The existing literature on “cross-project learning” can only insufficiently explain what impedes the exchange of knowledge within project-based organizations. Hence, in this article, I aim to shed light on cross-project learning from a communication-centered perspective. This view allows for reconstructing existing challenges in cross-project learning as problems of connectivity between communication events. In line with this view, I have conducted an empirical case study at a multinational business consulting firm. This study examines to what extent existing practices of project documentation facilitate the visibility of past project processes and thus any connectivity to future projects. The study shows the predominance of the presentation software Microsoft PowerPoint in the project documentation practices at the case firm. Furthermore, the established practices of reducing the content of PowerPoint slides (e.g. in the form of bullet point lists) constrained the possibilities for recontextualization by organizational members that were not directly involved in the project process. Taken together, the study contributes to the existing literature by showing how a medium and genre of organizational communication (i.e. PowerPoint) becomes established in the alternate application context of project documentation but tends to “encapsulate” the processual nature of projects, which, in effect, can impede cross-project learning.
|Title of host publication||Organisation von Temporalität und Temporärem |
|Editors||Jochen Koch, Jörg Sydow|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|