Introduction to the Research Handbook on Complex Project Organizing

Graham M. Winch, Maude Brunet, Dongping Cao

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


We argue that research in complex project organizing (CPO) is central to addressing the grand challenges that society faces in terms of both sustainable development and the implementation of fourth industrial revolution technologies. From a review of the development of CPO research across three streams of projects-as-coordination, projects-as-systems, and projects-as-contracts we show how this book supports the further development of CPO research to address these challenges. We first introduce the core concepts of CPO research (uncertainty, complexity, temporality, projectivity) before we present a range of 11 theoretical perspectives that have enriched research in the field across nominalist or realist ontologies, and agency or structure foci. We then turn to research on specific aspects of CPO research ranging from megaprojects to value across 15 topics. We close by exploring the implications of the new digital technologies for CPO research and the prospects for Project Organizing 4.0 in 7 chapters.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Complex Project Organizing
EditorsGraham M Winch, Maude Brunet, Dongping Cao
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781800880283
ISBN (Print)9781800880276
Publication statusPublished - 24 Jan 2023


  • Complex project organizing
  • Projects as systems
  • Projects as coordination
  • Projects as contracts
  • Sustainability transitions
  • Fourth industrial revolution


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