A conceptual framework of sustainability in project management

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Sustainability is the process of maintaining change in a balanced environment, in which the exploitation of resources, the direction of investments, the orientation of technological development and institutional change are all in harmony and enhance both current and future potential to meet human needs and aspirations. The way of looking at sustainability has drastically changed in the past decades. More importance has been given to this topic and nowadays it is perceived as something we should always consider in everything we do. The concept of sustainability has three dimensions: environmental, economic, and social. Under the triple bottom line vision, organizations that seek to achieve a standard of excellence must develop ways of reducing their negative social and environmental impacts. The concept of sustainability is therefore now more than ever linked to project management. It is necessary to include it while thinking about project management. Although it has all this recognition there is a lack of a common structure and language for analyzing sustainability in projects as well as the absence of specific tools mean the lack of a framework that can be useful and applicable to projects. This study aspires to arrange a conceptual framework of sustainability factors in project management, through two research methods, bibliographic research and systematic literature. The results reveal that the study of sustainability is focused on economic and environmental attitudes while the social ones are almost forgotten, with the triple bottom line perspective used in less than half of the publications in the obtained examples. Moreover, the analysis revealed that TBL sustainability in project management represents a major research gap that TBL sustainability in project management represents a major research gap.

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