Research Themes

Project leadership

Project leadership is crucial in achieving positive outcomes. As projects grow in complexity, our research supports project leaders in setting up project governance.

Project leadership is distributed within and across organisations. A challenge for project sponsors, leaders and managers is how to empower others and provide leadership in their context to create value. The capable owner plays a significant role, with organisations making leadership, sponsorship and governance decisions across portfolios, programs and projects. To achieve our ambition to provide a ‘go-to’ place for advice on how to conceive, set-up and execute projects, our research is focused on project leadership. 

Project models and digital transformation

What model is appropriate for your project? We are interested in using data-driven approaches to support decision-makers in conceiving and setting-up complex projects.

By bringing together insights on project delivery models and methods with those on systems integration and the transformative nature of digital information we aim to provide rich information on the patterns of project outcomes, starting in areas such as engineering and health. 

To achieve this we draw on expertise across the University of Sydney, including AI, data science and medicine to understand areas of application such as hospital and disease response projects.

Abstract energy pattern

Organisational dynamics of projects

How can you manage an evolving project? Project leaders have significant responsibility as they grow teams, manage temporary and changing organisations, and hand over into operations. A strand of our work examines project strategies, practices and processes. Researchers are examining projects as a form of large-scale organising, taking process perspectives to address questions of their temporality, as well as examining how boards make decisions about organisational change projects and studying questions about people in projects and human resource management in project-based organisations.

To achieve this we draw on expertise across the University of Sydney, including in the Business School and Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

Abstract energy pattern

Projects for sustainable and resilient futures

How can we use projects to achieve a better future? We are interested in project leadership in emerging industries, questions of resilience and complexity, the role of projects as interventions and how they address uncertainty, emergence and stakeholders. This interest includes work on net-zero and new forms of energy; and wider questions of humanitarian engineering, societal connections and environmental impact.

Our work draws on expertise across the University of Sydney, including civil and humanitarian engineering, disasters and complex systems, and internationally with colleagues in other institutions including Imperial College London.