The project (management) discourse and its consequences

The evil cycle of projectification from the perspective of project workers. Source: Cicmil, S., Lindgren, M. & Packendorff, J. (2016) ”The project (management) discourse and its consequences: On vulnerability and un-sustainability in project-based work”. New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol 31, No 1: pp. 58-76.

In an article in the special issue on the politics of projects in technology-intensive work in New Technology, Work and Employment, Svetlana Cicmil, Monica Lindgren and Johann Packendorff examine how the discourses related to project-based work and management are drawn upon in the organising of contemporary work, and the implications they have for project workers. We are interested in how project workers and projectified organisations become vulnerable to decline, decay and exhaustion and why they continue to participate in, and so sustain, projectification processes. The critical perspective taken here, in combination with our empirical material from the ICT sector, surfaces an irreversible decline of the coping capacity of project workers and draws attention to the addictive perception of resilience imposed on and internalised by them as a condition of success and longevity. Under those circumstances, resilience is made sense of and internalised as coping with vulnerability by letting some elements of life being destroyed; thus re-emerging as existentially vulnerable rather than avoiding or resisting the structures and processes that perpetuate vulnerability. Read more on the journal homepage!

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