Over the past decade there has been growing interest in theorizing and researching temporary organizations, including recognizing the relevance of temporary organizing forms – in particular of projects – in society. One of the key challenges that has remained underexplored so far, and holds opportunities in this field of study, is the frequent failure of projects to meet their goals. Since complex projects, and in particular complex projects, regularly fail, a debate has unfolded looking at the disappointment and perception of failure, resulting in harsh criticism of project management.
Our answer to this question is that more serious, theory-informed empirical research of imperfect projects, including near misses and complete failures, would help to improve our collective understanding of this topic. We would like to encourage projects scholars to develop imperfect project management thinking by exploring what can be learned from near misses or failing projects.
Therefore, we will be organizing a subtheme on learning from imperfect projects at the upcoming 38th EGOS Colloquium in Vienna, Austria (7–9 July 2022). Following this event, we will compile a special issue of PMJ, titled “Between Success and Failure: Imperfect Projects as Common Practice.” Please submit your short paper to http://www.egos.org by 11 January 2022 and/or your full paper to https://www.pmi. org/learning/publications/project-management-journal/ guidelines by 30. September 2022. More information can be found here.