DEVELOPING PROJECT COMPETENCE: EMPIRICAL REGULARITIES IN COMPETITIVE PROJECT OPERATIONS
Projects play key roles in many modern industries and firms. The management of these economic systems, project management, is continuously developed and considered to be at the core of competitive advantage. Traditional research on project management has, however, paid scant attention to the capabilities needed for firms that depend on projects in their business operations. Furthermore, traditional work on the capabilities and competence of the firm pays limited attention to the specific traits of project processes. In the present paper, project competence is considered to be one of three strategic competencies frequently observed in modern firms. We develop an overall model for the analysis of project competence. The proposed model identifies four building blocks of project competence, namely project generation, project organising, project leadership and teamwork. In an empirical study we elaborate on some empirical regularities in the operations of firms that to a large extent depend on projects. The companies studied are ABB, Ericsson, Skanska and Posten. We illustrate the possibilities of this model and show some variations between the companies. The article illustrates how the project competence framework might explain the differences among the competitiveness of firms.
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