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Professionalization of Project Management By Dr. Bill



    Project Management Institute


    Dr. Bill L. Zwerrnan, PhD, MA, BA Professor, Department o f Sociology, University o f Cakary Dr. Janice L. Thomas, PhD, MBA, BSc

    Program Director, M B A in Project Management Centre for Innovative Management, Athabasca University

    A4urut Profasur, Project M a q m t Speaalization, University o f Cakaty Susan Haydt, MA, BA

    Research Assistant

    with the assistance of:

    Terry A. Williams, MCS, BA Research Assistant


  • Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

    Zwerman, William L. Professionalization of project management: exploring the past to map the

    futurelprincipal investigator, Bill L. Zwerman with Janice Thomas; Susan Haydt, Terry A. Williams, research assistant.

    p. cm. Includes bibliographical references. ISBN 1-930699-06-9 (paperback]

    1. Project management- Standards. 2. Project management- Licenses. 3. Project management-Research. 4. Professional prac- tice. 5. Occupational surveys. 1. Thomas, Janice, 1959- 11. Project Man- agement Institute. HI. Title

    ISBN 13: 978-1-930699-06-9 ISBN 10: 1-930699-06-9

    Published by: Project Management Institute, Inc. Four Campus Boulevard Newtown Square, Pennsylvania 19073-3299 USA. Phone: + 610-356-4600 Fax: + 610-356-4647 E-mail: Internet:

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  • Acknowledgments

    I T his research report was made possible by the strong vision of the Project Management Institute (PMIm), the world's leading not-for-profit project management professional association, in order to advance research in project management.

    We particularly want to acknowledge the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation for providing funding to launch this project.

    We are also deeply indebted to PMI for project support, as well as the PMI Research Program Member Advisory Group (RMAG) for their guidance. In particular, the authors value the opportunity to have worked with key people at PMI who are driving project manage- ment research forward: Dr. Harry Stefanou, PMI Research Manager during the execution of this project; members of the RMAG; and Eva Goldrnan, PMI Research Associate.

    We are also.gratefu1 to the practitioners, consultants, and execu- tives, as well as the academic community, for their contributions, interest and support. For all who helped us ground this research by providing resources, granting interviews, answering surveys, attend- ing lectures and offering questions, critiques and confirmations, thank you for the time, ideas, and support. We also sincerely thank our universities for the support they provided to us for this research (Athabasca University and the University of Calgary).

    We have looked intently at the study results and selected what is believed to be the most useful information for readers. These results have been presented to audiences around the world, who reinforced interest in the topic and the authors' belief in the value of what has been accomplished. However, the true value of this study, as with all research, comes ultimately from the ideas and discussions it generates amongst those who read it. The readers are the people who will judge this work and determine its value, both in practice and in theory.

    As researchers know, work of this nature is truly a labor of love. We have worked diligently and enthusiastically over the last two years to conduct this research, learning much more about topics than we are able to enumerate here, and overcoming many challenges. In

  • the process, we have built a strong research team that we value highly.

    For those who supported us behind the scenes, we thank you for your patience, support and love. We could not have done this research without your help.

  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgments v

    Tables and Figures ix

    Chapter 1: Introduction 1 Study Background 3

    Research Objectives 3 Research Questions 3 Research Approach 4

    Team Structure and Management Process 4 Researchers and Their Background 4 Timing 6 Deliverables 6 Report Structure 6

    Chapter 2: Theoretical Foundation 9 The Sociological Study of Professions 10

    Definitions: Occupation, Profession, Professional 11 The Traits of a Profession 1 1 The Process of Professionalization 13

    Power and the Professions 14 Exploring the Professionalization Journey 18

    Theory and Methods 19 Strategies of Professionalization by Occupation 21

    Issues in Relation to Professionalization 22 In Summary 34 Lessons Learned, Questions Raised and Implications for Project Management 34

    Chapter 3: Study Methodology 37 Research Design Overview 37

    Web Site Survey Methodology 38 Sampling and Data Analysis 38 Notes About Web Site Citations 40

    Online Survey Methodology 40 Sampling Frame 40 Survey Structure 42 Survey Logistics 42

    Conclusions 43


  • Chapter 4: Findings from Nursing Web Site Survey 45 Scope of Practice Issues 46

    Protection from Semi-Professional Invasion 46 Role Expansion 49

    Registration/Licensing Issues 54 Monopoly over Title 55 Education and Accreditation Strategies in Nursing 57

    Raising Minimum Education Requirements 57 Continued Education/Continued Competence 60 Accreditation 62

    Tensions with Bureaucracy/Employer 63 Issues Surrounding the Body of Knowledge 69

    The Theory Base and Research 69 Standardized Nursing Language 71

    Professional Associations: Innovation in Structures 72 The Switch to a College Model 73 Disaffiliation from National Association 74

    Implications for Project Management from Nursing's Professionalization Journey 75

    Chapter 5: Findings From Social Work Web Site Survey 81 Scope of Practice Issues 82 Licensing and Certification Issues 85

    National Certification 85 Licensure and Registration 86 Monopoly over Use of Title 90 Education and Accreditation Strategies 91

    Minimum Education for EntrylPractice 91 Continued Education/Continued Competence 94 Accreditation Strategies 97

    Issues Surrounding the Body of Knowledge 98 Implications for Project Management from Social Work's Professionalization Journey 102

    Chapter 6: Findings from Teaching Web Site Survey 109 Scope of Practice Issues 11 1

    Scope of Practice and Paraprofessionals 11 1 Role Expansion of Teachers 113

    Licensing and Certification Issues 114 General Observations about Licensing/Certification 1 14 Voluntary Certification: The National Board for Professional Teaching Standards 1 18

    Monopoly Over Use of Title 122 Education and Accreditation Strategies 123

    Entry Level Strategies 123 Continued Education/Professional Development 124 Accreditation Strategies 129

    Issues Surrounding the Body of Knowledge 129

  • Implications for Project Management from the Teacher's Professionalization Journey 132

    Chapter 7: Findings from Comparative Online Survey 139 Association Information 140 Association Age 143 Current Level of Professionalization 146 Threats to the Professionalization Effort 149 Strategies for Professionalization 152 Conclusions 154

    Chapter 8: Insights and Future Direction 155 Evaluating Project Management as a Profession 156

    Project Management's Attainment of Characteristics of a Profession 156 Becoming a Profession 158 Role of Power in Professionalization of Project Management 159

    Comparing Project Management to Other Professions 160 Learning from the Professionalization Journeys of Comparable Occupations 161 Learning from the Challenges and Actions of Professionalization across Occupations 168

    Future Directions: Important Questions for Consideration 168

    Professionalization of What? 168 Professionalization for Whom? 169 Impact of Professionalization on Practice 174 What Would a Global Profession Look Like: How Would One Be Created? 175 What are Prospects for the Creation of a Global Project Management Profession? 176

    Conclusions 177 Crosstable 1: Question 14 Traits-Occupational Groups' Firmness of Grip 179 Crosstable 2: Question 18 Threats-Occupational Groups' Degrees of Challenge 181

    References 183 Project Management Web Sites and Discussion Lists 186 Nursing Web Sites 186 Social Work Web Sites 187 Teaching Web Sites 188

    Tables and Figur

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