Lavagnon Ika is Full Professor of Project Management (PM), MSc Program Director for both Health Systems and Management Programs, former Program Director for the MSc in Management, Faculty Leader for uOttawa partnerships with African Universities, and Founding Director of the Major Projects Observatory at the Telfer School of Management (uOttawa). He holds a joint affiliation with the uOttawa School of International Development and Global Studies (Faculty of Social Sciences). He earned an MSc and a PhD in PM from the Université du Québec (a joint doctoral program with Mc Gill, Concordia, and HEC), where he eventually became replacement, assistant and then associate professor.
Professor Ika’s academic leadership has brought him to serve as a member of a number of university boards or faculty committees including the Senate Council on Graduate Studies, Center of Academic Leadership, Association of Professors of the University of Ottawa, Faculty Teaching and Personnel Committee, Faculty Research Committee, Graduate Research Programs Committee, Program Innovation and Engagement Committee, President Working Group on La Francophonie, Anti-Racism and Inclusion (Working Group on Research), Mental Health and Wellness Advisory Committee, Knowledge Mobilization Grant Evaluation Committee, etc. He has also chaired faculty hiring committees and prestigious conferences. He has been an adjudication committee member or reviewer for Canada’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), Quebec’s research fund FQRSC, the Project Management Institute (PMI), and MITACS (a not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 20 years) grant competitions.
As a panel review member for PEQAB (the Postsecondary Education Quality Assessment Board), he has assessed programs such as the Yorkville BBA and the Northeastern MSc in PM. He has also reviewed hiring, tenure, and promotion files for a few professors in Canada, the US, the UK, South Africa, and West Indies. Professor Ika has been a visiting professor at the Skema Business School in France, the Swinburne Business School in Australia, the Institute of Public Project and Cost Engineering of the Tianjin University of Technology in China, the African School of Economics in Benin, the CESAG Business School in Senegal, the World Bank in Washington, DC (as a World Bank Fellow; suspended due to COVID-19), and the Gordon Institute of Business Science of the University of Pretoria, South Africa (as a 2022 Andrew Carnegie Fellow). Were it not for the coronavirus pandemic, he was slated to visit, during his sabbatical leave in 2021, Manchester Business School and University College of London (UK).
Over the past 20 years, Professor Ika has taught PM at the B.Com, MSc, MBA/EMBA, and PhD levels in both the French and English languages, in Canada but also in Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Middle East. He has led a number of PM workshops in organizational settings and advised a number of project managers and senior business leaders in his consulting work. His clients include public sector departments such as Global Affairs Canada, Transport Canada and Justice Canada, and international organizations like the World Bank and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), as well as private businesses. A faculty member since 2006, he has supervised a few PhD students and a dozen MSc students and sat on dozens of MSc and PhD committees all over the world including Australia, Botswana, France, India, South Africa, Serbia, Trinidad and Tobago, etc. (some 70 students in total).
Professor Ika’s research topics include: what makes projects successful; why do projects fail and what can be done about it; why projects experience cost overruns and benefit shortfalls; how to deliver major infrastructure (both economic and social) through projects; what is the role of project strategy, supervision and management in project success/failure; how projects ‘behave’ or ‘work’; what makes projects complex; and how to tackle global challenges such as sustainable development through projects. For example, he is a key contributor to the most recent debates on major infrastructure delivery (e.g., project behavior or misbehavior), and he is considered the world leader of the research on managing global development projects (e.g., World Bank or Global Affairs Canada-funded projects delivered in Africa), which tend to be complex to manage.
Professor Ika is the author of some 50 papers in peer-reviewed journals as well as some 30 conference proceedings. His work, which is essentially multidisciplinary, has been published in many diverse scholarly and professional outlets including the International Journal of Project Management, the Project Management Journal, World Development, Public Administration and Development, Journal of Development Studies, Development in Practice, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Production Planning and Control, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Research in Transportation Economics, the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, the IEEE Engineering Management Review, Harvard Business Review (France), The Conversation, Journal of African Business, Revue Management et Avenir, Revue Gestion HEC Montréal, Revue de Management et de Stratégie, Revue Management et Datascience, Revue Gestions Hospitalières, Revue Politique et Parlementaire, PM World Journal, Developments in the Built Environment, Journal of Business Strategy, and Revue Organisations et Territoires.
His work has been well received by researchers: it is highly cited (about 3,600 citations and an h-index of 20 on Google Scholar) or consulted (more than 135,000 reads to date on Research Gate). His most recent article written in French in The Conversation on the complexity of the vaccination rollout has reached 28,000 reads in just one week.
Professor Ika is Associate Editor for the International Journal of Project Management, the highest ranked journal in his field, and for the Canadian Journal of Development Studies. He is a member of the Academic Boards of the prestigious international project management associations Project Management Institute (PMI) and International Project Management Association (IPMA). He is also a member of the Editorial Board of Project Leadership and Society (where he is leading a special collection focused on managing and leading projects in Africa, a three-year venture) and Cadernos EBAPE Brazil (where he is leading a special issue on infrastructure delivery and project management in developing countries), the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of African Business (where he edited a special issue on why projects fail in Africa), and of the Consulting Editors Board of Journal of Comparative International Management.
He is also an international academic advisor for the PM World Journal, a member of Kheops, an international research consortium on the governance of large infrastructure projects, and an advisory committee member of the CEDIMES Institute, USA. His works have been funded by granting agencies such as SSHRC and FRQSC in Canada. He has reviewed papers for prestigious journals in project management, operations management, business and management, international development, transport, economics, and engineering as well as book proposals for prestigious publishers such as Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press. His co-authored book on managing fuzzy projects is slated to be published in January 2023 with McGraw-Hill and he is leading a handbook on project behavior to be published with Cambridge University Press in 2023-2024.
He received the IPMA Global Research Award in 2017 and 2022 and the IPMA Research Contribution of a Young Researcher Award in 2012; and the Emerald Best Reviewer Award in 2018, Outstanding Paper Award in 2017, and Highly Commended Paper Award in 2011. He won the PM World Journal Editor’s Choice Award in 2021. He was awarded the Telfer’s Established Researcher Award in 2021 and Innovative Researcher Award in 2017. Two of his papers are among the most cited papers in top PM journals since 2011. Many of his papers are praised by PM practitioners. Some feature in the World Bank concept notes.
|2022-2023||Treasury Board of Canada||Towards a governance framework for more flexibility in the delivery of capability upgrade||R||G||PI||$ 75,000|
|2022||Carnegie Fellow & GIBS, uPretoria||Project management capacity building (teaching + research)||R||O||PI||$ 15,000|
|2021-2026||SSHRC||Le rôle du contexte dans la gestion de projet en Afrique||R||C||PI||$ 94,500|
|2021-2022||University of Ottawa - Carleton University||Shared Online Projects Initiative (SOPI)||P||I||Co-PI||$ 40,000|
|2020-2025||Telfer School of Management||Major Projects Observatory||R||I||PI||$ 60,000|
|2019-2020||Union économique et monétaire ouest-africaine (UEMOA)||Leviers de la mise en oeuvre des réformes de finance publique dans l’espace UEMOA/ CLEAR Project||R||F||PI||$ 50,000|
|2018-2020||School of Management Research Fund (SMRF)||To what extent are project managers involved in project planning and does it matter for project success||O||I||PI||$ 12,000|
|2014-2017||School of Management Research Fund (SMRF)||Project Leadership and Teamwork in High Power Distance Matrix Structures: The Case of African Science Projects||R||I||Co-I||$ 6,000|
C: Contract (R and D) | E: Equipment Grant | R: Research Grant | S: Support Award | P: Pedagogical Grant | O: Other, U: Unknown
C: Granting Councils | G: Government | F: Foundations | I: UO Internal Funding | O: Other | U: Unknown
PI = Principal Investigator | Co-I = Co-Investigator | Co-PI = Co-Principal Investigator