Title: Should project management aspire to be an archetypal profession: evidence from Australian-based research

Authors: Julien Pollack; Chivonne Algeo

Addresses: University of Technology, P.O. Box 123 Broadway, NSW, 2007, Sydney, Australia ' University of Technology, P.O. Box 123 Broadway, NSW, 2007, Sydney, Australia

Abstract: Many occupations aspire to recognition as a profession. The question of whether or not project management is a profession has arisen multiple times within the literature, but answers vary. It is possible to identify common traits that typify occupations that are consistently agreed to have professional status. Project management is reviewed against these professional traits. This study also reports on the findings of two surveys, which provide insight into project managers' perceptions of their own field. Survey responses are compared to their perceptions of change management, an arguably comparable field. Then, project managers' views are compared to the general public's perception of project management. It is found that a number of the archetypal traits of professions may not be relevant or desirable for project management. However, some approaches for developing the image of the field of project management to professional status are identified and discussed.

Keywords: project management; professions; ethics; licensure; specialisation; occupation; professional status; Australia; public perception; image.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPOM.2015.073140

International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 2015 Vol.7 No.4, pp.352 - 368

Received: 30 May 2012
Accepted: 07 Feb 2013

Published online: 25 Nov 2015 *

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