Despite positivist traditions mixed methods (MM) research is increasingly being used in management disciplines. The aim of the study is to examine the use and quality of MM in project management research. A content analysis of articles from three project management journals was undertaken. The MM articles identified were analysed in terms of sequencing, dominance and integration. Our findings suggest the need for capacity building in relation to the good reporting of MM studies. We conclude that the study of complex phenomena can benefit from MM in a field needing to b r e a k f r e e from a level of methodological inertia.
Scales, J, 'Project management frameworks and practitioner preferences for capturing lessons learned on projects', Journal of Project, Program & Portfolio Management, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 31-31.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study focuses on how practitioners view learning activities in projects and how these activities are influenced by the approach or emphasis espoused in different reference texts. The perceived importance of learning lessons in projects was surveyed in the literature, establishing the difficulties encountered, various methods for process improvement and the realities of current practice. The practices of individuals working within two major project management frameworks used in developed English-speaking economies were compared. A survey was constructed to address the question. Data from a pilot survey support the theory that the PMBoK and PRINCE2 are not perceived as synonymous and that differences will be more evident with a larger dataset. Inferences are drawn linking the pilot survey to the outcomes of previous studies and making recommendations for further research.
Scales, J 2018, 'Including Human Factors in Project scheduling using Hybrid Simulation', Proceedings of IRNOP 2018, International Research Network on Organising by Projects, 2018, IRNOP 2018 A skilled hand and a cultivated mind., International Research Network on Organizing by Projects (IRNOP), Melbourne, Australia, pp. 1-19.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Scales, J, Sankaran, S & Cameron, R 2015, 'Is the project management field suffering from methodological inertia? Looking for evidence in publications in a recently established journal', Procedings of EURAM 2015 (European Academy of Management) Conference., Annual Conference of the European Academy of Management, .EURAM, Warsaw, pp. 1-18.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Project management (PM) researchers have traditionally used quantitative methods in their
research due to the origins of this practice-based discipline in defence and engineering.
Although qualitative methods are starting to be used in PM research, most of the qualitative
research reported tends to use case studies. Recently, there has been a call for PM researchers to
use more novel methods to increase the variety of methods used by the researcher in the field
contributing to its further development (Drouin, Muller and Sankaran 2013; Cameron, Sankaran
and Scales 2015). A review of papers presented at the International Research Network on
Organizing by Projects (IRNOP) conference in Berlin in 2009 showed a surprising trend that papers
presented at these conferences used more qualitative methods in comparison with articles
published in key PM journals. This paper analyses articles published over the past six years in a
comparatively new PM journal, since its inception, to explore whether the new journal has
motivated PM researchers to overcome their methodological inertia and broaden the variety of
research methods they use. A mixed methods prevalence study was undertaken on articles
published in the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business (IJMPiB) from 2008 to
2014 (n=265). The findings point to methodological inertia in the majority of research but also an
unusually high proportion of the use of mixed methods. Future research is needed to add finer
granularity to the analysis.
Sankaran, S, Cameron, R & Scales, J 2012, 'The utility and quality of mixed methods in Project Management Research', EURAM 12th Annual Conference 2012, Annual Conference of the European Academy of Management, EURAM, Erasmus University, Rotterdam.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Mixed methods research is being touted as the third methodological movement which is characterised by a growing body of theoretical and methodological frameworks and a body of cross disciplinary literature. Prominent mixed methodologists/authorities have championed the movement, which has strong footholds in the fields of education, health and nursing, and the social and behavioural sciences. The establishment of mixed method specific journals, research texts and courses and a growth in popularity among research funding bodies all indicate the growing trend in the adoption of mixed methods. Mixed methods research is being used and reported within business and management fields, despite the positivist traditions attached to certain business and management disciplines. This paper has used a retrospective content analysis of journal articles from three ranked journals from the field of project management: International Journal of Project Management (IJPM), the Project Management Journal (PMJ) and the IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management (IEEE_TEM). The aim of the study is to determine the prevalence rates of mixed methods in project management and to investigate the quality of mixed methods research within this field. Implications for further research are discussed, along with some guidelines to justify and describe how mixed methods have been used in project management research papers.