In search of project classification: A non-universal approach to project success factors

D. Dvir, S. Lipovetsky, A. Shenhar, A. Tishler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this study we attempt to answer two questions: Is there a natural way to classify projects and what are the specific factors that influence the success of various kinds of projects? Perhaps one of the major barriers to understanding the reasons behind the success of a project has been the lack of specificity of constructs applied in project management studies. Many studies of project success factors have used a universalistic approach, assuming a basic similarity among projects. Instead of presenting an initial construct, we have employed a linear discriminant analysis methodology in order to classify projects. Our results suggest that project success factors are not universal for all projects. Different projects exhibit different sets of success factors, suggesting the need for a more contingent approach in project management theory and practice. In the analysis we use multivariate methods which have been proven to be powerful in many ways, for example, enabling the ranking of different managerial factors according to their influence on project success.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-935
Number of pages21
JournalResearch Policy
Issue number9
StatePublished - Dec 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Non-universal approach
  • Project classification
  • Project success factors


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