Fantastic atmosphere, great organisation and interesting discussions at the University of South Australia NBERC research colloquium 2019.
Presenting on "The inner self of a project manager" with Theodoros Kalogeropoulos
Presentation title: The inner self of a project manager: Capital, Habitus, Field
More than 100 attendees. Great thanks to the School of Natural & Built Environments for inviting me.
The vast literature on project management is almost poor regarding the study of the main actor, the project manager, in relation to their human side. Despite the plethora of studies related to the success factors, characteristics or enablers for successful project managers, few, if any, studies exist that dig into the soul of the project manager and unearth what drives their actions, habits and ethics.
Project-as-Practice (Blomquist et al. 2010) approach humanizes project management and highlights the human element behind the strategic decisions made in projects. Our approach follows the Project-as-Practice pathway and employs Bourdieu's practice theory within the field of project management in order to create a sociological profile of the successful project manager. This qualitative study is based on a sample of seventeen well-known, experienced and well-respected among peers, Greek project managers. The study provides a framework that describes common social characteristics of successful project managers and reveals hidden mechanisms that may act as a means of developing practitioners' outcomes.
The findings reveal that the framework of the social characteristics of successful project managers is shaped around the following attributes:
• ancestors and family that exhibit intense philomathy often expressed through university degrees,
• family with strong moral principles, love for life-long learning and strong sense of caring and love,
• mindset of staying productive even in adverse environments,
• quality education at all levels,
• productive exploitation of non-working time (reading, arts, hobbies),
• extended network,
• open-minded mentality (use of mentors, cooperation with others to overcome personal inadequacies, effort to upskill subordinates),
• structured and disciplined,
• exercising coaching.
This research contributes a practice framework that will assist scholars of the field to see the larger picture behind the performance of successful practitioners. On a more practical manner it may act as means for developing practitioners' outcomes or guiding training and recruiting.
Kudos to the photographer Rhiannon Silverlock