A Practitioner Based Evaluation of Project Management Knowledge and Education: The Australian Case

A Practitioner Based Evaluation of Project Management Knowledge and Education: The Australian Case

Ziauddin A. Durrani (University of South Australia, Australia) and Bassam Baroudi (University of South Australia, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0196-1.ch065
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Many scholars have criticized formal project management education as being based on various Bodies of Knowledge (BOKs), lacking real-world application and representing a narrow view of the profession. Through a survey questionnaire, this research inquiry has examined the alignment of project management professional needs with the aspirations of project management education within Australian universities. The research findings show positive links between project management education, increased employability, better workplace performance and successful professional careers. However, the research has also identified poor alignment of current project management education in Australian universities with project management practice and recommends possible revision of project management education programs to meet the knowledge requirements expressed by project management professionals. The findings of this research contribute to the debate in respect of bringing project management education closer to project management practice.
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Project Management Practice

Recognized project management practice appears to have its roots in the defence industry spreading to construction, manufacturing and IT sectors (Walmsley, 1996). Burke (2010) contends that most of the early project management tools reflected a focus on the scheduling and costing aspects of project management. The emphasis on scheduling was described by Weaver (2007, p. 4) as the ‘genesis of modern project management’. Dinsmore and Cabanis-Brewin (2006) argue that the legacy which emphasised the scientific nature of project management as compared to the art of project management left its mark by defining the attributes of a good project manager for many years to come. During the late 20th century, project management practice grew as a comprehensive body of knowledge and was presented through a set of ‘processes, skills, tools and techniques that have a significant impact on project success’ (PMI, 2008, p. 4).

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