Considering sustainability in project management decision making; An investigation using Q-methodology

A. J. Gilbert Silvius*, Martin Kampinga, S. Paniagua Tufinio, Herman Mooi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

93 Citations (Scopus)


Sustainability is one of the most important challenges of our time. Projects play a pivotal role in the realization of more sustainable business practices and the concept of sustainability has also been linked to project management. However, how managers of projects consider sustainability in their operational daily work is still to be explored. This paper uses Q-methodology to investigate the consideration of sustainability aspects in the decision making processes of project managers. The research question was How are dimensions of sustainability considered in the decision-making processes of project managers in relation to the triple constraint of time, cost and quality? Based on the Q-sort of selected respondents, the study found that the consideration of sustainability principles is underrepresented, compared to the triple constraint criteria. However, the analysis of the individual Q-sorts revealed four distinct perspectives that differ significantly in their consideration of sustainability principles and triple constraint criteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1133-1150
Number of pages18
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2017


  • Decision-making
  • Project
  • Project management
  • Sustainability
  • Triple constraint


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