nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2021‒01‒25
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. The politics behind design projects: when space, organization, and technology collide By Grégory Jemine; François Pichault; Christophe Dubois
  2. Two to tango? Psychological contract breach in online labor markets By Claussen, Jörg; Kretschmer, Tobias; Khashabi, Pooyan; Seifried, Mareike
  3. Who Am I and What Am I Doing Here? - IT Project Manager Identity in Agile ISD Team Settings By Mueller, Lea; Toutaoui, Jonas
  4. Territorial dimension: emergence and diffusion processes of the sociotechnical niche By Carola Phung; Florence Charue-Duboc
  5. In-house experts communities as a facilitator of innovation By Florence Charue-Duboc; Lise Gastaldi; Emmanuel Bertin
  6. Comparing Road and Rail Investment in Cost-Benefit Analysis By Tom Worsley
  7. Republic of Estonia; Technical Assistance Report-Public Investment Management Assessment By International Monetary Fund

  1. By: Grégory Jemine (HEC École de Gestion de l'Université de Liège); François Pichault (HEC École de Gestion de l'Université de Liège); Christophe Dubois (Université de Liège)
    Abstract: Purpose: While more and more organizations commit to transformation projects with the aim of redesigning simultaneously their workspaces, work organization, and technologies, the design process supporting such projects remains largely understudied. This paper examines the political tensions that occur when such processes unfold as well as their implications for project management. By doing so, the paper counterbalances the prescriptive and normative literature on "New Ways of Working" which largely overlooks the political complexity of such projects. Methods: The paper is based on a qualitative study of a triple design process in a media company. Data collection mainly consists of a nine-month process of non-participant observation of weekly meetings held by the strategic group in charge of the project. Semi-structured interviews with members of the executive committee have also been conducted. Findings: The analysis illustrates how space, organization, and technology are gradually designed and structured. Four interconnected and often concealed mechanisms that support triple design processes are identified: political tensions, unexpected twists, conflicting temporalities, and arbitration measures. Originality: The originality of the paper lies in breaking down the concept of design in three separate objects-organization, space, and technology-and examining how these objects were conjointly problematized by an organization in transformation, whereas existing studies often investigate organization design, space design, or technology design in isolation.
    Keywords: design process,New Ways of Working,NWoW,NWW,triple design,project management,organizational change,organizational politics
    Date: 2020–08–19
  2. By: Claussen, Jörg; Kretschmer, Tobias; Khashabi, Pooyan; Seifried, Mareike
    Abstract: Despite some advantages over traditional (offline) labor markets - such as lower search costs, better matching and improved monitoring - online labor markets (OLMs) have not taken off as initially expected. In this paper, we study the factors that limit perceived project success on OLMs. Using psychological contract theory, we theorize how common OLM features including contracts with virtual monitoring, multi-freelancer projects, and simultaneous projects by a client trigger the perception of psychological contract breach among OLM participants and reduce perceived project success for both participants. We test these hypotheses using an extensive dataset with more than 143,000 transactions on the world's largest freelancing platform, Upwork, and find that - contrary to predictions from agency theory - projects equipped with strict freelancer monitoring (hourly-pay contracts) and projects enabling peer comparison (multi-freelancer projects or multiple simultaneous projects), lead to lower perceived project success both from the freelancer's and the client's perspective. Our work implies that transactions on online labor markets should not be viewed solely as agency relations, and that some features that supposedly reduce agency costs and improve efficiency on OLMs come at the cost of triggering the perception of psychological contract breach.
    Keywords: Online labor markets,gig economy,outsourcing,psychological contract theory,platforms,knowledge work
    JEL: L14 L24 J44
    Date: 2020
  3. By: Mueller, Lea; Toutaoui, Jonas
    Date: 2020–01–03
  4. By: Carola Phung (I3 - Immunologie - Immunopathologie - Immunothérapie - INSERM - Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale - SU - Sorbonne Université - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Florence Charue-Duboc (i3-CRG - Centre de recherche en gestion i3 - X - École polytechnique - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)
    Abstract: Sociotechnical niche is the relevant space to foster sustainability transitions. With this research we propose to better understand and characterize the emergence and diffusion processes of the sociotechnical niche. We rely on the case of a local authorities association dedicated to waste management. Acting on its territory, this public actor pursues a waste reduction strategy. It launches a strategy to foster innovation projects and new recycling chains through various cooperations. We see how a niche can emerge from its territorial dimension, and how the expertise of the "acteur moteur" reinforces attractiveness of the niche for other actors.
    Abstract: La niche sociotechnique constitue l'espace privilégié pour développer des innovations favorables à la transition écologique. L'objectif de cette recherche est de mieux comprendre et caractériser ses modes d'émergence et de diffusion. Nous nous appuyons ici sur le cas d'un syndicat de traitement d'ordures ménagères qui mène sur son territoire administratif une politique d'innovation et de coopérations multiples, afin de valoriser les déchets à travers de nouvelles filières de recyclages. Nous voyons comment émerge une niche à partir de cet ancrage territoriale, et comment l'expertise construite d'un « acteur moteur » consolide la niche et augmente son attractivité vis-à-vis d'acteurs venus de l'extérieur.
    Keywords: sociotechnical niche,territory,innovation,attractiveness,emergence,niche sociotechnique,territoire,attractivité,économie circulaire
    Date: 2020–05–12
  5. By: Florence Charue-Duboc (i3-CRG - Centre de recherche en gestion i3 - X - École polytechnique - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique); Lise Gastaldi (Aix Marseille Univ, CNRS, LEST, Aix-en-Provence, France); Emmanuel Bertin (Whist Lab (Orange Labs-Institut Mines-Télécom))
    Abstract: This article highlights the role of internal communities of experts in supporting innovation. In the case of a technology company, it studies communities, composed of experts from different functions (R & D and downstream), has been set up by the organization to cover the fields of strategic skills related to the key challenges in terms of innovation. This article shows precisely how these communities contribute to innovation, in particular through their role of accompanying decisions at the different phases of the innovation process.
    Abstract: Cet article met en avant le rôle de communautés internes d'experts en matière de soutien à l'innovation. À partir du cas d'une entreprise technologique, il présente des communautés pilotées, composées d'experts de différents métiers (R & D et aval), créées par l'organisation pour couvrir des champs de compétences stratégiques en lien avec des enjeux clés en matière d'innovation. Cet article montre précisément comment ces communautés contribuent à l'innovation, notamment à travers leur rôle d'accompagnement des décisions aux différentes phases du processus d'innovation.
    Keywords: communautés,experts,innovation,technologie,R&D,Communities,technology,Communautés,R&D Communities
    Date: 2020–03
  6. By: Tom Worsley (University of Leeds)
    Abstract: This paper examines whether the results of cost-benefit analyses (CBA) for road and rail projects can be compared with each other. Road and rail projects address different transport needs and aim to solve different problems. This does not make comparisons between CBAs for each mode impossible, but requires a nuanced approach.
    Date: 2020–12–16
  7. By: International Monetary Fund
    Abstract: This Technical Assistance Report on the Republic of Estonia highlights that public investment is a priority spending area, and Estonia is seeking to strengthen the efficiency and effectiveness of its capital expenditure from an already high level. Estonia’s public investment is relatively efficient, while further improvements should pay attention to the quality of public services enabled by them. Investment implementation is particularly strong. This reflects Estonia’s open procurement framework that utilizes an advanced e-procurement system, its modern treasury that employs an effective Treasury Single Account system to guarantee cash availability, asset monitoring that has been made routine through full accrual accounting for the whole public sector, and active project management by ministries. Some practices that are already effectively implemented should be formalized in the institutional design which will act as a safeguard. Public investment projects should be managed in an integrated portfolio at all stages of the investment cycle. It is difficult to obtain a picture of all-important investment projects pursued in the public sector including by local governments and state-owned enterprises. A comprehensive portfolio view of all projects supports transparent prioritization across sectors and the identification of systemic patterns or risks.
    Keywords: Budget planning and preparation;Public investment and public-private partnerships (PPP);Public investment spending;Expenditure;Capital spending;ISCR,CR,balance sheet,capital expenditure,accounting data,local government
    Date: 2019–06–03

This nep-ppm issue is ©2021 by Arvi Kuura. It is provided as is without any express or implied warranty. It may be freely redistributed in whole or in part for any purpose. If distributed in part, please include this notice.
General information on the NEP project can be found at For comments please write to the director of NEP, Marco Novarese at <>. Put “NEP” in the subject, otherwise your mail may be rejected.
NEP’s infrastructure is sponsored by the School of Economics and Finance of Massey University in New Zealand.