The ritualization of transitions in the project life cycle: A study of transition rituals in construction projects

Leonore van den Ende, Alfons van Marrewijk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

To manage the project life cycle and facilitate transitions, Project Management (PM) research often points to temporal models and structuring devices. However, the social and symbolic facet of transitions in projects remains understudied. Therefore, this research focuses on the ritualization of transitions in projects. Specifically, the aim is to gain insight into the practice and meaning of transition rituals in the project life cycle. To do so we draw from field research in the infrastructure sector where participant-observation was carried out during eight transition rituals in four Dutch construction projects, and 58 interviews were executed with project participants. The contribution to the PM debate on temporary organizing lies in the conceptualization of transition rituals as powerful symbolic and strategic practices in the project life cycle, and in the provision of an overview showcasing how, when and why transition rituals are practiced to facilitate transitions and embed a project in its environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1134-1145
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Volume32
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Construction projects
  • Project life cycle
  • Rituals
  • Temporary organizing
  • Transition

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