Discourses and Theoretical Assumptions in IT Project Portfolio Management: A Review of the Literature

Lars Kristian Hansen, Pernille Kræmmergaard

Research output: Journal Article or Conference Article in JournalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

DISCOURSES AND THEORETICAL ASSUMPTIONS IN IT PROJECT PORTFOLIO MANAGEMENT: A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

These years increasing interest is put on IT project portfolio management (IT PPM). Considering IT PPM an interdisciplinary practice, we conduct a concept-based literature review of relevant articles across various research disciplines. We find and classify a stock of 107 relevant articles into four scientific discourses: the normative, the interpretive, the critical, and the dialogical discourses, as formulated by Deetz (1996).

We find that the normative discourse dominates the IT PPM literature, and few contributions represent the three remaining discourses, which unjustifiably leaves out issues that research could and most probably should investigate. In order to highlight research potentials, limitations, and underlying assumptions of each discourse, we develop four IT PPM metaphors: (1) IT PPM as the top management marketplace, (2) IT PPM as the cause of social dilemmas at the lower organizational levels (3) IT PPM as polity between different organizational interests, (4) IT PPM as power relations that suppress creativity and diversity.

Our metaphors can be used by practitioners to articulate and discuss underlying and conflicting assumptions in IT PPM, serving as a basis for adjusting organizations’ IT PPM practices.

Keywords: IT project portfolio management or IT PPM, literature review, scientific discourses, underlying assumptions, unintended consequences, epistemological biases, metaphors, information systems.
Translated title of the contributionFire perspektiver på porteføljeledelse af IT projekter
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Information Technology Project Management
ISSN1938-0232
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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