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2020/2021  KAN-CPSYO1603U  Project Management

English Title
Project Management

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Spring
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for BSc/MSc in Business Administration and Psychology, MSc
Course coordinator
  • Joana Geraldi - Department of Organization (IOA)
Main academic disciplines
  • Management
  • Organisation
  • Project and change management
Teaching methods
  • Blended learning
Last updated on 25-06-2020

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Contrast two different theoretical perspectives on project management (tight and loosely coupled), and their implications for the selection and application of management tools and concepts.
  • Explain, critique and combine concepts related to the managerial levers discussed in class.
  • Apply appropriate tools, concepts, models and theories to analyze project cases and make recommendations to practice.
  • Critically engage with the notion of project success in general and in specific projects.
  • Develop your own angle or insights related to projects based on the critique and combination of concepts from the syllabus.
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam based on written product

In order to participate in the oral exam, the written product must be handed in before the oral exam; by the set deadline. The grade is based on an overall assessment of the written product and the individual oral performance.
Individual or group exam Individual oral exam based on written group product
Number of people in the group 2-4
Size of written product Max. 10 pages
Assignment type Essay
Written product to be submitted on specified date and time.
20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and second internal examiner
Exam period Spring
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

Individual oral examination based on the results of a group work written as an essay developed based on the concepts examined in the course. Groups will be between 2-4 students.


An draft version of the essay will be peer reviewed.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach

Projects are part of our daily life - both our professional and private life. They are used as vehicle for e.g. boosting innovation, generating new knowledge, bringing about change, and creating new products and services. This module aims at enhancing participants’ knowledge about project management, while fostering a reflexive approach to the subject and its practice.

It will introduce two different theoretical perspectives on project management: one represents the traditional view on project management, clearly portrayed in international standards and most textbooks. The other perspective represents the so called ‘Scandinavian school’ of project management, which on the one hand acknowledges the need for classic planning tools and methods, but also reflects on the need for flexibility and co-creation to cope with the high uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity of projects. We call them tightly and loosely coupled perspectives, respectively.

We then bring the two theoretical perspectives into four managerial levers that every project practitioner will do:

  1. Aiming: why are we doing this project? Develop project vision, purpose, scope, success and benefit and connect it with plan.
  2. Collaborating: who are we working with and for? Engage with people within and outside the project, for example, attracting relevant stakeholders, and accommodating different and volatile requirements from different stakeholders.
  3. Coordinating: how are we doing the work? Who is doing what? How much does it cost? Coordinate work of different people and organizations through e.g. planning and scheduling, monitoring and controlling.
  4. Adapting: What if? What now? Assess and adapt to the uncertainty and changes in projects.

The two perspectives and four project practices form a 2x4 matrix that will guide the course.

Description of the teaching methods
We will use a combination of the following teaching methods:
- Reading: Students are expected to read the material individually or in groups at home.
- Lecturers (and video lectures): We will have classic lectures, discussing the material and illustrating it based on project cases.
- Guest lecturers: Project managers and academics will present rich project cases, that will be discussed in light of the course material.
- Group work: students are expected to work in their groups in exercise classes, where they will capture core message and concepts of each text, contrast texts and apply insights into project cases.
- Peer review: students are expected to review each other's essays.
- Quizzes to review the basic understanding of each text.
Feedback during the teaching period
The students will receive feedback in three formats
1. Individual Peer Feedback to group delivery: Students will hand in a draft of their group assignment (the essay) which will be peer reviewed. Students will assess their peers based on the learning objectives. They will also provide specific and constructive suggestions to improve the weak parts of the work, as well as point to the strengths of the essay. Beyond fostering peer-to-peer learning and providing formative feedback, the peer review has other two objectives. First, the students will develop a good understanding of the course’s learning objectives. Second, they will be exposed to different forms of writing the essay, and have the opportunity to clarify expectations and improve their work.
2. Ongoing feedback: The lecturer will provide ongoing feedback on exercise classes when assisting each group’s development and discussing their analysis of the readings.
3. Oral examination: Each student receives individual feedback after the final oral examination.
Student workload
lectures (including video lectures and guest lectures) 36 hours
groupwork and peer review 35 hours
reading and quizzes 35 hours
Expected literature

Reading will follow the structure of the course and will include some of the texts mentioned below. The specific literature for the course will be confirmed prior to the start of the course:


Davies, A. (2017) Chapter 1: Introduction. Projects: A very short introduction. Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 1-18.


Lundin & Söderholm (1995) Theory of a temporary organization. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 11(4), pp.437-455.


Andersen, E. S. (2014) Two Perspectives on Project Management. In Lundin, R.A. &

Hällgren, M. (2014) Advancing Research on Projects and Temporary Organizations, Copenhagen Business School Press & Liber.


Lenfle, S., & Loch, C. Lost roots: how project management came to emphasize control over flexibility and novelty. California Management Review, 53(1), 32-55.

Game and reflection on what makes projects.



Engwall, M. (2003). No project is an island: linking projects to history and context. Research policy, 32(5), 789-808.


Winch, G. M. (2014). Three domains of project organising. International Journal of Project Management, 32(5), 721-731.


Snowden and Boone (2007) A leader's framework for Decision Making. Harvard Business Review. Nov2007, Vol. 85 Issue 11, p68-76. 9p.


Grint (2005) Problems, problems, problems: The social construction of ‘leadership’. Human Relations. 58(11): 1467–1494.


Pellegrinelli (2008) Awareness of organizational constraints. In Pellegrinelli, S. Thinking and acting as a great programme manager. New York: Palgrave, p. 158-169



Maylor, H. (2010) Chapter 4. Stakeholders: success and failure. In Project Management. Essex: FT Prentice Hall, p. 74-95.


Kreiner, K. (1995) In search of relevance: project management in drifting environments. Scandinavian Journal of Management. 11(4): 335-346.


Pitsis, T. S., Clegg, S. R., Marosszeky, M., & Rura-Polley, T. (2003). Constructing the Olympic dream: a future perfect strategy of project management. Organization Science, 14(5), 574-590.



Vogwell, D. (2003). Stakeholder management. Paper presented at PMI® Global Congress 2003—EMEA, The Hague, South Holland, The Netherlands. Newtown Square, PA: Project Manage-ment Institute.


Tryggestad, et al. (2013) Project temporalities: How frogs can become stakeholders. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 6(1), pp.69-87.


van Marrewijk, A., Ybema, S., Smits, K., Clegg, S., & Pitsis, T. (2016). Clash of the titans: Temporal organizing and collaborative dynamics in the Panama Canal megaproject. Organization Studies, 37(12), 1745-1769.



Maylor, H. (2010) Chapter 6: Time planning.  In Project Management. Essex: FT Prentice Hall, p. 130-147.


Bechky, B. (2006). Gaffers, Gofers, and Grips: Role-Based Coordination in Temporary Organizations. Organization Science, 17(1), 3-21.


Lindkvist, L., Soderlund, J., & Tell, F. (1998). Managing product development projects: on the significance of fountains and deadlines. Organization studies, 19(6), 931-951.


Brady, T., Davies, A., & Gann, D. M. (2005). Creating value by delivering integrated solutions. International Journal of Project Management, 23(5), 360-365.



Weick, K. E. (2003). Sense and reliability. A conversation with celebrated psychologist Karl E. Weick. Interview by Diane L. Coutu. Harvard Business Review, 81(4), 84-123.


Musca, G. N., Mellet, C., Simoni, G., Sitri, F., & De Vogüé, S. (2014). “Drop your boat!”: The discursive co-construction of project renewal. The case of the Darwin mountaineering expedition in Patagonia. International Journal of Project Management, 32(7), 1157-1169.


Cunha, M. P. E., Clegg, S. R., & Kamoche, K. (2006). Surprises in management and organization: Concept, sources and a typology. British Journal of Management, 17(4), 317-329.



Kreiner, K., (2014) The Project Success; Restoring Project Success as Phenomenon. Working Paper.


Atkinson, R. (1999). Project management: cost, time and quality, two best guesses and a phenomenon, its time to accept other success criteria. International journal of project management, 17(6), 337-342.


Flyvbjerg, B. (2014). What you should know about megaprojects and why: An overview. Project Management Journal, 45(2), 6-19.


Ika, L. A. (2018). Beneficial or detrimental ignorance: The straw man Fallacy of Flyvbjerg’s test of Hirschman’s Hiding Hand. World Development, 103, 369-382.

Practitioner or academic case – to be confirmed


Project Society

Jensen, A. F., Thuesen, C. & Geraldi, J. (2016) The projectification of everything: Projects as a human condition. Project Management Journal, 47(3), pp. 21-34.

Last updated on 25-06-2020