Project Manager Sustainability Competence

Project Manager Sustainability Competence

DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2371-0.ch008
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The Role Of Project Manager

Lock (2007) contends that before 1900, creative architects and engineers generally managed projects by themselves. Industrial engineers and behavioral scientists were not on hand to study working practices, organization theory, and people issues. There was no project management profession at that time. For most of the 20th century, functional managers with technical expertise continued to dominate the role of executing a project, organizing their work with the support of general management of the time.

Rapid industrialization and the demands of munitions production in World War I created the need for management scientists and industrial engineers such as Elton Mayo and Frederick Winslow Taylor, who studied people and productivity in factories (Lock, 2007). Frederick Taylor (1856–1917) was the first and purest believer in command and control (Crainer & Dearlove, 2004, p. 34). Taylor published The Principles of Scientific Management in 1911. Taylor’s “science” (which he described as “75 percent science and 25 percent common sense”) came from the minute examination of the individual worker’s tasks. Taylorism was one of the first serious attempts to create a science of management. It elevated the role of managers and negated the role of workers (Crainer & Dearlove, 2004, p. 34).

German sociologist Max Weber (1864–1920) was the original champion of the bureaucratic model of organizations. Weber observed that organizations were emerging in the fledgling industrial world. He argued that the most efficient form of organization operated like a machine, governed by strict rules, controls, and hierarchies, and driven by bureaucracy. Weber termed it the “rational-legal-model.” In today’s world, many large organizations continue to adopt Weber’s philosophy. At the opposite extreme was the “charismatic” model, in which a single dominant figure ran the organization (Crainer & Dearlove, 2004, p. 571).

Henri Fayol (1841–1925) published Administration industrielle et générale in 1916 (Wren, Bedeian, & Breeze, 2002). English-language readers did not have easy access to his ideas for over three decades, until the publication of a translation, General and Industrial Management, appeared in 1949. Fayol suggested that administrative management required five elements: planning, organizing, coordinating, commanding, and controlling. Fayol also articulated 14 principles of organization:

  • 1.

    Specialization of labor (encourages continuous improvement in skills and methods);

  • 2.

    Authority must match responsibility;

  • 3.

    Discipline (no slacking and bending of rules);

  • 4.

    Unity of command (each employee has one boss only);

  • 5.

    Unity of direction (a single mind generates a single plan and all play their part in that plan);

  • 6.

    Subordination of individual interest to the general interest;

  • 7.

    Remuneration must be fair in relation to effort;

  • 8.

    Centralization (consolidation of management functions and that decisions are made from the top);

  • 9.

    Scalar Chain (line of authority) (formal chain of command running from top to bottom of the organization);

  • 10.

    Order (all materials and personnel have a prescribed place, and they must remain there);

  • 11.

    Equity (equality of treatment, but not necessarily identical treatment);

  • 12.

    Personnel tenure (limited turnover of personnel; lifetime employment for good workers);

  • 13.

    Initiative (thinking out a plan and doing what it takes to make it happen); and

  • 14.

    Esprit de corps (harmony, cohesion among personnel) (Birchall, 2004, p. 176).

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