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date: 19 September 2021

Abstract and Keywords

There seem to be basically two different ways of managing this problematic—one which relies on the principle of promoting “knowledge base similarity,” and a second one that favors the principle of promoting “well-connectedness of knowledge bases.” This article starts by outlining these approaches and argues that the latter one, which is associated with the idea of understanding projects as “knowledge-collectivities”, provides a fruitful point of departure for thinking about knowledge integration in many project settings. Second, it introduces a contingency framework to show how this general approach would cover a variety of knowledge integration modes and project management contexts. Third, it illustrates part of this contingency framework empirically using excerpts from two case studies taken from the literature, a mobile telephone project and a drug development project. Fourth, it specifically addresses the project management features and propose that traditional concerns regarding project goals, the view of deviations, etc. should be seen as being intertwined with the issue of knowledge integration. Finally, it suggests that continued research efforts should be devoted to advancing our ability to match a set of congruent knowledge integration and project management features to the demands of specific project contexts.

Keywords: knowledge integration, product development project, knowledge base, knowledge-collectivities, project management, project goals

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