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Title: Interpretive study of senior managers' conceptions of Project Portfolio Management work
Author: Garrido-Lopez, Mariano
ISNI:       0000 0004 2751 858X
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2011
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Project Portfolio Management (PPM) is a discipline that is central to strategy implementation. Very few empirical studies provide us with accounts of the key activities involved in PPM. Specifically, we need to develop better insights into the work that senior managers perform in PPM and into their competences (Jonas, 2010). Current rationalistic approaches to the study of competence are limited because of their rational, dualistic ontology, according to which, competence would be described as comprised of two separate components, 'a list of attributes possessed by the worker externally related to a list of work attributes' (Sandberg, 1994: 16). This thesis applies the interpretive research approach known as phenomenography to overcome this limitation. Phenomenography suggests that 'the meaning work takes on for workers in their experience of it, rather than a specific set of attributes, constitutes competence' (Sandberg, 2000: 9). Hence we need to understand how senior managers conceive of their work in PPM. Analysis of the interviews with 32 senior managers and executives revealed four different conceptions of PPM work (Management and delivery of project pipeline Management and delivery of strategic investment categories Optimisation of project portfolio and Development of PPM strategic capability), each with multiple attributes (such as Strategic Acumen and Impact and Influence). The conclusions confirm the existence of a hierarchy of conceptions in PPM work of increasing complexity, richness and inclusiveness. This research makes a contribution to the competence and PPM literatures by providing an interpretive understanding of what constitutes senior managers' competence in PPM. By researching what senior managers understand as PPM work, this study also contributes to our understanding of what senior managers do during the PPM process. As such, it also contributes to the Strategy as Practice literature as it provides an account of some of the micro activities involved in PPM.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available