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Behavioural Decision Making in Project Management (SF19/MOS/SKOUMPOPOULOU1)

Faculty of Business and Law

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Dr D Skoumpopoulou Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

The management of projects involves various decisions that need to be undertaken for the purpose of the successful completion. There is a vast amount of tools and methods that can aid the rational decision making process. Nevertheless, as literature has discussed extensively often the actual decision behaviour differs significantly from the rational ideal. Behavioural decision making is seeking to gain a clear understanding of the actual reasons behind the choices that different actors make and the influences that have an impact on the process. More specifically although research focuses on the making of decision during projects however there is little known about indecisiveness, delayed decisions, or defensive decision making. The reality is that often projects fail or fall short in achieving their potentials because the various actors shift the responsibility of decision making. This raises a concern in organisations on how can they ensure that decision making during projects is efficient, effective and is managed successful? Therefore, it is of a great interest to explore the reasons behind this indecisiveness in the project process as well as extent our knowledge on the motives of actors regarding avoiding decisions or delaying decisions during projects.

Preferably, an interpretive case study approach will be employed which will allow the researcher to study project management in a natural setting and generate theories from practice. Through the use of qualitative research methods the successful candidate will demonstrate an understanding of the decision making process in project management and the complexities involved. This study will seek to analyse the linkages between the different actors involved in a project and the decision making process relevant to the successful completion of a project. This will enable the researcher to explore the impact that behavioural decision making has on the completion of projects at an organisational level and to make recommendations on how to maximise success of project management.

Eligibility and How to Apply:

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.

For further details of how to apply, entry requirements and the application form, see

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. SF19/…) will not be considered.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality and is a member of the Euraxess network, which delivers information and support to professional researchers.

Funding Notes

Please note this is a self-funded project and does not include tuition fees or stipend.


Recent publications by supervisors relevant to this project:

Skoumpopoulou D. and Waring T. (2017), Cultural change through the implementation of an enterprise system: a UK university case study Accepted and Forthcoming in the Journal of Enterprise Information Management

Skoumpopoulou, D. and Moss, C. (2016), The Importance of Culture in ERP Adoption - A Case Study Analysis, Athens Journal of Business & Economics, In Press

Waring, T., Wainwright, D. and Skoumpopoulou, D. (2016), Enterprise Systems Adoption: A Sociotechnical Perspective on the Role of Power and Improvisation, International journal of systems and society, Vol. 3, No. 1, pp. 49-66

Skoumpopoulou, D., Nguyen, T. (2015), The Organisational Impact of Implementing Information Systems in Higher Education institutions: a case study from a UK University, Strategic Change, Vol. 24, No. 5, pp. 463-485

Waring,T and Skoumpopoulou, D. (2013) An enterprise resource planning system innovation and its influence on organizational culture: a case study in higher education, Prometheus, Vol. 30, No. 4, pp. 427-447

Waring,T and Skoumpopoulou, D. (2012) Through the Kaleidoscope: Perspectives on cultural change within an Integrated IS environment, International Journal of Information Management, Vol 32 No 6, pp. 513-522

Waring T. and Skoumpopoulou D. (2011) Emergent cultural change: unintended consequences of a strategic information technology services implementation in a United Kingdom university, Studies in Higher Education, Vol. 39 No. 4
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