Project management

Project Management

Research Group

Making a positive impact on businesses, economy and social environments

We are working on cutting-edge research on a national and international level to meet the challenges project management is facing in the 21st century

Our research group develops solutions for the ever-growing challenges in projects and suggests alternative ways to improve project performance. We are a group of highly skilled and experienced staff with a broad range of knowledge, who not only have an academic reputation but are also closely linked to industry and professional bodies. Our aim is to really make a difference on how projects are managed in the future.

Our expertise

Our research covers a broad range of themes:

  • Organisational Justice
    Investigating the perception of fairness in the project environment and its impact on the people involved
  • Relationship Management
    Looking at how the relationships between the different stakeholders involved in a project can be improved
  • Coping Strategies
    Exploring how project managers cope with difficult stakeholders in their projects and which coping strategies they develop
  • Organisational Learning and Knowledge Management
    Investigating how organisational learning and knowledge management can be improved in projects and in project-based organisations

Our activities

It is important for us to be connected to industry and the wider academic research community. In order to facilitate this exchange we host regular events:

PM Forum: the PM Forum hosts talks from experienced industry professionals about various topics related to project management. They are suitable for students of all levels and staff. They take place every month during term time. The next dates are (4–6pm):

  • 18 October 2017
    Experience, Failure and Success – Stories of a Consultancy Start up
    Dr Claus Nesensohn, CEO and Founder of Refine Projects AG, Visiting Research Fellow LJMU

  • 22 November 2017
    Transitions in temporary organisations – A case study of an innovative procurement model
    Simon Addyman, former London Underground Programme and Project Manager – Bank Station Capacity Upgrade; Chairman Research Advisory Group APM

  • 11 December 2017
    Earned Value Analysis – Putting Research into Practice
    Roger Joby, Consultant for Pharmaceutical Companies and CROs, Visiting Research Fellow LJMU

Our publications

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Our research grants

Members of the PMRG have recently secured the following grants:

Being Lean and Seen: Meeting the Challenges of Delivering Projects Successfully in the 21st Century” Prof David Bryde and Dr Christine Unterhitzenberger, 2016, European Union Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE), €328,500, 48 months

“Capturing and Evaluating Individual and Social Factors that Influence Critical Project Decisions” Dr Natalie Marguet, 2017, Association for Project Management (APM), £5,000, 12 months

“Strategies for Dealing with Difficult Stakeholders” Prof David Bryde and Dr Christine Unterhitzenberger, 2016, Association for Project Management (APM), £5,000, 12 months

Our people


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PhD candidates

Jane Dowson – Lean Project Management and Organisational Learning: An Exploratory Study in Complex Project Management

Robbie Blackhurst – A standardised approach to stakeholder engagement when developing the design of NHS capital projects

Visiting Research Fellows:

Prof Rob Gandy – Visiting Professor
Prof Rob Gandy worked as a management consultant and regularly managed projects which included the North Mersey Future Healthcare Project, and a major R&D project on the quantification and optimisation of the aseptic preparation of medicines. During his NHS career Rob led many large projects which included Care In The Community programmes for the placement of large numbers of people suffering from mental illness and learning difficulties, and the National Estate Utilisation Project to establish how to concentrate Walton and Fazakerley hospitals' services on to one site.

Dr Claus Nesensohn – Visiting Research Fellow
Dr Claus Nesensohn is the founder and CEO of Refine Projects AG based in Germany and a leading expert in all matters related to Lean. He completed his PhD at LJMU on the topic of “An Innovative Framework for Assessing Lean Construction Maturity”. He is a partner in our RISE “Being Lean and Seen” project.

Roger Joby – Visiting Research Fellow
Roger Joby is a project management consultant and trainer in the pharmaceutical industry. He has a vast amount of experience in this area and has been a driving force to develop project management in his industry. His research interest is stakeholder management and he has various publications in this area.

Dr Ernawati Mustafa Kamal – Visiting Research Fellow
Dr Ernawati Mustafa Kamal is a Senior Lecturer at the Universiti Sains Malaysia and her research areas are innovation in construction organisation, absorptive capacity as well as technology and knowledge transfer. She is a partner in our RISE “Being Lean and Seen” project.

Dr Amin Akhavan Tabassi – Visiting Research Fellow
Dr Amin Akhavan Tabassi is a Senior Lecturer at the Universiti Sains Malaysia. Amongst others, he is particularly interested in the areas of leadership, conflict management and teamwork. He is a partner in our RISE “Being Lean and Seen” project.

Contact us

The research group is led by Dr Christine Unterhitzenberger. If you have any queries related to:

  • invitations for keynote speeches, presentations or workshops
  • PhD applications in the area of project management, or
  • research collaborations

Please get in touch via c.unterhitzenberger@ljmu.ac.uk.