Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Rethinking dichotomization: A critical perspective on the use of "hard" and "soft" in project management research
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Real Estate and Construction Management.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-5744-9445
Stockholm University, Sweden.
2014 (English)In: International Journal of Project Management, ISSN 0263-7863, E-ISSN 1873-4634, Vol. 32, no 4, 568-577 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper elaborates on the categorization dichotomization between "hard" and "soft" in project management research. This categorization is becoming more increasingly used in project management research for example by stating that some projects are "hard", while other projects are "soft", that some project skills are "hard", while other project skills are "soft" etc. The aim is to discuss this dichotomization as an example of hierarchization a power struggle between opposites within project management research and literature and acknowledge the effects for project management research and practice of unreflective upholding of this dichotomy. We provide a critical review and discussion of stage-gate models as an example of "hard" project management approaches, and agile methods as an example of "soft" approaches to project management and acknowledge that in project management practice, it seems as if "hard" and "soft" approaches are most often combined. Hence, this dichotomy seems to be upheld by the research community while practitioners show a more holistic perspective to project management.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2014. Vol. 32, no 4, 568-577 p.
Keyword [en]
Dichotomy, Hard, Soft, Stage-gate models, Agile methods
National Category
Other Civil Engineering
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-136842DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2013.10.009ISI: 000335617400004ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84897965574OAI: diva2:677318

QC 20140610

Available from: 2013-12-09 Created: 2013-12-09 Last updated: 2016-04-15Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

Other links

Publisher's full textScopus

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Karrbom Gustavsson, Tina
By organisation
Real Estate and Construction Management
In the same journal
International Journal of Project Management
Other Civil Engineering

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Altmetric score

Total: 100 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link