بررسی نقش نهادهای رسمی دانش در تعریف یک حرفه - مورد پژوهی مدیریت پروژه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|3065||2006||12 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||9705 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 24, Issue 8, November 2006, Pages 710–721
Since the mid 1970s, project management associations around the world have made serious attempts to conduct themselves as professional associations. Traditional professions distinguished themselves by emphasising standards such as service to the public and competence in their field, and by ensuring that their membership meets these standards. An important element of a profession is ownership of a body of knowledge that is distinctive to the professional group. Project management associations have spent considerable time and effort in developing Bodies of Knowledge (BOKs) and their associated certification programs, and indeed the popularity of these has been notable. Yet there are problems, some relating to the broader issue of whether the project management associations really are equipped to act as professional bodies, others related to the specific challenge of agreeing the ‘distinctive body of knowledge’ and to the value of certification. This paper draws on insights from the rethinking project management EPSRC project as well as several separate research programs to explore the development of project management as a profession and the role of the formal BOKs in this professionalization, and to suggest a research agenda for critiquing, contributing to, and maintaining both the formal BOKs and the more general body of knowledge relevant to the needs of the discipline.
Recently the debate about the intellectual coherence of project management has achieved fresh prominence with many arguing, on the one hand, that the discipline, if such there is, is an amalgam of many other disparate disciplines ,  and , with others proposing that, despite this diversity there are nevertheless distinctive underlying threads organised not least by the developmental, ‘unique’ nature of the project life cycle ,  and . Seemingly regardless of such academically nuanced uncertainty, practitioners have, since at least the late 1960s, appeared to be in no doubt that there is value in belonging to project management associations. The growth of the larger of such institutions has been quite phenomenal, the Project Management Institute for example having over 210,000 members as of March 2006. The primary service such associations provide was initially, and largely still is, to share information but from the 1980s and 1990s onwards they began certifying ‘project management professionals’ (in their words) as meeting a required standard of knowledge, as outlined in their official ‘Bodies of Knowledge’. The number of PMI ‘project management professionals’ in early 2006 was over 180,000 . The issues this paper seeks to address are: (1) how do these associations stand as professional bodies; (2) how valid are their Bodies of Knowledge (BOKs) as descriptions of the relevant professional area of competence; (3) what is the significance of there being differing paradigms underlying the two or three principal BOKs in the field; (4) what is the potential role of research in contributing to these and related points? The paper draws on the work of the rethinking project management EPSRC research network to suggest that: (a) currently project management is a ‘semi-profession’ or ‘commercialized profession’  (b) bodies of knowledge are central to the perception of the discipline/profession, (c) the presence of differing underlying paradigms does not necessarily indicate a lack of maturity within the profession but does raise some issues of definition and application of appropriate practice, (d) project management associations should emphasize ways of developing competence other than merely following explicit knowledge guides such as formal BOKs, as traditionally have other professional bodies, and (e) although there are several different actors with vested interests in the bodies of knowledge, research has a real role in providing theoretically grounded, empirically-based evidence of the knowledge – and wider aspects of competence – needed to manage projects successfully. We conclude by identifying a research agenda that we believe is appropriate for supporting and elaborating these assertions.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
The professions are defined largely around their area of distinctive competence. The project management BOKs are an attempt to map out the knowledge elements of this competence. Project management BOKs are clearly important. Practitioners have a strong interest in them since such ‘standards’ – which is de facto what they essentially become – influence industry views on competence, best practice, and training and development. And they are of interest to academics since any such attempt to define the ‘discrete body of knowledge and related skills’ raises questions about the validity of the knowledge base in the subject being discussed or taught, both in epistemological terms and in terms of what is deemed to be covered by the subject area. Drafting a formal Body of Knowledge brings with it risks. Not least are those of scope and relevance; not recognising the real scope of the discipline can lead, as we have seen, to misperceptions on a significant scale. Over-emphasis on didactic methodology suggesting the rote application of best practices diminishes the role of judgement that managers need in applying knowledge in different contexts. The subject requires a more interpretivist approach, particularly with respect to the broader, more strategic elements of knowledge which feature at the more front-end, senior, and program levels of the ‘management of projects’ job family. Positioning the profession, and its bodies of knowledge, in this bigger domain, is the challenge now in rethinking – and re-casting – project management. Research has an important role to play in this re-positioning. Though the dimensions of the profession have, so far, largely been driven by practitioners, researchers should have the advantage of time, data and argument. They teach. They influence. They serve on the professions’ panels. The time is ripe for a more systematic input from the academic research community, not least to address the points articulated in this paper. If we rely on the project management associations to tell the academics what to think and teach, instead of having research test the concepts theoretically and the issues practically, we get into self-fulfilling prophecies. We may be in some danger of that now. Several lines of research have been identified: • What do the traits of project management as a profession, semi-profession or a commercial profession signify to the different actors involved? How important are the attributes of traditional professionalism that project management would seem to be missing? How serious is this loss? What, if anything, should be done to fill the gaps? • If project management is an emerging profession, how happy are we with the trajectory it is on? Is the way PMI is shaping its evolving standards for program and portfolio management, and for maturity, satisfactory? (Indeed, is maturity a sound concept as articulated in such a broad subject as the management of projects, or ‘enterprise management’.) What about the other professional associations’ models? What contribution can well designed and executed research make to such questions to bring clarity and objectivity and reduce the polemical tendency? • What are the consequences to the discipline of it having differing BOK paradigms (scopes)? What can be done to make them more aligned? • What is the proper place of certification in the development of project management as a profession? Should we be investigating the value of certification more systematically? (Are the professional associations testing the wrong elements of knowledge/competency?) • What should be the role of research in defining preferred practice and contributing to the formal BOKs and the wider bodies of knowledge? What is the appropriateness of best practice methodologies in a subject as influenced by context, interpretation, tacit and group knowledge? • What are the implications of professional associations accrediting universities to teach project management based on the established BOKs without concern for practical or research interests in the field? Such research could make a major contribution to the development of the discipline. The result would be a better understanding of the nature and limitations of the knowledge element in project management professional competence; more informed content; and a better understanding of professional development and of the value of certification. Maybe, above all, there would be a growing realisation that we are really all talking about the same discipline, albeit often, and necessarily, in different ways.