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Article
Publication date: 28 October 2019

Eduardo Vicente Rengel Jara, Jackson Wayne Babb and Timothy Marshall Flohr

Project management is an essential skill in the hospitality organization that is only becoming more important (Tereso et al., 2019). Bridging the gap between academia and…

Abstract

Purpose

Project management is an essential skill in the hospitality organization that is only becoming more important (Tereso et al., 2019). Bridging the gap between academia and industry is achievable by experiential learning or providing students with curriculum that gives them hands-on access to real-world industry research projects that attempt to solve real-world industry issues (Steed and Schwer, 2003). The purpose of this paper is to understand the scope of project management curriculum in universities’ hospitality programs, to understand the scope of project management skill requirements in hospitality firms and to narrow the disconnect between project management in academia and in hospitality firms.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used a mixed method approach. On the side of academia, a quantitative collection method was used to gage which universities offered a project management course, how many universities offer these courses and how many project management courses each university had. On the side of industry, a survey was administered to industry professionals in senior management positions. It was a quantitative survey designed to gage the importance of having project management as part of university curriculum. The aim was to show what was expected to be a disconnect between the two sides – academia and industry. A total of 57 responses were collected. Out of them 49 were usable. The Human Subjects consisted solely of two populations: individuals who worked in the hospitality industry. This accounted for 12 of the responses; individuals who worked in academia – more specifically in higher education at schools that offer Hospitality Management curriculum. This accounted for 37 of the responses. The subjects were identified and recruited through the professional networking site LinkedIn (for subjects that were industry professionals) and through both LinkedIn and American Hotel Lodging and Educational Institute databases for the subjects in academia. There were no direct potential benefits to the subject. The potential societal benefits of the study were the advancement of knowledge within the disciplines of both Hospitality Management and Project Management. The authors used the University of Memphis’ Qualtrics system and changed settings to anonymize responses so IP addresses would not be collected. The Qualtrics’ default is to collect IP addresses and GPS coordinates of those who responded. By setting the survey to anonymized responses the investigators were not able to collect this identifiable information. This information was included in the confidentiality, methods/procedures and in any other necessary sections/documents noting that the investigators would set Qualtrics to anonymize responses.

Findings

H1 was supported. The findings showed that most colleges and universities did not require project management classes for degree completion. Preliminary research showed that of 68 of the top hospitality programs in the world that were researched, only 7.5 percent required taking project management centric courses in order to graduate (College Choice, 2019; The Best Schools, 2019; Top Universities, 2018). In total, 43.2 percent of respondents answered “yes” when asked if their school offers courses in project management based on this definition of project management: “A project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore the defined scope and resources. And a project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. A project team often includes people who do not usually work together – sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies. Project management, then, is the application of knowledge, skills, tools, and techniques to project activities to meet the project requirement” (Project Management Institute) (See Table A1). Of 43.2 percent that answered yes, 64.3 percent said that the courses were required for graduation (See Table AII). Meaning, only 27.8 percent of schools surveyed offered and required completing project management courses for graduation. It should be noted that this number may be lower as bias may have played a factor. It is evident that hospitality programs understand the importance of project management because 85.7 percent of the colleges and universities surveyed are teaching project management concepts in courses that are not project management centric, like Meeting and Event Planning (See Table AIII). H2 was supported. Only 9.1 percent of respondents believed that project management skills are not at all important to line level employees. Most, 54.6 percent, believed that project management skills are important to some extent for line level employees. In total, 9.1 percent believed that project management skills are not at all important for supervisory level employees; 27.3 percent believed they are needed to some extent and 36.4 percent believed they are needed to a moderate extent. As for management level employees, it was found that 63.6 percent believed project management skills were needed to a great extent. For director level employees, 63.6 percent believed project management skills are necessary. Finally, 72.7 percent of respondents believed project management skills are necessary for both VP level employees and executive leadership (See Table AIV). It should be noted that one person did not believe themselves qualified to answer questions regarding project management within their organization. More than half of respondents said that project management skills are used to a great extent within their organization. H3 was not supported. Both hospitality schools and hospitality companies agreed that project management skills have some level of importance in academia and in industry – most believed the skills were very important at both junctions (See Tables AV and AVI). However, in the preliminary research the authors found that 55 percent of the top 111 hospitality companies had project management positions, meaning that there was a potential need for project management courses in colleges and universities (Ranker, 2019). As stated earlier, only 7.5 percent of the top 68 colleges and universities required project management courses to be completed upon graduation. So, the discrepancy lies within the vastly different percentages between project management positions within companies and project management courses within schools.

Research limitations/implications

The data provided strong evidence that supported the idea that project management is not required in hospitality programs upon completion. This opens new avenues to research the reasons behind schools not offering project management courses or making it a requirement for degree completion. On the other hand, project management skills are considered to be needed by hospitality managers. This provides valuable information for future studies that look to close the gap between academia and industry. The results indicated that project management is important for hospitality companies and schools, but the lack of project management education in colleges and universities is evident. The results of this study provided good news to students that aim to work in hospitality companies, since they can improve their project management skills and encourage their programs to stay updated with the industry needs so that they can succeed in their professional lives. Though this was an exploratory study of the project management discipline within the hospitality industry – with a limited sample size – the data clearly justified that there is room for additional data collection and research in this area of study.

Practical implications

The results show that there is a disconnect between project management curriculum in schools and project management skill demand in the hospitality industry. The research should encourage schools to invest appropriate resources into required project management curriculum. The hospitality industry is vast in the types of businesses that fall under it. Project management is one skill set that can be useful across most of the different businesses in the hospitality industry. From a practical standpoint, providing students with a solid background in the project management discipline provides them an advantage in the highly competitive hospitality industry. It accomplishes this by providing the students with in-demand knowledge and competencies that are both universally accepted and highly regarded by hospitality management companies as a skill set that is widely used in the industry.

Social implications

There were limitations to this study. Some pieces may be improved in future research. The Qualtrics survey could have been reduced in number and order of questions for a better interaction and results. The use of the Qualtrics database might be helpful to reach a bigger population. Potential steps could be taken to reduce bias that may play a factor in the responses. For example, some respondents may have claimed that their schools offer project management curriculum when in fact they do not, or they do not know to what extent.

Originality/value

Project management is an essential skill in the hospitality organization that is only becoming more important (Tereso et al., 2019). Bridging the gap between academia and industry is achievable through experiential learning or providing students with curriculum that gives them hands-on access to real-world industry research projects that attempt to solve real-world industry issues (Steed and Schwer, 2003). Most graduate level curriculum at universities was found to hone skills like written and oral communications, problem solving and decision making, organization, time management and cost control (Steed and Schwer, 2003). It has been suggested that universities add project management curriculum and experiential learning to their programs for a more streamlined transition from academia to industry (Steed and Schwer, 2003). Existing research on this subject is a bit dated, so the objectives were: to understand the scope of project management curriculum in universities’ hospitality programs; to understand the scope of project management skill requirements in hospitality firms; to narrow the disconnect between project management in academia and in hospitality firms.

Details

International Hospitality Review, vol. 33 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2516-8142

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Article
Publication date: 12 September 2008

Elmar Kutsch

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the main findings of a successfully defended doctoral thesis that studied factors or interventions causing the discrepancy…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the main findings of a successfully defended doctoral thesis that studied factors or interventions causing the discrepancy between how adequate project risks should be managed and how project risks are actually managed.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach involved interviews and a survey using questionnaires gathered data from project managers about their experiences with project risk management during two phases of fieldwork. The first phase included in‐depth interviews with information technology (IT) project managers in order to explore patterns involving risk mediators and their influence on project risk management. A web‐based survey was used in the second phase for the purpose of testing these patterns on a wider range of project managers.

Findings

Specific risk‐related interventions strongly influence the effective use of project risk management: project managers tended to deny, avoid, ignore risks and to delay the management of risk. Risks were perceived as discomforting, not agreed upon. IT project managers were unaware of risks and considered them to be outside their scope of influence and preferred to let risks resolve themselves rather than proactively engaging with them. As a consequence, factors such as the lack of awareness of risks by IT project managers appeared to constrain the application of project risk management with the result that risk had an adverse influence on the outcome of IT projects.

Practical implications

The underlying rational assumptions of project risk management and the usefulness of best practice project risk management standards as a whole need to be questioned because of the occurrence of interventions such as the lack of information. IT project managers should first prevent risk‐related interventions from influencing the use of project risk management. However, if this is not possible, they should be prepared to adapt to risks influencing the project outcome.

Originality/value

The paper contradicts the myth of a “self‐evidently” correct project risk management approach. It defines interventions that constrain project manager's ability to manage project risk.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 1 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 28 September 2010

Kirsten M. Rosacker and Robert E. Rosacker

The project management literature contains a growing body of research addressing information technology (IT). Currently, the majority of these studies direct attention…

Abstract

Purpose

The project management literature contains a growing body of research addressing information technology (IT). Currently, the majority of these studies direct attention towards projects completed within private sector organizations. Given the unique characteristics surrounding public sector organizations, this paper aims to argue that it is inappropriate to apply the lessons learned from private sector organizations in the public arena without investigating their applicability empirically.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of the historical evolution of IT usage within public sector organizations is offered. The broad body of project management knowledge is discussed, and the unique characteristics of public sector organizations are detailed. These three concepts combine to provide a conceptual framework for reviewing empirical research published in Transforming Government: People, Process and Policy.

Findings

It is concluded that the additional empirical research is needed to further our understanding of the applicability of project management principles, developed and applied in private sector organizations, to the unique organizational format presented by public sector operations.

Originality/value

As the use of, and dependence on, IT within all organizations continues to expand throughout the world, it becomes critically important for managers to understand “best business practices” so that these successful managerial techniques can be applied appropriately to enhance and refine operational practices. Importantly, problems associated with the successful management of information technology projects have been and continue to be significant concerns, thus highlighting the need for better knowledge development and transfer that can be provided by well designed and completed research.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

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Article
Publication date: 15 March 2021

Fred Niederman

The purpose of this essay is to illustrate how project management “pull” and AI or analytics technology “push” are likely to result in incremental and disruptive evolution…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this essay is to illustrate how project management “pull” and AI or analytics technology “push” are likely to result in incremental and disruptive evolution of project management capabilities and practices.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is written as a critical essay reflecting the experience and reflections of the author with many ideas drawn from and extending selected items from project management, artificial intelligence (AI) and analytics literatures.

Findings

Neither AI nor sophisticated analytics is likely to elicit hands on attention from project managers, other than those producing AI or analytics-based artifacts or using these tools to create their products and services. However, through the conduit of packaged software support for project management, new tools and approaches can be expected to more effectively support current activities, to streamline or eliminate activities that can be automated, to extend current capabilities with the availability of increased data, computing capacity and mathematically based algorithms and to suggest ways to reconceive how projects are done and whether they are needed.

Research limitations/implications

This essay includes projections of possible, some likely and some unlikely, events and states that have not yet occurred. Although the hope and purpose are to alert readers to the possibilities of what may occur as logical extensions of current states, it is improbable that all such projections will come to pass at all or in the way described. Nonetheless, consideration of the future ranging from current trends, the interplay among intersecting trends and scenarios of future states can sharpen awareness of the effects of current choices regarding actions, decisions and plans improving the probability that the authors can move toward desired rather than undesired future states.

Practical implications

Project managers not involved personally with creating AI or analytics products can avoid mastering detailed skill sets in AI and analytics, but should scan for new software features and affordances that they can use enable new levels of productivity, net benefit creation and ability to sleep well at night.

Originality/value

This essay brings together AI, analytics and project management to imagine and anticipate possible directions for the evolution of the project management domain.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2018

Joy M. Perrin

The purpose of this conceptual chapter is to highlight the disadvantages of project management to help the reader put project management work in context.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this conceptual chapter is to highlight the disadvantages of project management to help the reader put project management work in context.

Methodology/approach

Different project management methodologies such as waterfall project management, Agile project management, Six Sigma, and Kanban are discussed in terms of overall problems and then specific problems with each methodology. Managing multiple projects and the problems with program and portfolio management are discussed.

Findings

The findings are that most formalized project management methods are ill-suited to most library-related situations. However, some aspects of project management are well suited to any project, at any size, and those are discussed.

Originality/value

The value of this paper is that readers will get a strong understanding of project management methodologies in context and a clear idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each.

Details

Project Management in the Library Workplace
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-837-4

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Book part
Publication date: 10 October 2017

Hans Mikkelsen and Jens O. Riis

This chapter takes a look at the future of project management. It starts with a historic view of the development of project management in the last five decades including…

Abstract

This chapter takes a look at the future of project management. It starts with a historic view of the development of project management in the last five decades including the present. It shows that the role of the project manager has changed from an engineer manager to a business developer and a leader capable of dealing with multi-perspectives.

Projects are positioned in the context of changing organizational forms, including silo and network organizations. This leads to the conclusion that projects will play a key role in the future, especially in change management, business modeling, and value creation.

A section will discuss increased emphasis on learning and knowledge sharing, suggesting focus on the reflective and experimenting project manager, and planning as a social process.

A section will look at project management as a profession and point to the risk that the profession may become too narrow focusing on a well-defined body of knowledge. Current trends suggest that a broader view of projects be adopted including its strategic role and interplay with stakeholders, as has been discussed at length in this book.

We conclude the chapter by proposing a shift of paradigm.

Details

Project Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-830-7

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Book part
Publication date: 10 October 2017

Hans Mikkelsen and Jens O. Riis

The wide spread application of projects to many areas of society has led us to identify five generic elements that every project will have to address. They are: project

Abstract

The wide spread application of projects to many areas of society has led us to identify five generic elements that every project will have to address. They are: project management, project task, stakeholders, resources, and project environment. Each element will be further divided into five sub-elements. This five-by-five model will be used to identify the nature of a specific project and to develop appropriate approaches and means. It will also allow a circular planning process that gradually will lead to coherence among the five elements.

To illustrate the broad spectrum of projects that we see in practice, we have identified five types that will be characterized by the five-by-five model.

In view of the complex nature of most projects, the chapter will introduce four complementary perspectives: a technical, a business, an organizational, and a stakeholder perspective. Each perspective will describe key features of a project and is supported by theories, models, and methods. Although the perspectives are complementary, they are strongly interdependent.

The chapter will give an overview of the book.

Details

Project Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-830-7

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2004

Andrew Longman and James Mullins

There are several conditions essential for project success that apply to all projects, whether related to top‐level strategic business issues or operational ones…

Abstract

There are several conditions essential for project success that apply to all projects, whether related to top‐level strategic business issues or operational ones: executives must make a compelling business case for project management; make it practical, relevant, and beneficial from day one; make systems and procedures project management‐friendly; make project management a win for team members and managers; make project management an ongoing learning experience, and; make success public. Project management requires deliberate planning and action to create the conditions for success and put in place the strategy, leadership, goals, process, skills, systems, issue resolution, and structure to direct and exploit the dynamic nature of project work. If work today is done through projects, as is surely the case, then working smarter on projects will enable an organization to meet, head‐on, whatever strategic and operational challenges may come its way.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Book part
Publication date: 1 June 2018

Samantha Schmehl Hines

Project management has become the hip new trend in librarianship, appearing more and more in job listings, position descriptions, and professional development offerings…

Abstract

Purpose

Project management has become the hip new trend in librarianship, appearing more and more in job listings, position descriptions, and professional development offerings. How did project management become the latest buzzword, and what does it have to offer our profession?

Methodology/approach

The answers to these can be explored through a look at the evolution of project management from the concept of Scientific Management to the certifiable skill set it is today, and how that evolution connects with librarianship’s own changes over time. This examination is done through a literature and historical analysis.

Findings

A deeper look at the basic concepts behind project management in light of this historical and practical connection with librarianship demonstrates how project management not only can be a useful skill for library workers to embrace today, but will also illuminate how our service-oriented structure may not mesh well with a concept rooted in business and computing. However, libraries that take a systems approach to implementing project management may see that they are better able to find success.

Originality/value

This study is largely theoretical and based on literature and historical analysis rather than practical implementation and testing. However, it does offer us a different way of looking at a trendy concept, one which helps ground the concept in theory and practice in a way that is seldom done. It also provides examples of tools to help libraries implement project management with a systems approach, which has not been addressed much in library literature.

Details

Project Management in the Library Workplace
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-837-4

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2020

Stephen Keith McGrath and Stephen Jonathan Whitty

To determine if there is confusion in governance terminology amongst experienced management and project management practitioners.

Abstract

Purpose

To determine if there is confusion in governance terminology amongst experienced management and project management practitioners.

Design/methodology/approach

Practitioner interviews and subsequent analysis.

Findings

Significant differences in governance terminology were found. The participants had nevertheless arrived at similar operating arrangements for their committees, even though they came from different segments of different industries and did not agree on the definition of governance. It was possible to develop a list of working parameters for operation of these committees from their responses. The labelling of committees associated with governance as steering or decision-making was found to be problematic and various causes/motivations for the differing definitions of governance having arisen were detected. These ranged from altruism, through dogmatic belief in particular frameworks, to enhancing career prospects/ego.

Research limitations/implications

The sample came from organisations and industries in one state in one country. The need for review of governance terminology used in various project management practitioner reference documents and methodologies was identified.

Practical implications

Projects and business alike can potentially achieve improvements in efficiency and effectiveness through consistency of terminology and the clarity this brings to governance arrangements and committee operations.

Social implications

Creation of a unifying feature within the project and management literature, shifting the understanding of governance and its boundaries and limitations. This will help progress governance from complexity to simplicity, from an art to an understandable practice, from a concept that has been hijacked for partisan and political gain to a lean social tool which can be put to use for the benefit of organisations, whether public, charitable or private.

Originality/value

The value is clarity – resulting in the avoidance of confusion and misunderstanding together with their consequent waste of time, resources and money.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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