Be vicarious: The challenge for project management in the service economy

Cristina Simone, Marco Arcuri, Antonio La Sala


Purpose. The paper aims to answer to the following questions: which are the critical dynamic capabilities to survive in the rubber landscape of service economy? Does it exist in service economy a dynamic capabilities provider?

Methodology. The paper combines the literature review on dynamic capability perspective and that on vicariance to the Project Management professional services.

Findings. Firstly, the paper identifies vicariance as an intriguing dynamic capability, crucial to survive in the rubber landscape of service economy. Secondly, the paper sheds light on Project Management (PM) as a vicarious that provides vicariance.

Practical implications. For each critical organizational dimension, the paper identifies the links among the service economy challenges and the vicariance typology required to the project manager to face those challenge.

Originality/value.The approach to conceive the PM as a vicarious that provides vicariance is original and leads to new insights on the professional services management. In fact, on one hand, dynamic capabilities cannot easily be bought through a market transaction; on the other hand, they must be built. This building can be achieved internally, by the organization itself (i.e. hierarchy), or through a partnership (i.e. hybrid form among hierarchy and market). PM professional services enrich organizations with additional information variety according to a hybrid (i.e. non- market) coordination model.  


project management; vicariance; dynamic capability; information variety; service economy

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