The contribution of project and change managers to different project activities

Julien Pollack, Chivonne Algeo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


The project management and change management disciplines both contribute to the delivery of organizational change projects. However, evidence in the literature suggests conflict between these disciplines arising from a lack of consensus about how these disciplines should work together, which discipline should have overall ownership of the management of organizational change, and how specific activities should be divided between the disciplines.
This research has enquired into practitioners’ views of the contribution that project managers and change managers should make to specific project activities using an online survey. Practitioners’ responses were analyzed using a process of comparative ranking. From this process, an understanding was developed of how respondents perceived the involvement of project managers and change managers in the delivery of organizational change.
The analysis identified activities that clearly distinguished project management from change management. Activities were also identified that respondents commonly regarded as within the domain of both disciplines, suggesting activities that project and change managers would potentially need to jointly own. Areas of significant disagreement were also identified where there was a difference of opinion between the project and change managers who responded to the survey. Such areas are likely to be the sources of disciplinary conflict in the workplace, and this suggests areas where practitioners should take additional care in managing any disciplinary integration between project management and change management. This research will be of value to practitioners from either disciplinary background, providing assistance in identifying likely sources of conflict, and in developing an understanding of how both sides of this divide perceive the other.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPMI Research and Education Conference 2014, Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: In Search of Theory and Evidence
Subtitle of host publication27-29 July, 2014, Portland, Oregon, USA
PublisherProject Management Institute
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)9781628250640
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes
EventPMI Research and Education Conference 2014 - Portland , United States of America
Duration: 27 Jul 201429 Jul 2014


ConferencePMI Research and Education Conference 2014
Abbreviated titlePMI 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
OtherThe theme,

Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: In Search of Theory and Evidence reflects three key issues facing the field of project management research and education:

How research and education can “stand on the shoulders of giants” – enabling us to see farther and with greater insight because of the knowledge platform being built.
The role of theory and whether the field has moved on from Koskela and Howell’s (2002) provocation, that there is no underlying theory of project management.
The opportunity of evidence- based project management, which was highlighted at the 2012 Research and Education Conference in Professor Denise Rousseau’s (2012) keynote address.


  • Change management
  • organizational change
  • disciplinary boundary
  • activity ownership

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