Organisations that engage in research activities with industry and academic partners face many challenges in the effective management of such collaborative projects. These projects have different facets which even change over time. Examples are explorative and creative phases in which innovative research ideas and results are investigated, followed by concrete development tasks that aim at validating and prototyping these ideas. Different project management approaches are required to address each situation adequately. Building on organisational contingency theory, we argue that the project management (PM) approach needs to consider specific contingency factors characterising different context situations of a project. We analyse relevant characteristics by means of a structured literature review and summarise our findings in a morphological framework. We distinguish resource related, outcome-related and process-related contingency factors which can be used to develop PM contingency profiles for collaborative research projects. The profiles describe a certain project situation together with the most suited management style. Application scenarios are given to illustrate the impact of our results for project managers in a collaborative research project.


Situational Project Management, Contingency Factors, Collaborative Research Project


ISBN: [978-1-86435-644-1]; Full paper