Indonesian and Dutch Perceptions of Project Management in a University Transformation Project

Alfons van Marrewijk, Esther den Hartog


There is plenty of evidence that a global university transformation process, known as the corporatization of universities, is currently taking place. In this process known as project management (PM), aggregations of employees temporarily enacting on a common cause, has become an increasingly popular intervention instrument. National governments and funding agencies assume these PM methods to be culturally neutral and universally applicable. This paper explores how national and regional context influences perceptions of PM in the corporatization of four universities in Eastern Indonesia. The findings show that PM methods and techniques have been transferred but have also been translated in the Indonesian context of the four universities involved. Dutch and Indonesian project managers perceived project definition, competences, roles, start, focus, process and success differently. The implications of these findings to transformation processes in higher education (HE) are clear; it cannot be assumed that PM methods and techniques are culturally neutral and universal applicable. To collect data qualitative field research was executed in the period of January 2009 to March 2010.


project management; globalization; higher education; cross-cultural; Indonesia

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