Projects are complex temporary entities that exist to achieve an objective for the owner/client/sponsor. Whilst there are many systems and techniques used to progress project management, less is known about the way that the management of a project is understood by those involved. This paper explores a range of methodological approaches, drawn from the area of managerial and organisational cognition (MOC), employed to understand more fully and rigorously the broader attributes of the Management of Projects (MoP) beyond the more execution orientated Project Management (PM). The dataset used are 11 construction projects within the United Kingdom with varying levels of complexity, size and scope. By deploying methodologies such as computer-aided content analysis and causal mapping, the layers of complexity were first separated and then distilled. We conclude by reflecting on the value in adopting primarily qualitative methodologies to multi-organisational, case-based research enquiries. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA.
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