Context dependence of project management competences

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Higher Education is incorporating project management in their curricula, but literature on project management education, higher education practice and practitioner needs show little agreement (Nijhuis, 2017a). Guidance for curriculum design in Project Management is available (Task force on PM curricula, 2015), but also stresses that the development of the curricula should take the (local) context into consideration.Several studies points at a context dependence of project manager competences like leadership styles needed to achieve success (Turner & Müller, 2006) or competences required for success based on regional requirements (Turner, Müller, & Dulewicz, 2009).Several authors have tried to categorize projects (Busser, 2010; Crawford, Hobbs, & Turner, 2006; Dias, Tereso, Braga, & Fernandes, 2014; Dvir, Sadeh, & Malach-Pines, 2006; Müller & Turner, 2007), but on a whole not agreeing on what actually characterizes a project.This paper explores the concept of context from several points of view: does the project type (ICT vs engineering vs organizational) play a role in needed competences. Is there a difference between junior and senior project managers and what consequence could this have for higher education? Several sources of data are incorporated in this paper: 10 focus groups with experienced project managers revealing information on process and personal competences. A small survey on process and personal competences for junior project managers. A workshop with mixed experience project managers discussing the same items and several dedicated workshops aimed at finding ideas and perceptions of differences between junior and senior and contexts.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of Project Management Conference
Subtitle of host publicationResearch meets Practice. Towards Project Management 3.0
PublisherDelft University of Technology
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventProject Management Congress “ADAPT or DIE”.: Research meets Practice: towards Project Management 3.0 - Delft University of Technology, Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 11 Apr 201912 Apr 2019


ConferenceProject Management Congress “ADAPT or DIE”.
Abbreviated titlePM congress 2019
Internet address


  • Project Management
  • Competences
  • Context
  • Attribute Competence
  • Process Competence


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