The Project (Management) Discourse and its Consequences: On Vulnerability and Unsustainability in Project‐Based Work

19 Pages Posted: 23 Mar 2016

See all articles by Svetlana Cicmil

Svetlana Cicmil

University of the West of England (UWE) - Bristol Law School

Monica Lindgren

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)

Johann Packendorff

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) - Department of Industrial Economics and Management (INDEK)

Date Written: March 2016

Abstract

In this paper, we examine how the discourses related to project‐based work and management are drawn upon in the organising of contemporary work, and the implications they have for project workers. We are interested in how project workers and projectified organisations become vulnerable to decline, decay and exhaustion and why they continue to participate in, and so sustain, projectification processes. The critical perspective taken here, in combination with our empirical material from the ICT sector, surfaces an irreversible decline of the coping capacity of project workers and draws attention to the addictive perception of resilience imposed on and internalised by them as a condition of success and longevity. Under those circumstances, resilience is made sense of and internalised as coping with vulnerability by letting some elements of life being destroyed; thus re‐emerging as existentially vulnerable rather than avoiding or resisting the structures and processes that perpetuate vulnerability.

Keywords: critical sustainability, projectification, vulnerability, project‐based work, resilience

Suggested Citation

Cicmil, Svetlana and Lindgren, Monica and Packendorff, Johann, The Project (Management) Discourse and its Consequences: On Vulnerability and Unsustainability in Project‐Based Work (March 2016). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 31, Issue 1, pp. 58-76, 2016. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2753322 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12058

Svetlana Cicmil (Contact Author)

University of the West of England (UWE) - Bristol Law School ( email )

Frenchay Campus
Coldharbour Lane
Bristol, BS16 1QY
United Kingdom

Monica Lindgren

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) ( email )

School of Industrial Engineering and Management
SE 100 44 Stockholm
Sweden

Johann Packendorff

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) - Department of Industrial Economics and Management (INDEK) ( email )

School of Industrial Engineering and Management
Lindstedtsvägen 30
Stockholm, 100 44
Sweden

HOME PAGE: http://www.itm.kth.se/

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