This paper was printed as Chapter 5 in the GPM state-of-the-art book Dimensions of Project Management edited by H. ReschkeŠ & H. Schelle and published by Springer-Verlag in 1990. The book involved 29 authors from 16 countries and was assembled in honor of Roland W. Gutsch's 65th birthday. Roland, a personal friend, was founder and long-time leader of the International Project Management Association in Europe.

Abstract | Introduction | What is | Dimensions | Internal Culture
Corporate Culture | Influencing Environment | Internal Strategies
Surroundings | External Strategies | Stakeholders | Public Relations
Examples | Recent Projects | Consultants | Summary | References

The Corporate Culture

Traditionally, corporate management has not been concerned with projects but with conducting and maintaining an on-going enterprise. Even though management is concerned with planning, coordinating and controlling resources, a culture exists in which work is accomplished by functional units, and time is not an immediate concern. Change is often minimal and protracted, and can be thoroughly programmed and progressively integrated. The work places of such enterprises are typically bounded by classic organizational hierarchies, established policies, procedures and lines of authority, by centralized control and by repetitive, assembly-line-like jobs.

Unfortunately, this traditional corporate management approach breaks down where urgent or significant change needs to be instituted. The correct response is to establish one or more projects to implement the change. However, new management relationships are then required, which tend to cut across the normal functional authority and flow of responsibility and radiate beyond the functional units.

Happily, project management is seen by many as a much more challenging and exciting work environment, even though a clear understanding of its concepts and application is relatively new. This is because project management is indeed a different style of management as applied to project-type work. However, where capital construction projects are concerned, there are almost always many people associated with them, who only have but a limited understanding of the process of bringing a capital project on stream. Without embarrassment, I include politicians, owners, sponsors, financiers, bankers, operators, lawyers, accountants and, I regret to say, even engineers.

Consequently, it is essential to establish a competent project management capability for a potential construction project even before putting in place appropriate design, engineering or construction capability.

The Internal Project Culture  The Internal Project Culture

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