Skip to main content

Lavagnon Ika

Ika, Lavagnon
Full Professor
Professor of Project Management (PM).
BAC C (Collège Père-Aupiais), B.B.A. (Institut National d'Économie), BAC G2 (National Examination), M.Sc. (UQO), Ph.D. (UQAM)
DMS 7109
613-562-5800 x 4781
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Lavagnon Ika is a Full Professor of Project Management and Program Director for the MSc in Management at the Telfer School of Management (uOttawa). He holds a joint affiliation with the uOttawa School of International Development and Global Studies. He holds an M.Sc. and a PhD in PM from the Université du Québec.

Over the past 20 years, he 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, and the Middle East. He is currently teaching in the Telfer’s executive Master of Business in Complex Project Leadership. 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, international organizations like the World Bank and the African Capacity Building Foundation (ACBF), and other private businesses. A full time faculty member since 2007, he has supervised a few PhD students and a dozen M.Sc. students and sat on many MSc and PhD committees all over the world.

His 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; what is the role of project strategy, supervision and management in project success/failure; how projects ‘behave’ or ‘work’; and what makes projects complex. Besides his works on international development projects, Professor Ika has a genuine interest in project settings such as arts and culture, law, education, etc. as well as in strategy and in the foundations of PM Research. He is the author of some thirty papers in peer-reviewed journals as well as of more than twenty conference proceedings. Professor Ika’s work has been published in many journals including World Development, IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management, Production Planning and Control, Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, the International Journal of Project Management, the Project Management Journal, the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, and the Journal of African Business. He is Associate Editor for the International Journal of Project Management, a member of the Academic Boards of the international project management associations PMI and IPMA, the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, and of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of African Business. His works have been funded by granting agencies such as SSHRC and FRQSC.

He received the Emerald Best Reviewer Award in 2018, Outstanding Paper Award in 2017 and Highly Commended Paper Award in 2011; the IPMA Research Award in 2017 and the IPMA Research Contribution of a Young Researcher Award in 2012. He was awarded the Telfer’s 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. In the summer of 2020, he will be a Fellow of the World Bank. He will also be an invited professor at the Manchester Business School, UK for his 2020-2021 sabbatical leave.

Publications during the last 7 years

Chapters in Books

  • Ika, L.A. Under what circumstances does capacity building work?. In Chrysostome, E.. Capacity Building in Developing and Emerging Countries. United Kingdom: Spinger Nature, 2019.

Papers in Refereed Journals

  • Love, P.E.D., Ika, L.A. and Sing, M.C.P. 2020. Does the Planning Fallacy prevail in social infrastructure. Empirical Evidence and competing explanations. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.
  • Love, P.E.D., Ika, L.A., Luo, H., Zhou, Y., Zhong, B. and Fang, W. 2020. Rework, failures, and unsafe behavior: Moving toward an error management mindset in construction. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.
  • Signor, R., Love, P.E.D. and Ika, L.A. 2020. White collar crime: Unearthing collusion in the procurement of infrastructure projects. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.
  • Munro, L.T. and Ika, L.A. 2020. Guided by the beauty of our weapons: Comparing project management standards inside and outside international development. Development in Practice.
  • Love, P.E.D., Sing, M.C.P., Ika, L.A. and Newton, S. 2019. The cost performance of transportation projects: The fallacy of the Planning Fallacy account. Transportation Research A: Policy and Practice, 122: 1-20.
  • Love, P.E.D., Ika, L.A., Locatelli, G. and Ahiaga-Dagbui, D.D. 2019. Future-proofing ‘next generation’ infrastructure assets. Frontiers of Engineering Management, 5(3): 407-410.
  • Bentahar, O. and Ika, L.A. 2019. Matching the project manager’s roles to project types: Evidence from large dam projects in Africa. IEEE Transactions on Engineering Management.
  • Love, P.E.D., Ika, L.A., Ahiaga-Dagbui, D.D., Locatelli, G. and Sing, M.C.P. 2019. Make-or-break during production: Shedding on change-orders, rework and contractors margin in construction. Production Planning and Control, 30(4): 285-298.
  • Love, P.E.D., Ika, L.A. and Ahiaga-Dagbui, D.D. 2019. On de-bunking ‘fake news’ in a post truth era: Why does the planning fallacy explanation for cost overruns and benefit shortfalls fall short. Transportation Research A: Policy and Practice.
  • Ika, L.A., Söderlund, J., Munro, L.T. and Landoni, P. 2018. When project management meets international development, what can we learn? International Journal of Project Management, 36(2): 331-333.
  • Ika, L.A. 2018. Beneficial or detrimental ignorance: The straw man fallacy of Flyvbjerg’s test of Hirschman’s Hiding Hand. World Development, 103: 369-382.
  • Ika, L.A. and Donnelly, J. 2017. Success conditions for international development capacity building project. International Journal of Project Management, 35(1): 44-63.
  • Paché, G. and Ika, L.A. 2016. European Professional Football Club Image and Human Capital Management. International Journal of Business Administration and Management Research, 2(3): 30-34.
  • Ika, L.A. and Bredillet, C.N. 2016. The metaphysical questions every project practitioner should ask. Project Management Journal, 47(3): 86-100.
  • Ika, L.A. and Söderlund, J. 2016. Rethinking revisited: Insights from an early rethinker. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 9(4): 931-934.
  • Ika, L.A. 2015. Opening the black box of project management: Does World Bank project supervision influence project impact. International Journal of Project Management, 33(5): 1111-1123.
  • Saint-Macary, J. and Ika, L.A. 2015. Atypical Perspectives on Project Management: Moving Beyond the Rational, to the Political and the Psychosocial. International Journal of Project Organization & Management, 7(3): 236-250.
  • Ika, L.A. and Saint-Macary, J. 2014. Why do projects fail in Africa? Journal of African Business, 15(3): 151-155.
  • Ika, L.A. 2014. Grands projets : Trop grands pour réussir? Organisations & Territoires, 23(3): 5-13.
  • Ika, L.A. and Hodgson, D. 2014. Learning from international development projects: Blending critical project studies and critical development studies. International Journal of Project Management, 32(7): 1182-1196.

Invited Contributions and/or Technical Reports

  • McWatters, C.S. and Ika, L.A. 2018. "Understanding our budgeting system".
  • Ika, L.A. 2018. "Measuring the effectiveness of capacity building programs".

Funded Research during the last 7 years

Funded Research during the last 7 years
From-To Source Title * ** Role Amount
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
2014-2015 SSHRC Project manager's level of involvement in project planning: The case of international development projects (Approved but not yet funded) R C PI N/A
2012-2014 Telfer School of Management Research Fund (SMRF) Project supervision in project management and in international development literatures R I PI $ 20,000


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

© 2020 Telfer School of Management, University of Ottawa
Policies  |  Emergency Info

alert icon