Understanding project evaluation - a review and reconceptualization

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Haass, Omid
Guzman, Gustavo
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2019
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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to understand the underlying logics applied by different project evaluation approaches and to propose an alternative research agenda. Design/methodology/approach: This paper explores the project evaluation literature via conducting a qualitative research applying systematic literature review and thematic analysis. Findings: The project evaluation literature has mainly concentrated on the objective aspects of project evaluation and overlooked the subjective aspects that reflect the temporal, dynamic, complex and subjective nature of today’s projects. The authors propose a meta-framework that helps project practitioners to select an appropriate project evaluation criterion for their projects by considering the strengths and limitations of their preferred project evaluation model as well as making project evaluators aware of the underlying logics associated to diverse project evaluation approaches. Research limitations/implications: This study suggests that new conceptual approaches to deal with some of the major challenges in the project evaluation field. Practice-based views, narrative analysis and actor-network theory are likely to be useful tools to better understand and cope with the projects’ uncertainty and complexity. Practical implications: The findings of this research assist project management practitioners and particularly project evaluators to enhance their understanding of the subjectivity, complexity and dynamics of current projects. To increase the reflexivity and resilience of project evaluation practice, this study also proposes new directions to apply different criteria, sub-criteria and indicators to the evaluation practice. Originality/value: The originality of this study relies on transcending the conventional objective and rational approaches prevailing in current project evaluation practices. It proposes a research agenda that pave the way to address the shortcomings of conventional project evaluation practice.

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International Journal of Managing Projects in Business

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13

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3

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© 2019 Emerald. This is the author-manuscript version of this paper. Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.

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Built environment and design

Commerce, management, tourism and services

Social Sciences

Business

Management

Business & Economics

Project management

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Haass, O; Guzman, G, Understanding project evaluation - a review and reconceptualization, International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 2019, 13 (3), pp. 573-599

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