The ‘hidden labour’ in project management

Conference item

Corbett, K. 2011. The ‘hidden labour’ in project management. The ‘hidden labour’ in project management. School of Community, Health and Education, Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation. Northumbria University 09 Dec 2011
TitleThe ‘hidden labour’ in project management
AuthorsCorbett, K.

This seminar proposes that project management is a socio-political discipline that involves planning, organizing, securing, and managing resources so as to achieve specific goals using a variety of different approaches and models. Data is drawn from the speaker’s own project management experience gained in work on projects commissioned by the English health and social care sectors. The seminar focuses on the dynamics of the organisational power, influence and politics involved in project management in order to analyse how the competing discourses of the involved stakeholders may predominate at different times during a project’s lifetime. Such discourses can often dictate the amount of principal investigator effort, or labour, actually expended in order to bring any particular project to its ‘natural’ conclusion. Adversarial and oppositional factors affecting the power, influence and politics of a project can also significantly impact on the presentation of the project recommendations and/or conclusions by dictating which items will be included or excluded in the subsequent reportage and publication of the ‘final draft’. Unexpected findings which various stakeholders may not wish to address, or even acknowledge, for a variety of political reasons can be ‘airbrushed’ from the project’s conclusions. There is a 'hidden labour' involved in managing such potential conflicts which offers us rich learning outcomes about how we experientially develop political leadership in the context of organisational power, influence and politics.

ConferenceThe ‘hidden labour’ in project management
Publication dates
Print09 Dec 2011
Publication process dates
Deposited21 Mar 2016
Accepted23 Nov 2011
Output statusPublished
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