Research Output
Salient Complexities of Engaging External Consultants in Information Systems Projects
  Project sponsors have sought to develop the necessary competence to address various challenges they face during project development, implementation and exploitation by employing different initiatives including the engagement and use of external consultants. However, doing so is associated with a number of consequences, including a significant risk of exacerbating project complexities. With this in mind, we set out in this study to examine the salient differences in the key project complexities between projects engaging consultants and those not engaging consultants. Data is obtained from 146 project management practitioners engaged in projects in Canada and the United States. Data analysis is undertaken using 3-way Multidimensional Scaling (MDS). Findings as relates to the key complexities associated with information systems projects, points to the manifestation of six broad dimensions of complexity namely (i) ‘Variety’ (ii) ‘Control’ (iii) ‘Criticality’ (iv) ‘Scope and repetition’ (v) ‘Information’ and (vi) ‘Dependence’. As relates to how consultant engagement changes the salience of these key project complexities, we find that consultant engagement leads to more varied and stronger structural complexity and higher salience of interpersonal and organisational complexity.

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  • Date:

    23 November 2022

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  • Funders:

    Edinburgh Napier Funded


Chipulu, M., Ojiako, U., & Thomas, A. (2024). Salient Complexities of Engaging External Consultants in Information Systems Projects. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, 71, 5212-5229.



Complexities, consultants, information systems (ISs), projects, salience

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