History of Project Management in Book Report

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A more definitive explanation is; "... A proposed explanation for a phenomenon." (Scientific Reference) a hypothesis should be able to be tested and functions as a directive for further research.

In my research study for example, the hypothesis that was explored was that certain circumstances in different historical periods affect the development of the areas of expertise and their application to project activities. These circumstances include social and cultural movements; the development of scientific and technical knowledge, among others. This hypothesis provides the incentive for further research and determines to a large extent the direction or trajectory of the research outcomes.

5. Explain briefly why applied research instead of basic research will typically be done in industry and commerce, and describe two examples of applied research

The answer to this question becomes clear when the looks the difference between basic and applied research. Basic research is theoretical and is aimed at the expansion of scientific knowledge and is not mainly practically oriented. It is not intended to "…., create or invent something." (What is Applied Research?) Furthermore, there is "… no obvious commercial value to the discoveries that result from basic research." (What is Applied Research?) Examples of typical themes in basic research are; how did the universe begin or the influence of genetics in disease.

Applied research on the other hand is focused on practical and problem-solving research that has to do with real-world situations. This difference is clearly summarized in the following quotation: "Applied research is designed to solve practical problems of the modern world, rather than to acquire knowledge for knowledge's sake. One might say that the goal of the applied scientist is to improve the human condition. (Basic vs. Applied research)

Examples of applied research can include the following: Researching a cure for as specific disease or a more business orientated topic: The Paperless Office: How to Improve Organizational Efficiency and Increase Profits.

6. Explain briefly why action research will typically be done in industry and commerce

As is clear from no. 5 above that more practically orientated research topics and subjects are often appropriate to industry and commerce. This is the case with action research. Action research refers in essence to participatory research, where teams of groups solve problems that are linked to their situation and organization. A definition of action research is:

Action research...aims to contribute both to the practical concerns of people in an immediate problematic situation and to further the goals of social science simultaneously. Thus, there is a dual commitment in action research to study a system and concurrently to collaborate with members of the system in changing it in what is together regarded as a desirable direction. Accomplishing this twin goal requires the active collaboration of researcher and client, and thus it stresses the importance of co-learning as a primary aspect of the research process. ( Gilmore, Krantz and Ramirez, 1986, p. 161)

As this type of research is concerned with a "community of practice" and deals mainly with specific problems pertaining to their organization or concern, it is well suited to a closed environment and the need to address immediate and specific problems -- as is found in commerce and industry.

Literature Review:

1. How you compile a literature review and reference system

It should be borne in mind that a literature review is an "evaluative account" of what has been published on a certain subject or topic.( Doing a Literature Review) Compiling a literature review entails a number of steps that should be adhered to. In the first instance the central aims and objectives of the research topic will be the fulcrum around which the review will be compiled. In other words, the literature review will refer to the central aims of the main and subsidiary hypothesis of the research or study.

Furthermore, the compilation of the literature review will be highly dependent on the subject matter that is to be explored. One would for example tend to access primary rather than secondary sources in order to achieve a high academic level.

There are a number of stages that should be adhered to. This includes finding models; problem formulation, literature search and evaluation of findings and analysis and interpretation. Finding models refers to looking for examples of other literature reviews in your disciple or on your subject matter. The formulation of a problem statement is important as this forms the basis of the literature review and will also determine the direction of the review. This lead to the literature search and finally the evaluation of the findings,

2. How do you conduct a literature review and reference system?

There are two central purposes linked to a literature review. The first is to "… build up the researcher's knowledge base of the topic under exploration for a deeper understanding" and secondly, "…to ensure the significance of the research."

(What is Research) Furthermore, the researcher should be clear about "…how the research will be able to contribute to the knowledge in the related field compared with the existing research literature." (What is Research)

In order to compile the literature review reference and source material should be sought in all possible areas; for example, sources can include books, journal articles, verified online academic sources, databases as well newspapers and magazines. One of the most important considerations is the initial selection of possible source materials in terms of their academic validity and status. It is usually preferable to make use of peer reviewed journals rather than unverified Web sites as sources.

The reference system used was standard MLA. Sources were assiduously recorded and cited according to this system to ensure that there was no taint of plagiarism.

3. What are the steps to be followed in preparing to write a review of literature relevant to your topic?

Data were collected through a review of the literature rather than through physical archaeology of buildings. Sources included scholarly and professional journals, books, periodicals, and other reports on historical development of the medieval period. This study uses descriptive-normative research to record, describe, interpret, analyze, and compare the data collected. An historical review was conducted for the four significant historical-architectural periods given above and organised into the constellation of eight primary topics of inquiry as listed.

Moreover, secondary data were also utilized to provide further knowledge. Books and academic journals on project management history and practices were consulted as references. The Internet proved to be of additional help in the information-gathering process. Other means of collecting secondary data were used as much as possible, with the proviso that these sources were reliable and helpful in the analysis of the topic. The sources of information the research accessed include:

1. Online Libraries: Questia, Highbeam.

2. Internet Search Engines: Google, Bing.

3. Websites: Noted in Bibliography.

4. Books and Journals: Noted in Bibliography.

Population and Sampling Types:

1. List of the basic types of units of analysis found in your research and illustrate them by way of examples

Units of analysis are an essential part of analysis in any research study. These unites can include, for example, individuals, groups, artifacts social interactions, etc. In my research study the following were the main units of analysis.

Historic Periods -- This extended from the Byzantium to the Gothic period. This included twelve periods of Western history.

Project Management -- this was a central theme throughout the study and he main variable of focus. The context of the study on terms of the history of this unity of analysis extended until Henry Gantt and Henri Fayol codified their project-management tools and elucidated the core elements of the project-management body of knowledge.

Cultural environment -- This was a central unit of analysis. The way that the cultural environment intersected with the central hypothesis can be seen in the investigation of the cultural advancement of the Byzantine Empire. ( p 61)

Scientific environment. This was another crucial unit of analysis and the way that scientific advancement and knowledge affected the development of project management was a central focus in the study. This is evidenced by the exploration of Graeco-Roman discoveries in science, mathematics, medicine, and geography, including those of Aristotle, Galen, and Ptolemy. ( p. 64, 65)

The Master Builder Tradition. This formed an important unit of analysis as it provided a central point of reference for the development not only of building and construction but also of project management. This can be seen from the following quotation from the study.

The Byzantine dome provided Islamic master builders with a model for roof construction and timber engineering. Unbaked bricks along with lime and gypsum for stabilization were significant, since most buildings employed earth walling. Islamic buildings were also shaped by the techniques used by masons for climate control in the hot, dry Near East. They were, for the most part, basic, using such techniques as adding small window openings in thick walls.…[continue]

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