Resolving Emergent Issues in Complex Projects: A Knowledge Management Approach

  • Jill Owen
  • Henry Linger


Complex projects are characterised by structural complexity, ambiguity about the goals of the project and uncertainty about the means to achieve those goals. This is compounded when the project is conducted in an unstructured or volatile context and aims to deliver innovation for the client. In this paper we argue that in this context project management should be seen as a knowledge-based practice and that knowledge management principles need to be explicitly integrated into project management practices. We introduce a theoretical framework that incorporates knowledge management techniques to manage emergent issues, to escalate these issues and to resolve them as well as accommodates learning and the evolution and adaptation of project management practices. The framework is illustrated through two studies that show the impact of knowledge processes on projects.


Project Management Knowledge Management Shared Understanding Knowledge Work Complex Project 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of BusinessAustralian Defence Force Academy, University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia
  2. 2.Faculty of Information TechnologyMonash UniversityAustralia Henry

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