PowerPoint und die Einkapselung von Prozessualität im projektübergreifenden Lernen

Part of the Managementforschung book series (MGTF, volume 23)


Die bestehende Literatur zum „projektübergreifenden Lernen“ kann bislang nur unzureichend erklären, was den Austausch von Erfahrungswissen in projektbasierten Organisationen erschwert. In diesem Beitrag schlage ich daher eine Neubetrachtung des projektübergreifenden Lernens vor. Eine kommunikationszentrierte Perspektive erlaubt es, bestehende Herausforderungen des projektübergreifenden Lernens als Problem der Verknüpfung zwischen Kommunikationsereignissen zu rekonstruieren. In einer empirischen Fallstudie bei einer multinationalen Unternehmensberatung habe ich untersucht, inwieweit die Anschlussfähigkeit an vergangene Projekte durch Praktiken der Projektdokumentierung ermöglicht wird. Die Untersuchung zeigt zum einen die Dominanz der Präsentationssoftware PowerPoint im Anwendungskontext der Projektdokumentation. Zum anderen schränkt die Verknappung von Inhalten in PowerPoint-Dokumenten die Möglichkeiten zur Rekontextualisierung durch Mitarbeiter ein, die nicht direkt am Projekt beteiligt waren. Die Studie trägt zur bestehenden Forschung bei, indem sie aufzeigt, wie PowerPoint im alternativen Anwendungskontext der Projektdokumentation eingesetzt wird, hierbei die Prozesshaftigkeit vergangener Projekte tendenziell „einkapselt“ und damit das projektübergreifende Lernen erschwert.

Organisationsforschung Organisationskommunikation PowerPoint projektbasierte Organisationen projektübergreifendes Lernen Wissensmanagement 


The existing literature on “cross-project learning” can only insufficiently explain what impedes the exchange of knowledge within project-based organizations. Hence, in this article, I aim to shed light on cross-project learning from a communication-centered perspective. This view allows for reconstructing existing challenges in cross-project learning as problems of connectivity between communication events. In line with this view, I have conducted an empirical case study at a multinational business consulting firm. This study examines to what extent existing practices of project documentation facilitate the visibility of past project processes and thus any connectivity to future projects. The study shows the predominance of the presentation software Microsoft PowerPoint in the project documentation practices at the case firm. Furthermore, the established practices of reducing the content of PowerPoint slides (e.g. in the form of bullet point lists) constrained the possibilities for recontextualization by organizational members that were not directly involved in the project process. Taken together, the study contributes to the existing literature by showing how a medium and genre of organizational communication (i.e. PowerPoint) becomes established in the alternate application context of project documentation but tends to “encapsulate” the processual nature of projects, which, in effect, can impede cross-project learning.


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© Springer Fachmedien Wiesbaden 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für BetriebswirtschaftslehreUniversität ZürichZürichDeutschland

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