Developing the 'heads and feet' of the next generation of Project Managers

Chivonne Algeo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearch


This paper will propose a framework for the development of the next generation of project managers based on research conducted with senior project managers in Australia. These experienced project managers, from public and private organizations, suggest they acquired related knowledge through non-project management qualifications, developing their ‘head’. More importantly, according to the project managers, was acquiring knowledge from practical on-the-job experiences. In most cases, the development of the project managers’ capability was more likely to come from trusted ad hoc mentors. A combination of reasoned and experiential knowledge acquisition was informally integrated into the workplace by the experienced project managers. This integration resulted in the creation of project management capability, which was at times accidental. More deliberate ways of acquiring and converting project management knowledge included storytelling, reflection, and the establishment of informal communities of practice. These settings facilitated the conversion of tacit knowledge to explicit knowledge, and were found to be most successful when employers supported the development of project managers and their teams.This research also shows that the views of experienced project managers can be problematic for professional associations. Research pointed to a gap where these project managers were not inclined to join a professional association to acquire project management knowledge as they did not see value in participating in forums targeting less experienced practitioners. The gap between these two groups of project managers may be reduced through thoughtful,integrated, and relevant programs to engage and develop the next generation, from their‘heads’ to their ‘feet’.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Australian Institute of Project Management
Subtitle of host publication2015 National Conference
EditorsLeh Simonelli
Place of PublicationSydney NSW Australia
PublisherAustralian Institute of Project Management
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780646937014
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
EventAustralian Institute of Project Management National Conference 2015 - Hobart, Australia
Duration: 11 Oct 201514 Oct 2015


ConferenceAustralian Institute of Project Management National Conference 2015
Internet address

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