A journey towards becoming a systemic practitioner: becoming a project manager and an educationalist
AuthorsCammack, Ian Joseph
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AbstractThis thesis is a systemic examination of my practice as an educator specialising in the development of early career project managers. This inquiry is conducted through an internal inquiry into my living theory and an externally focussed inquiry into the journey that the early career project managers take to becoming a project manager. Four broad foci of my living theory are identified, ‘Soft Systems Methodology’, ‘Action Learning’, ‘Reflective Practice’ and ‘Systemic Practice’. These are discussed in order to consciously consider the foundations of my practice and to identify areas where the practice has been eroded through familiarity and developed through innovation. The external inquiry draws on three sources of qualitative data. The first two sources of data explore the experiences of students enrolled on the MSc in Project Management at Lancaster University during an action learning project. These two sources are an analysis of ‘word clouds’ and ‘critical incidents‘ presented in the dissertations that reflect on these projects. The third source of data is a series of interviews held with alumni of the MSc in Project Management at Lancaster University. These two areas of inquiry combine to present a framework for project management practitioner education that comprises of three broad areas of development. These areas of development align to the ‘ways of knowing’, ‘ways of doing’ and ‘ways of being’. The ways of knowing zone is made up of the development of a systematic approach to project management. This zone is complemented by the ‘ways of doing’ that looks at the development of this systematic perspective through the development of a range of analytical and social skills. It is suggested that systemic eloquence may be gained by enhancing the ‘ways of knowing’ and ‘ways of doing’ with a systemic perspective that encompasses relational dispositions to the practice of project management. This relational disposition covers the ways in which project managers learn to understand the dynamics of the problem situations that they co-create with their stakeholders. Furthermore, it is noted that the development of project management practitioners should be facilitated through their experience in the practice of projects. This ‘hands on’ engagement combined with an approach to self-development founded on reflective practice helps to develop people capable of delivering projects rather than talking about the delivery of projects.
CitationCammack, I.J. (2013) 'A journey towards becoming a systemic practitioner: becoming a project manager and an educationalist'. PhD thesis. University of Bedfordshire.
PublisherUniversity of Bedfordshire
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted to the University of Bedfordshire, in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Professional Doctorate in Systemic Practice
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