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Role of adopting response strategies to manage the Front-End phase of a project.: An exploratory study of the Italian Innovative SMEs.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

The present study investigates the role of the Front-End phase within the context of Innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises through the project management lens, focusing on what practitioners can do to manage this phase. Taking a cue from the assumption that the Front-End phase of a project is a very critical and important stage, this study begins with a literature review on innovation and on its role among the Small and Medium-sized Enterprises, and moves to the identification of the main challengesthat an Innovative Italian Small and Medium Enterprise has to face in the Front-End phase. Particularly, the research focuses on the strategies that a project manager can implement to deal with the fuzzy nature of the Front-End phase, originated by uncertainty, equivocality and complexity. The study has an inductive approach and a cross-sectional time-horizon. A case study strategy has been employed, together with semi-structured interviews as data collection technique, involving six Italian Innovative Small and Medium-sized Enterprises identified through the framework of legal requirements provided by the European Union. Although literature poses on the same level all three elements, results show that there is a general consensus about the main role played by uncertainty. Practitioners identify several strategies to employ in order to deal with uncertainty, while the number of strategies identified to reduce equivocality and complexity is limited. Furthermore, this study identifies a correlation between the size of a company and the type of strategies employed to deal with the fuzziness. The more resource a company allocates on a project, the wider is the range of possible strategies project managers can adapt.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 72 p.
Keyword [en]
SME, Front-End, Innovation, Strategies
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-118300OAI: diva2:911989
Available from: 2016-03-21 Created: 2016-03-15 Last updated: 2016-03-21Bibliographically approved

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