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Keywords:

  • South African higher education;
  • appropriate and fully-fledged project management training curricula;
  • engaged scholarship;
  • project managers as reflective practitioners

Abstract

In March 2004, the British Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) commissioned a study that focused on the “rethinking” of project management. The objective of the EPSRC study, commonly known as the EPSRC Network, was first to create a multidisciplinary network of academics, researchers, and practitioners interested in developing project management and the practice thereof in industry and, second, to define and identify a new interdisciplinary research agenda that would allow the field of project management to develop beyond the conceptual foundations that existed at the time—a conceptual base that attracted criticism for its lack of relevance to practice. The core philosophy behind the network was to link theory and practice through an organized process of interaction between academics and practitioners. Research was conducted to determine the extent to which South African universities have extended or adapted their project management curricula to accommodate the issues identified in the findings of the EPSRC study and other relevant research, as it is the norm for South African universities to review their curricula every 3 to 5 years. A way forward is mapped out to ensure that the training of project managers in South Africa sufficiently accommodates the balanced demand of the profession.