What is project governance? Disclosing the source of confusion and revealing the essence of governance

PhD Thesis


McGrath, Stephen Keith. 2018. What is project governance? Disclosing the source of confusion and revealing the essence of governance. PhD Thesis Doctor of Philosophy. University of Southern Queensland. https://doi.org/10.26192/5f696d9ddccd1
Title

What is project governance? Disclosing the source of confusion and revealing the essence of governance

TypePhD Thesis
Authors
AuthorMcGrath, Stephen Keith
SupervisorWhitty, Jon
Chakraborty, Subrata
Institution of OriginUniversity of Southern Queensland
Qualification NameDoctor of Philosophy
Number of Pages653
Year2018
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.26192/5f696d9ddccd1
Abstract

The governance of project work is well discussed in the extant literature that explores the relationship between projects and their parent organisations. And governance is a well-known term amongst senior management, project practitioners, and stakeholders. However, as this thesis reveals and attempts to address, ‘what is governance’ is actually the subject of much confusion across scholarly literature, practitioner publications and project managers themselves. Identifying and resolving such confusion is fundamental to progressing the discipline because, as proposed by this thesis, governance is the system by which projects are directed and controlled.

This thesis by publication:

1. Identifies the definitional confusion surrounding project governance, governance generally and many other associated project management terms.

2. Develops a ‘refined’ definitional method for resolving confusion concerning conceptual definitions.

3. Applies this method to develop refined (internally consistent) definitions of governance and related and associated terms.

4. Reveals the lack of genericity at the core of some project management practitioner documents and methodology.

5. Identifies and resolves 10 different issues that cause definitional confusion in conceptual terms.

6. Provides a philosophical justification for the resolution of each of these issues by critically examining Aristotle’s, Mill’s, Wittgenstein’s, and Popper’s work in
relation to definitions.

7. Develops a set of axioms and definitional rules for avoiding conflict resulting from definitional confusion.

8. Proposes a theory of meaning for conceptual terms in management.

Keywordsgovernance, project governance, project management, define, definition
ANZSRC Field of Research 2020350799. Strategy, management and organisational behaviour not elsewhere classified
350711. Organisational planning and management
Byline AffiliationsSchool of Management and Enterprise
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