Characteristics of Project Management Assets and Project Management Process Outcomes: An Exploratory Factor Analysis

Characteristics of Project Management Assets and Project Management Process Outcomes: An Exploratory Factor Analysis

David Perkins (Colangelo College of Business, Grand Canyon University, Gilbert, AZ, USA), Kam Jugdev (Faculty of Business, Athabasca University, Calgary, CA) and Gita Mathur (School of Management, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/IJITPM.2018010104


The resource-based view of the firm from strategic management literature is applied to examine project management as a source of competitive advantage. In this view, assets contribute to competitive advantage if they add economic value, are rare, are difficult to imitate, and have organizational support. This research examines project management assets and project management process outcomes in a cross-industry study that attempts to replicate findings from a prior study, using the same survey tool with a larger sample. Exploratory factor analysis extracted four factors that comprised characteristics of project management assets that are valuable, rare, and inimitable, three factors that comprised of organizational support for project management assets, and two factors that comprised of project management process outcomes. The extracted factors mostly replicated the findings from the prior study; differences emerged in the factors that comprised of project management assets.
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Increasingly, organizations are drawing on project management best practices to help them be more effective and efficient. Project management involves processes that encompass tools, techniques, and knowledge-based practices applied to projects, to achieve organizational goals and deliver products or services (Project Management Institute, 2013). The traditional emphasis in project management has been on tangible resources (e.g., tools and techniques, templates, software, and project management offices). More recently, a body of project management literature has drawn on theory from the strategic management field, anchored in the resource-based view of the firm (RBV) (Jugdev & Mathur, 2006; Jugdev, Mathur, & Fung, 2007; Mathur, Jugdev, & Fung, 2007, 2013, 2014). This literature moves the attention to include intangible project management resources (e.g., tacit knowledge, communities of practice, job shadowing, and mentoring). Specifically, shadowing in IT projects has also been studied with the RBV lens (Sohani, 2016). The importance of this expanded perspective is that intangible resources are more likely to be sources of competitive advantage, since they typically differentiate one firm from another (Barney, Ketchen, & Wright, 2011; Eisenhardt & Santos, 2000).

The RBV is a theoretical perspective that considers sustainable competitive advantage to be based on an organization’s resources (Barney, 2000). Organizational resources are viewed as bundles of tangible or intangible assets (or resources). Tangible assets include physical capital resources, such as plant, equipment, and finances, whereas intangible assets include human, organizational, and knowledge-based resources (Conner & Prahalad, 1996; Eisenhardt & Santos, 2000). Grant’s typology further differentiates between human and intangible resources (1991). An organization that understands its resource mix, including its strengths and weaknesses, is well positioned to decide which resources to leverage for competitive advantage. Assets that are valuable, rare, difficult to imitate, and supported by an organization are classified as strategic assets, and are viewed as sources of sustainable competitive advantage (Barney, 1991, 2011; Barney & Wright, 1998). The RBV has been applied in empirical studies, contributing extensively to various fields, such as human resource management, economics, finance, entrepreneurship, marketing, and international business (Barney, Wright, & Ketchen, 2001). More recently, the RBV has been applied to additional fields (Barney et al., 2011), including operations management (Barratt & Oke, 2007; Ethiraj, Kale, Krishnan, & Singh, 2005; Paiva, Roth, & Fensterseifer, 2008; Peng, Schroeder, & Shah, 2007), information technology (Bharadwaj, 2000; Seddon, 2014), and most recently, project management (Jugdev & Mathur, 2006; Jugdev et al., 2007; Mathur et al., 2007, 2013, 2014).

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