Project management in academia
friend or foe? An exploratory study of the social sciences and humanities
This paper will look at the application of project management in the academic sector in Ireland, focusing on the “soft” disciplines of the Social Sciences and Humanities. The findings confirmed that project management is increasingly being imposed on the academic sector by broader concerns for public sector accountability. With the increased level and number of funding opportunities for research during the past 10 years, funding bodies are increasingly using programme management to provide a coordinated approach to administering funds and, in turn, awarding funding to applications with management as an inbuilt part of the project. This has resulted in an increased administrative burden on academics and forced institutions to adapt their structures in response to requirements, thus increasing the levels of bureaucracy involved in conducting research.