Political Hybrids: Tocquevillean Views on Project Organizations

23 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2004

See all articles by Stewart R. Clegg

Stewart R. Clegg

University of Technology, Sydney - School of Management; New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics

David Courpasson

Ecole de Management de Lyon (E. M. Lyon)

Abstract

For the past decade, project organization has become increasingly central to management and organization studies, particularly as these seek to discern the contours of post-modern organizations. Yet, these contours frequently seem to be sighted without bearings on the current realities of project management. In this paper we take such bearings, using data derived from detailed qualitative, ethnographic enquiry into the experience of project management. From this data we construct the contours of project management more sharply. Rather than being a harbinger of an autonomous and more democratic future, free from extant bureaucratic organization controls, we find that project management has distinct modalities of control that we outline in the paper: reputational, calculative, and professional. Indeed, rather than foreshadowing a future transformational form, we find traces of a much older design: that of de Tocqueville.

Suggested Citation

Clegg, Stewart R. and Courpasson, David, Political Hybrids: Tocquevillean Views on Project Organizations. Journal of Management Studies, Vol. 41, No. 4, pp. 525-547, June 2004. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=548481

Stewart R. Clegg (Contact Author)

University of Technology, Sydney - School of Management ( email )

Room C401A
Corner Quay Street & Ultimo Road
Sydney 2007, New South Wales
Australia
9514 3934 (Phone)
9514 3602 (Fax)

New University of Lisbon - Nova School of Business and Economics ( email )

Campus de Campolide
Lisbon, 1099-032
Portugal

David Courpasson

Ecole de Management de Lyon (E. M. Lyon) ( email )

23, avenue Guy de Collongue, BP 174
69132 Ecully Cedex
France

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