Volume IX - Issue VII - July 2007

PM Research News


Invitation to Participate in Global "Project Managers
as Senior Executives" Research Project

Participants are needed for a major project management research project now underway to compare the roles and responsibilities of top level executives of large organizations with those of managers of large, complex programs and projects. The research project, co-sponsored and financed by the Project Management Institute (PMI®) and ESC-Lille University, is under the direction of Professor Jean-Pierre Debourse (pictured) at the International Centre for Analysis and Project Management (CIMAP) at ESC Lille in France, with researchers and subjects worldwide.

Background – The Questions

Little research has been conducted to compare the roles and responsibilities of these two groups of managers and to answer the following questions:

“Does experience as a successful program and project manager prepare the person for top level executive positions?”

“What experience exists that demonstrates that program and project managers progress to higher level executive positions?”

“What are the typical career paths followed by top level executives in reaching their senior positions?”

“Do program managers typically hold broader strategic decision-making responsibilities than project managers, and if so does this improve their chances for moving into higher level executive positions compared to project managers?”

“How can a program or project manager better design their career development path to improve their chances of moving into top management positions?”

“Are the leadership, communication, and interpersonal skills needed by top managers similar to those needed by successful program and project managers?”

“What, if any, ‘best practices’ can be identified in developing and promoting program and project managers to corporate leaders?”

“Are there different answers to these questions for different industries and categories of programs and projects, and for project-driven versus project dependent organizations?”

“What lessons are available from current research in human resources management as related to the career development of top executives that can be applied to the career development of project managers who wish to move up to senior more manager positions?”

The Research Project

The Research Project will provide empirical evidence regarding the similarities and produce documented answers to the above and related questions. The primary sources of this evidence will be personal interviews with CEOs and other senior executives and with program and project managers in a number of industrial and governmental sectors, in a number of countries around the world.

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