Temporal Structuring and Project Behavior

Ann Langley*, Gerry McGivern

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

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Project management essentially involves temporal work, in other words, the purposive effort to orient the temporal structures that guide action around given tasks. Yet, projects often involve participants or stakeholders holding different temporal orientations that may be more or less compatible with proposed temporal structures. In this paper we consider how different forms of temporal structuring influence project behavior (i.e., how participants engage with projects, and how projects play out to produce outcomes). Specifically, building on a review of the literature on projects and temporality, we explore how and why the socially constructed nature of project tasks (open-ended vs. closed-ended) interacts with efforts at temporal structuring (open vs. closed) to orient participants’ actions, with varying consequences for behaviors and outcomes. We conclude by proposing a series of future research directions aimed at better understanding the relations between temporal structuring and project behavior.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCambridge Handbook of Project Behavior
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2024


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