Entrepreneurial Project Management – Cross-Fertilization between the Fields


By Amela Trokić

Bosnia and Herzegovina


Entrepreneurship and project management may seem like very differing fields but they share much more in common than initially believed. As academic fields, both have similar histories, significance in academia, nature and a similar theoretical and professional status (Kuura, Blackburk and Lundin, 2014, p. 219). Yet, they have developed apart from one another with little to no interaction between the two. The clear fragmentation of entrepreneurship and project management occurs both in theory and practice. Today, academic research emphasizes publishing in niche journals (Kuura, Blackburk and Lundin, 2014, p. 220) which has contributed to the separation. Similarly, in academia there appears to be a preference for gap spotting over problematization, despite the latter leading to more interesting research and new theory development (Sandberg and Alvesson, 2011, p. 40), which is necessary for the emergence of research on entrepreneurship and project management. Similarly, in practice there is a segregation between the two fields as a result of a tendency to rely on ‘experts’ or ‘consultants’, and practice specialties (Kuura, Blackburk and Lundin, 2014, p. 220). However, when it comes to emergent project management approaches there is an inclination for practice to lag behind theory (Bryde, 2003, p. 791). This is especially true for entrepreneurial project management which emphasizes the use of project management concepts, methods and applications for fostering innovation and creativity, which present significant practical difficulties (Bryde, 2003, p. 782). Despite the division, there are several benefits to theory and practice that can result from considering the links between entrepreneurship and project management. As a result, some research has attempted to look into this.

Benefits of Cross-Fertilization – Studying the Literature

In their paper titled ‘Studying Entrepreneurial Project’, Asquin, Condor and Schmitt (2011), call for project research within the domain of entrepreneurship in order to initiate a paradigm shift which would be of great benefit for the field. They argue that the entrepreneurial project exceeds all of the existing entrepreneurship paradigms without contradicting them, and in that way acts as a language that allows for the exchange of knowledge between the entrepreneurial paradigms (Asquin, Condor and Schmitt, 2011, p. 5). They found that methodological deficiencies in research pertaining to entrepreneurial projects has not only limited but impoverished knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship (Asquin, Condor and Schmitt, 2011, p. 8). This suggests that developing research that converges the two domains would be mutually beneficial. For entrepreneurship it allows for development of the academic field, and for project management it presents a potential growth in practical potential, considering the use of project management in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and start-ups (Kuura, 2011, p. 160).


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About the Author

Amela Trokić

Bosnia and Herzegovina


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Amela Trokić holds an MSc in Strategic Project Management from Heriot Watt University, Politecnico di Milano and Umea University, and joint MA in Islamic Banking from the University in Sarajevo and the University in Bolton. She currently works as a Project Manager for Bosna Bank International, an Islamic bank operating in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She also has experience as a Project Manager in the NGO sector, having worked on and implemented projects dealing with economic development in the US, Turkey and Balkan countries.