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A systematic meta-analysis on managing innovation projects in uncertain and complex environments

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Abstract

With the prevalence of global project-focused organisations, project management is emerging as a vital conduit of innovation within such companies. This study aims to provide a detailed meta-analytic insight into contemporary project management trends, with a particular focus on complexity of innovative projects. Trends in project management literature were analysed from 1975 to 2015. Findings from the analysis highlight the importance of strategic alignment, agility, competencies development and risk management for successful project implementation. By exploring inherent dynamics enabling/constraining practitioners to deliver projects successfully in complex, uncertain environments helps reveal factors influencing their ability to collaborate and realise innovative potential. The analysis also highlights a lack of standardisation in project management practices, which hinders the effective dealing with innovative complexity. Overall the study contributes to further our understanding of managing complex projects.