nep-ppm New Economics Papers
on Project, Program and Portfolio Management
Issue of 2023‒04‒17
seven papers chosen by
Arvi Kuura
Tartu Ülikool

  1. Using Agile Information Systems Development Practices: Organizational Drivers and Individual Consequences By Müller, Lea
  2. The socialization of the entrepreneurial project - Towards a pedagogy of translation By Frédéric Distler
  3. Evaluation Based on the Distance from the Average Solution Approach: A Derivative Model for Evaluating and Selecting a Construction Manager By Thanh Phan, Phuong; Nguyen, Phong Thanh
  4. Risk-adjusted Social Discount Rates By Frédéric Cherbonnier; Christian Gollier
  5. Measuring empowerment across the value chain: The evolution of the project-level Women’s Empowerment Index for Market Inclusion (pro-WEAI+MI) By Malapit, Hazel J.; Heckert, Jessica; Adegbola, Patrice Ygué; Crinot, Geraud Fabrice; Eissler, Sarah; Faas, Simone
  6. Sustainable development and Sustainable Development Goals in Smart Specialisation strategies in the European Arctic regions By TERAS Jukka; EIKELAND Sveinung; KOIVUROVA Timo; SALENIUS Viktor
  7. Final assessment report. Assessment of development account project 1819 BB: Technological transformations in Latin America: promoting productive jobs and confronting the challenge of new forms of informal employment By -

  1. By: Müller, Lea
    Abstract: Driven by the need to respond flexibly to changes in today's fast-changing and technology-centric business environment, organizations increasingly adopt agile information systems development (ISD) practices. Especially the information technology (IT) function and its staff members are affected by major changes due to companies’ agile transformation endeavors. On an organizational level, new, dichotomous forms of IT organizations are introduced which include a fast and flexible, agile mode and a secure and reliable, traditional mode to serve digital and traditional business models. On an individual level, agile ISD practices place new demands on those involved in developing software as responsibilities, tasks, and duties change significantly. This thesis addresses the two aforementioned pillars of organizational drivers and individual consequences of adopting agile ISD practices. Three studies shed light on how the increasingly prevalent use of agile ISD practices has an impact on IT workers and IT structures. The first strand of this thesis investigates the integration and advancement of agile ISD in IT organizations. Triggered by digital business models and the need to not only serve the business functions but be at the forefront of (digital) business, IT organizations usually employ a bimodal IT (or two-speed-IT), one agile and flexible and one traditional and reliable. Against this backdrop, the first study uses a detailed case study of a sales company to demonstrate how structures within IT functions evolve according to sales channel strategies and how agile ISD is integrated in the existing organization. The results show that when the company pursued a multichannel strategy, a bimodal IT in two separate organizational divisions was most suitable to support traditional channels with a reliable IT and digital channels with an agile and fast IT. However, when the company went beyond multichannel and introduced an omnichannel strategy, it integrated both IT modes to form a single IT function working with agile ISD practices to be able to provide a holistic and up-to-date customer experience across all sales channels. The second strand of this thesis investigates implications of using agile ISD practices for staff members of the IT function, particularly software developers and IT project managers (IT PM), on an individual level. Since agile ISD, according to the prevailing opinion in science and practice, is beneficial for all parties involved, research so far has mainly neglected to take a balanced and more nuanced view considering positive and negative aspects of its usage. Against this background, the second study examines how agile ISD practices – encompassing agile software development (SD) and project management (PM) practices – affect developers’ work-related levels of fatigue and turnover intentions during phases of normal and high workload. The results demonstrate that while agile SD practices generally reduce fatigue and turnover intentions, agile PM practices increase fatigue and turnover intentions in high workload situations. The third study looks at identity tensions which IT PMs experience when confronted with the usage of Scrum, an agile PM method which promotes self-managed teams, hence, does not consider an IT PM role in its framework. The findings reveal five fundamental role identity tensions for IT PMs. Responsibilities, duties, collaboration, communication, and control patterns in the relationships towards top management and agile ISD team changed. They cause new, unclear, and contradicting role expectations and role designs for IT PMs in agile ISD settings resulting in severe role identity tensions the IT PMs have to cope with. Overall, this thesis showcases the role and importance of agile ISD by providing a more comprehensive understanding of how applying agile ISD practices affects the individuals and organizations involved. In doing so, this thesis answers calls for research that urge scholars to take a more nuanced perspective when studying agile ISD. The studies in this thesis contribute to research on agile ISD by (1) demonstrating how a bimodal IT function and the application of agile ISD practices evolve according to specific business decisions, by (2) moving beyond predominant notions of agile ISD practices use as a largely positive phenomenon and provide a balanced view on the consequences for developers, and by (3) highlighting the hitherto largely neglected team-adjacent role of IT PMs in agile ISD settings and uncovering fundamental identity tensions they face. Furthermore, this thesis offers valuable insights for practitioners by pointing out potential pitfalls of agile ISD adoption and recommending how to avoid them. Likewise, this thesis guides decision-makers how to organize and structure the IT function, and the agile IT in particular, to provide the most suitable support for business strategies and staff members alike.
    Date: 2023
  2. By: Frédéric Distler (CEREFIGE - Centre Européen de Recherche en Economie Financière et Gestion des Entreprises - UL - Université de Lorraine)
    Abstract: Work on the entrepreneurial project has progressively evolved from an internalist approach, namely that the understanding focuses on the wearer, his qualities, his skills, his personality to an externalist approach, that is to say on the actions of the carriers related to the environment. We write our approach in this last approach and try to understand it through the project / network articulation. This articulation is a heuristic dialectic to illuminate the dynamics of construction of the projects in their conception and realization. The theoretical frameworks mobilized, the translation and the weak links, highlight the meaning and the difficulties of production of a network, here postulated as being the condition to see the project come true. The analysis of the case is the operator from which the actors make themselves visible in the activity of construction of the network. These actors thus observed and analyzed teach us that it is appropriate to think of a pedagogy / formation of the translation and the construction of social links in order to constitute a portfolio of partners. In our opinion, this is the condition sine qua non for the viability of an entrepreneurial project.
    Abstract: Les travaux relatifs au projet entrepreneurial ont progressivement évolué d'une approche internaliste, à savoir que la compréhension se focalise sur le porteur, ses qualités, ses compétences, sa personnalité à une approche externaliste, c'est-à-dire sur les actions des porteurs en lien avec l'environnement. Nous inscrivons notre démarche dans cette dernière approche et tentons de l'appréhender à travers l'articulation projet/réseau. Cette articulation est une dialectique heuristique pour éclairer les dynamiques de construction des projets dans leur conception et réalisation. Les cadres théoriques mobilisés, la traduction et les liens faibles, mettent en exergue le sens et les difficultés de production d'un réseau, ici postulé comme étant la condition pour voir le projet se réaliser. L'analyse du cas est l'opérateur à partir duquel se rendent visible les acteurs dans l'activité de construction du réseau. Ces acteurs ainsi observés et analysés nous enseignent qu'il est opportun de penser une pédagogie/formation de la traduction et de la construction de liens sociaux afin de se constituer un portefeuille de partenaires. C'est selon nous, ici, la condition sine qua non de la viabilité d'un projet entrepreneurial.
    Keywords: Network, Socialization, Entrepreneurship, Translation, Traduction Network, Réseau, Socialisation, Entrepreneuriat, Traduction, Réseau Socialisation Entrepreneuriat Traduction Network Socialization Entrepreneurship Translation
    Date: 2023–03–03
  3. By: Thanh Phan, Phuong; Nguyen, Phong Thanh
    Abstract: In the current market of integration and globalization, the competition between engineering and construction companies is increasing. Construction contractors can improve their competitiveness by evaluating and selecting qualified personnel for the construction engineering manager position for their company’s civil engineering projects. However, most personnel evaluation and selection models in the construction industry rely on qualitative techniques, which leads to unsuitable decisions. To overcome this problem, this paper presents evaluation criteria and proposes a new model for selecting construction managers based on the evaluation based on the distance from the average solution approach (EDASA). The research results showed that EDASA has many strengths, such as solving the problem faster when the number of evaluation criteria or the number of alternatives is increased.
    Keywords: construction manager; construction project; engineering management; EDASA; resource management; personnel selection; project management
    JEL: C80 E24 J24 L74 M12 M54 N6 O15
    Date: 2022–01
  4. By: Frédéric Cherbonnier (TSE-R - Toulouse School of Economics - UT Capitole - Université Toulouse Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement); Christian Gollier (TSE-R - Toulouse School of Economics - UT Capitole - Université Toulouse Capitole - Université Fédérale Toulouse Midi-Pyrénées - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement)
    Abstract: When evaluating public and private investment projects, those that contribute more to the collective risk should be more penalized through an upward adjustment of their discount rate. This paper shows how to estimate the risk-adjusted discount rate for different projects, with applications to the electricity sector. Using the standard framework of consumer theory, we express any investment project's beta in terms of the easier-to-measure price and income elasticities of the goods generated by the project. When considering an investment in production capacity, the beta has a flat term structure, and is positive (negative) for normal (inferior) goods. When considering core infrastructures carrying goods or services, such as energy transmission and distribution assets, the beta has a decreasing term structure with very high values at short horizons for infrastructures facing capacity constraints. We provide a real-case example of a cross-border electricity connection with negative beta for the exporting country.
    Date: 2022–10
  5. By: Malapit, Hazel J.; Heckert, Jessica; Adegbola, Patrice Ygué; Crinot, Geraud Fabrice; Eissler, Sarah; Faas, Simone
    Abstract: Many development agencies design and implement interventions that aim to reach, benefit, and empower rural women across the value chain in activities ranging from production, to processing, to marketing. Determining whether and how such interventions empower women, as well as the constraints faced by different value chain actors, requires quantitative and qualitative tools. We describe how we adapted the project-level Women’s Empowerment in Agricultural Index (pro-WEAI), a mixed-methods tool for studying empowerment in development projects, to include aspects of agency relevant for multiple types of value chain actors. The resulting pro-WEAI for market inclusion (pro-WEAI+MI) includes quantitative and qualitative instruments developed over the course of four studies. Studies in the Philippines (2017), Bangladesh (2017), and Malawi (2019) were intended to diagnose areas of disempowerment to inform programming, whereas the Benin (2019) study was an impact assessment of an agricultural training program. The pro-WEAI+MI includes all indicators included in pro-WEAI, plus a dashboard of complementary indicators and recommended qualitative instruments. These tools investigate the empowerment of women in different value chains and nodes and identify barriers to market access and inclusion that may restrict empowerment for different value chain actors. Our findings highlight three lessons. First, the sampling strategy needs to be designed to capture the key actors in a value chain. Second, the market inclusion indicators cannot stand alone; they must be interpreted alongside the core pro-WEAI indicators. Third, not all market inclusion indicators will be relevant for all value chains and contexts. Users should research the experiences of women and men in the target value chains in the context of the programto select priority market inclusion indicators.
    Keywords: PHILIPPINES; SOUTH EAST ASIA; ASIA; BANGLADESH; SOUTH ASIA; MALAWI; SOUTHERN AFRICA; AFRICA SOUTH OF SAHARA; AFRICA; BENIN; WEST AFRICA; women's empowerment; value chains; agriculture; gender; mixed methods; interventions; rural; women; market access
    Date: 2023
  6. By: TERAS Jukka; EIKELAND Sveinung; KOIVUROVA Timo; SALENIUS Viktor
    Abstract: This report provides a general analysis on how sustainability challenges and Sustainable Development Goals are embedded in ongoing Smart Specialisation processes in the European Arctic at regional and local level. The report provides insights into Arctic smart specialisation strategies and offers illustrative case studies of projects and initiatives relevant to achieving sustainable development in Arctic Finland, Arctic Sweden and Arctic Norway.
    Keywords: Smart Specialisation, Sustainability, Sustainable Development Goals, Arctic
    Date: 2023–03
  7. By: -
    Date: 2022–09

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