Project Management Institute

Translation and convergence in projects

an organizational perspective on project success

A range of theories (actor-network theory, multimodality, and sense making) are drawn together into a single model of project management processes in order to discuss project success and failure. It is argued that success and failure can be characterized in terms of a continuum between project convergence and divergence. The causes of divergence and convergence are discussed with reference to the above theories using four illustrative case studies. This article suggests that a combination of these ideas can provide a richer picture of the operation of complex projects. It is suggested that different actors have to be enrolled (or translated) into the project network, but that this only results in genuine convergence when sense making between those actors is brought into alignment.
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