Since World War II, science and research has been organized into projects and managed using the methods of Project Management. These methods offer important advantages, but also have some limitations. This doctoral dissertation presents some basic contributions to the subject of the tension between creativity and productivity in managing research with the methods of Project Management, and, more generally, the subject of the function of creative judgment in the execution of precisely specified projects in any kind of activity, which seem to determine all the operations involved in the development of a project. Project Management aims to rationally controlling and coordinating a project, which involves the clear specification of its goal and operations. These requirements are not fulfilled when dealing with projects whose goal is ambiguous and they require creativity. The phenomenological notion of mental project developed by Alfred Schutz is more flexible and its application extends the technical aspect of Project Management. His theory considers that each intentional action changes the present state of affairs and involves a purpose, a mental project that is a mental rehearsal of a future act, and the performance of the act. He also introduces, the notion of subactions and the critical view that a repeated action is a new action similar to an already performed action. The doctoral research emphasizes that the following aspects of project management involve judgment, creating spaces for creativity to occur: first, the mental project of a new action can be created combining many subactions already performed. Second, the recognition that an action has similarities and differences with already performed actions. Third, the mental project can be considered as a hypothesis about what will happen in the execution of the act. Judgment deals with these differences and it makes the actor aware of other possible subjects and developments. The conceptual research, also introduces a new way of looking at routines, their evolution and their role in scientific research. In this line of thought, it uncovers the deep relationship between rhetoric and judgment. The empirical research is associated to the context of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), an important Spanish research infrastructure. And it firstly develops a case study on the creation of this research organization that allows presenting some important aspects about the tension between the structure of the organization and the agency of the researchers. It then develops the subjects related to the tension between creativity and productivity in executing projects, developed in the conceptual framework, such as the notion of projects of the researchers and the judgment involved in the execution of their projects. The contribution of this doctoral dissertation, in managing research institutions and projects, extends the way of managing projects with the common methods of Project Management.

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Nadal Burgus, Nria

Managing research projects: Judgment as a source of creativity

06/2015
Since World War II, science and research has been organized into projects and managed using the methods of Project Management. These methods offer important advantages, but also have some limitations. This doctoral dissertation presents some basic contributions to the subject of the tension between creativity and productivity in managing research with the methods of Project Management, and, more generally, the subject of the function of creative judgment in the execution of precisely specified projects in any kind of activity, which seem to determine all the operations involved in the development of a project. Project Management aims to rationally controlling and coordinating a project, which involves the clear specification of its goal and operations. These requirements are not fulfilled when dealing with projects whose goal is ambiguous and they require creativity. The phenomenological notion of mental project developed by Alfred Schutz is more flexible and its application extends the technical aspect of Project Management. His theory considers that each intentional action changes the present state of affairs and involves a purpose, a mental project that is a mental rehearsal of a future act, and the performance of the act. He also introduces, the notion of subactions and the critical view that a repeated action is a new action similar to an already performed action. The doctoral research emphasizes that the following aspects of project management involve judgment, creating spaces for creativity to occur: first, the mental project of a new action can be created combining many subactions already performed. Second, the recognition that an action has similarities and differences with already performed actions. Third, the mental project can be considered as a hypothesis about what will happen in the execution of the act. Judgment deals with these differences and it makes the actor aware of other possible subjects and developments. The conceptual research, also introduces a new way of looking at routines, their evolution and their role in scientific research. In this line of thought, it uncovers the deep relationship between rhetoric and judgment. The empirical research is associated to the context of the Barcelona Supercomputing Center (BSC), an important Spanish research infrastructure. And it firstly develops a case study on the creation of this research organization that allows presenting some important aspects about the tension between the structure of the organization and the agency of the researchers. It then develops the subjects related to the tension between creativity and productivity in executing projects, developed in the conceptual framework, such as the notion of projects of the researchers and the judgment involved in the execution of their projects. The contribution of this doctoral dissertation, in managing research institutions and projects, extends the way of managing projects with the common methods of Project Management.
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Managing research projects: Judgment as a source of creativity
Nadal Burgus, Nria
Universitat Ramon Llull (URL)

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