Coverage of ‘human factors’ in project management literature: a systematic journal review


  • Beverly Pasian Utrecht University of Applied Sciences
  • Kirsten Feldbrugge Technical University of Delft
  • Shankar Sankaran Dr.


project management, human factors, systematic review


Researchers of project management over the last 20 years have published multiple significant reviews that have served to map the landscape of project management, revealing its complexity and deepening our understanding. Contributing to this understanding is an ongoing challenge, and one dependent on the timely identification of topics that reveal truths and propel practice. This paper contributes to this understanding through a systematic review of more than 1100 journal articles published in the last 5 years on the theme of the ‘human factors’ of project management that reveals their multiplicity, distribution and focus. The article will conclude with directions for future research.


Author Biography

Shankar Sankaran, Dr.

Professor of Organisational project Management  at the University of technology Sydney. Holds Masters Degree in Systems Engineering and PhD in Business and Management. 

Chair of the Action Research SIG in ISSS.

Presented/published refereed papers in journal related to systems thinking and action research. Worked as a control systems engineer and project manager for large scale distributed systems in oil, gas, petrochemical and power industries.

Current research interests are project governance, systems thinking and action research



How to Cite

Pasian, B., Feldbrugge, K., & Sankaran, S. (2017). Coverage of ‘human factors’ in project management literature: a systematic journal review. Proceedings of the 59th Annual Meeting of the ISSS - 2015 Berlin, Germany, 1(1). Retrieved from