Gestão & Produção
Gestão & Produção
Artigo Original

The challenges of project management in small and medium-sized enterprises: a literature review based on bibliometric software and content analysis

Letícia de Almeida Parizotto; Aldo Tonso; Marly Monteiro de Carvalho

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Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to design an overview about Project Management (PM) in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises (SMEs) by analysing the evolution of publications and the main topics since 1996 to 2016 to motivate future research that helps SMEs to apply PM practices more efficiently. This study performed bibliometrics associated with content analysis of publications collected in scientific bases Web of Science and Scopus and in the periodic International Journal of Project Management. For that, the software VOSviewer, Nvivo, Minitab, and Excel were used in the analyses. The scan of 235 papers about Project Management in SMEs supported a literature overview. Furthermore, four thematic categories are highlighted: Project Management Practices, Planning and Control Systems, Collaboration, and Knowledge Management. Moreover, it was observed that SMEs requires a lighter PM methodology, focused on people and flexible. Besides that, the results show that the main challenges involve a lack of resources and qualified people and the high turnover. However, overcoming these issues, PM can benefit growth and innovation in SMEs. Therefore, this study presents a conceptual framework of benefits and challenges in Project Management in SMEs, reducing the research gap. Furthermore, recommendations for future research, mainly in Brazil, are given.


Small and Medium-Sized Enterprise, SMEs, Project management, Bibliometry


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