Project Management Journal
Special Issue: Project and Innovation Management: Bridging Contemporary Trends in Theory and Practice
Volume 47, Issue 2, pages 3-7, April/May 2016

Guest Editorial: Project and Innovation Management: Bridging Contemporary Trends in Theory and Practice

Christophe Midler, CNRS and i3-Centre de Recherche en Gestion, Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau, France
Catherine P. Killen, School of Systems, Management and Leadership, Faculty of Engineering and IT, University of Technology Sydney, Australia
Alexander Kock, Technology and Innovation Management, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Darmstadt, Germany

Abstract: Innovation is a hot topic in organizations—driven by the need to compete in an era of increasing competition and uncertainty, rapid technological and market change, and escalating requirements for solutions to complex problems. The strong interest in innovation has spawned a vital and productive field of research; innovation management concepts such as open innovation, effectuation, and design thinking have wide appeal and application. In parallel, the same drivers underpin the growing adoption of project structures for an increasingly broad array of activities. In particular, innovation activities are almost always conducted within a project framework, and there is a growing body of research at the intersection of project and innovation management.
This special issue bridges the fields of innovation management and project management by presenting a collection of articles illustrating collaboration and cross-fertilization between these two dynamic fields. In this issue we set out to ask: “How can the project management field learn from concepts and analytical frameworks developed by innovation scholars?” and “How can theoretical developments in the project field contribute to innovation theory and practice?” Nine articles have been selected to address these questions while showcasing a broad array of methodological and theoretical perspectives in a variety of contexts.
As a whole, those articles offered in this rich and diversified collection converge to address our special issue's purpose to bridge and cross-fertilize the fields of project management and innovation management. The establishment of such a bridge has opened new perspectives and enriched both fields, paving the way for further cross-fertilization. We look forward to continuing the scientific conversation between those two dynamic fields in a forthcoming special issue of Project Management Journal® on the management of exploratory projects.

To cite: Midler, C., Killen, C. P. and Kock, A. (2016), Project and Innovation Management: Bridging Contemporary Trends in Theory and Practice. Proj Mgmt Jrnl, 47: 3–7. doi: 10.1002/pmj.21587