous population comprises the majority in these three Andean countries, and is already integrated into their modern national societies. Stuart Kirsch departs from the concept of human development to show how a mining project in Suriname might enhance the economic freedom of some indigenous groups at the expense of some other important freedoms associated with being indigenous. José Pimenta tells the success story of an Ashaninka group in Brazil who became an archetype of the ecological indian, running sustainable development projects, and managing and protecting the environment. This success was context-specific, however, and was not without cost to their way of life. Charles R. Hale recalls the dramatic impacts of the civil war on the indigenous people of Guatemala. Caught between the state and the guerrillas, they have been through genocide, and modest advancements achieved earlier were reversed. A re-emerging Maya social movement now faces the resistance of the country?s elite. Bruce Grant takes us back to the Soviet Union and pinpoints some of the differences of socialist development, showing how it affected indigenous peoples in Siberia who were paradoxically seen as both a model of primitive communism and of backwardness. It was a dear goal of Soviet planners to make them leap forward as an example of the benefits of socialism. David G. Anderson considers how the dismantling of the Soviet Union affected indigenous peoples in Siberia. Current Russian models of indigenous development are worth considering because they are not purely capitalist: private corporations that take over projects assume many of the roles of the former socialist state in welfare provision, and the overall repercussions are both favourable and otherwise. Bernard Saladin d?Anglure and Françoise Morin discuss the impact of the colonisation and development of the Arctic on the Inuit. Charged by the Soviet Union for neglecting the human development of the Inuit, Canada devised a policy that succeeded in raising their material standards of living while culturally impoverishing them. Carolina Sánchez, José del Val, and Carlos Zolla emphasise the importance of monitoring the welfare and development of indigenous people by devising culturally adequate information systems. They summarise the state-of-the-art proposals, outline the main demands of indigenous leaders and experts as regards such systems, and present the successful experience of their programme in Guerrero, Mexico. We hope that the articles in this issue of Poverty in Focus help raise awareness in the development community about problems that do not have immediate and easy solutions, but that are crucial to shaping the present and future of indigenous people.
    Keywords: Indigenising Development
    Date: 2009–05
  4. By: Olena Nizalova (Kyiv School of Economics and Kyiv Economics Institute); Maria Vyshnya (Kyiv Economics Institute and Kyiv Mohyla Academy)
    Abstract: This paper exploits a unique opportunity to evaluate the impact of improvement in the quality of prenatal care and labor and delivery services on maternal and infant mortality and morbidity. Since basic medical care has been universally available in Ukraine, implementation of the Mother and Infant Health Project allows addressing quality rather than quantity effect of medical care. Employing program evaluation methods we find that the administrative units (rayons) participating in the Project have exhibited greater improvements in both maternal and infant health compared to the control rayons. Among the infant health characteristics, the MIHP impact is most pronounced for stillbirths, as well as infant mortality and morbidity resulted from deviations in perinatal period and congenital anomalies. As for the maternal health, the MIHP is most effective at combating such complications related blood circulation, veins, and urinary-genital systems, as well as late toxicosis and anemia. The analysis suggests that the effects are due to early attendance of antenatal clinics, lower share of C-sections, and greater share of normal deliveries. Preliminary cost-effectiveness analysis shows enormous benefit per dollar spent on the project: the cost to benefit ratio is one to 85 taking into account both maternal and infant lives saved as well as cost savings due to changes in labor and delivery practices.
    Keywords: Maternal health, maternal mortality, infant health, infant mortality; prenatal care
    JEL: I12 I18
    Date: 2009–05

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