Thamhain and Wilemon

Thamhain and Wilemon1 conducted a study to investigate the sources of conflict in the project management life cycle.

First of all, Thamhain and Wilemon identified the seven main sources of conflict on a project. These were: schedule, priorities, manpower, technical options, procedures, cost and personality. They then assessed the relative intensity of conflict from these sources at different phases in a four phase life cycle.


Conflict variations during project life cycle


The importance of the different sources of conflict vary according to the four phases in the life cycle and the average total conflict indicates that the greatest levels occur in the early stages. This simple model is quite intuitive but in the modern context the pattern could vary significantly according to the context of the project or programme and the capability maturity of the host-organisation.


  1. Thamhain H.J. and Wilemon D L, (1975). Conflict management in project life cycles. Sloan Management Review.



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2nd September 2014Link to Italian page added

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