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Title: A framework for using social media in the practice of project management
Author: Thompson, Karen
ISNI:       0000 0004 7426 2783
Awarding Body: Bournemouth University
Current Institution: Bournemouth University
Date of Award: 2018
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Project management theory and practice are evolving rapidly. This research, prompted by developments in social media and mobile technologies, makes a contemporary contribution to the field of project management. Social media are transforming business and many aspects of society, yet project management practitioners are divided on the impact of such technologies. Research on the use of social media in project settings is limited and tends to be influenced by a conventional deterministic view of project management that ignores the complexity of human interaction in projects. In contrast, the research reported here adopted a socio- technical perspective. A new definition of project management practice was developed that brings human interaction to the fore. Project communication, usually considered to be either internal or external, was conceptualised in a new framework of three zones. This research examined how digital natives, whose experience of using social media pre-dates their experience of project management, use social media to manage projects. An abductive approach involving a series of unstructured interviews was used to uncover perceptions of the factors influencing use of social media, the activities where social media were deployed, and the impacts of social media. Theories imported from the disciplines of knowledge management and organisational learning have been used to show how some weaknesses in traditional forms of project management are addressed. Empirical evidence is provided for how social media interacts with the practice of project management, adding clarity and depth to earlier work. Six types of technology are shown to be most useful for managing projects. Four types of factors – organisational, technological, team and task characteristics – are confirmed as influencing technology use and some new factors within these categories are added. Activities in all three zones of communication are revealed, included some not previously discussed. This work also extends understanding of the impacts of using social media in project settings. Seven categories of benefits and concerns are explored, with some new impacts highlighted. Overall, the perceptions among digital natives of the benefits of using social media to manage projects far outweigh the concerns. The framework developed in this work is new and makes a contribution that can be used to create new guidance informing the deployment of social media in the practice of project management.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available