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Call for paper

The year 2023 marks the 30th anniversary of IRNOP, a highly engaged and open community of project scholars, which has played a key role in establishing project studies as an independent field. Thus, the IRNOP conference 2024 provides us with a timely opportunity to reflect on the past, debate the present and imagine the future of project scholarship.

All contributions fitting under this broad agenda are welcome, but we would specifically like to highlight two evolving themes that have the potential to spur debates and contemplation on the future trajectories of project scholarship.

Theme: Projects for sustainability transitions

Projects are considered paramount for sustainability transitions, enabling foundational transformations in an era marked by increasing recognition of the imperative for cross-sectoral collaborations to address complex societal challenges effectively. At the core lies the dynamic interplay between projects and the broader landscape for sustainability transitions. Our call extends beyond surface exploration, delving into critical discussions and ethical considerations that underpin project work for sustainability transition. The ethical considerations surrounding projects as agents of transformation form a crucial facet of this discourse, sparking dialogues that span from, for example, ethics to global social equity. 

The range of inquiry can be vast, encompassing projects and programs of varied scales within established socio-technical systems, involving transformations of existing socio-technical systems such as transport, communications, health systems, manufacturing processes, and supply chains. From reimagining transportation networks to overhauling healthcare structures, from revolutionizing manufacturing processes to revitalizing intricate supply chains – each undertaking carries implications across sectors, institutions and shape sustainable endeavors. Additionally, we embrace the transformative potential of digital innovation, as it profoundly intersects with the trajectory of projects aimed at sustainable transitions. We invite papers that explore how digital technology within projects reshapes the fabric of sustainability efforts. Our theme encourages thought-provoking dialogues between practice and industry, seeking submissions that encourage reflection on the intricate relationship between projects, digital innovation, and sustainability.

Theme: Humans and organizations in Project Society 

Over the past few decades, the ongoing projectification has profoundly transformed the way in which things get done in and between organizations, leading to the emergence of Project Society. The scale and extent of this transformation as well as the emerging social and institutional pillars of this order are yet to be fully understood and critically reflected upon. This theme encourages a critical reflection on how humans, organizations and the emerging structures and principles of Project Society enable and mutually constitute each other.  

At the organizational level, we encourage contributions deepening our understanding of the changes in contemporary context in which projects are situated and which they drive, including the interplay with the wider organizational and social trends, such as digital transformation, servitization, algorithmic and data-driven management, the emergence of gig-economy, distributed/network, and meta-organizations etc. These ongoing changes draw attention to the topics of organizational change and transformation, and the role of projects enabling and situated in these changes. 

At the individual level, we seek to spur a discussion on the cognitive, psychological, emotional and social aspects of project work. Project scholars seeking to contribute to this theme are encouraged to build on a broader suit of social theories, especially those underrepresented in project studies. Examples of the topics within this theme span individual and collective biases and heuristics in project settings, particular individual careers and competence development in an increasingly dynamic Project Society, etc. 

To conclude, this theme encourages critical reflections on the interplay between individual and organizational facets in theory and practice. We particularly encourage investigation of the empirical settings underrepresented in project studies. 


Full papers, not exceeding 8000 words, excluding references. It is important that the paper is set in the context of current research and shows that the work is original. Therefore, a significant proportion of the citations (typically a third) should be refereed papers published in the last five years. However, do also include citations of seminal papers from the past, which form the foundations of the subject. Tables and figures should appear in the text and numbered consecutively with their appearance. Style for references APA 5th.

Panel propoals

A panel is a session where a number (3-5) people discuss a certain topic under the direction of a moderator and in front of an audience. A panel proposal should be maximum 200 words and outline the rationale for the topic.

Deadline for full paper submission is 31 January, 2024.