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Sense-making as a process within complex service-led projects

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Neil Alderman, Chris Ivory, Professor Ian McLoughlin, Dr Roger Vaughan


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Sense-making is a well-established perspective in strategic management and organization studies but to date has had little impact on the analysis of project management theory and practice. In this paper, we draw upon insights from the sense-making literature to consider the management of complex long-term service-led engineering projects, which combine the supply of capital goods or infrastructure with a long-term service provision. Using a case study of the Pendolino tilting train, we illustrate how significant discontinuities gave rise to the need for sense-making by the different project participants and stakeholders and how the various narratives expressed by different social groupings shaped the management and progress of the project. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Alderman N, Ivory C, McLoughlin I, Vaughan R

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Journal of Project Management

Year: 2005

Volume: 23

Issue: 5

Pages: 380-385

ISSN (print): 0263-7863

ISSN (electronic): 1873-4634

Publisher: Pergamon


DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2005.01.004

Notes: Selected papers from the Sixth Biennial Conference of the International Research Network for Organizing by Projects.


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