Project Management Institute

Using a Social Capital Lens to Identify the Mechanisms of Top Management Commitment

A Case Study of a Technology Project

The implementation of large-scale technology projects is still fraught with failures resulting in tremendous costs to organizations. One of the factors that is widely recognized as critical for achieving technology implementation success (and, for that matter, projects in general) is top management commitment. The actual mechanisms by which top management impacts project success, however, have not received much attention in the project management literature. We use a case study approach here to illustrate how social capital theory provides a useful lens for understanding how top management's actions impact project success and show how project success is strengthened by the enhancement of social capital through top management commitment. We employ causal maps to clarify, illustrate, and visualize the complex interactions between top management commitment and social capital in facilitating project success. This study contributes to the literature and theory on the mechanisms by which top management commitment influences project success by offering propositions for future research.
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