Project Management Institute

Multi-paradigmatic perspectives on a business transformation program

The study of projects and programs, and their management, is becoming an increasingly vibrant and pluralistic academic field, having transcended its pragmatic and functionalist roots. Drawing upon Burell and Morgan's (1979) four paradigms of sociological research (functionalist, interpretive, radical humanist, and radical structuralist) to explore the multiple aspects of a complex process of change within an organization, the authors review research that is set within each paradigm. This plurality of perspectives has informed and sensitized the analysis and sensemaking of a major business transformation program within a European retail bank. This article presents key findings and insights from the inductive research. The implications and limitations of the research are discussed, and the need for further research is addressed.
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