Collaborative academic/practitioner research in project management: Theory and models

Derek H.T. Walker, Svetlana Cicmil, Janice Thomas, Frank Anbari, Christophe Bredillet

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

35 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to provide of a review of the theory and models underlying project management (PM) research degrees that encourage reflective learning. Design/methodology/approach – Review of the literature and reflection on the practice of being actively involved in conducting and supervising academic research and disseminating academic output. The paper argues the case for the potential usefulness of reflective academic research to PM practitioners. It also highlights theoretical drivers of and barriers to reflective academic research by PM practitioners. Findings – A reflective learning approach to research can drive practical results though it requires a great deal of commitment and support by both academic and industry partners. Practical implications – This paper suggests how PM practitioners can engage in academic research that has practical outcomes and how to be more effective at disseminating these research outcomes. Originality/value – Advanced academic degrees, in particular those completed by PM practitioners, can validate a valuable source of innovative ideas and approaches that should be more quickly absorbed into the PM profession’s sources of knowledge. The value of this paper is to critically review and facilitate a reduced adaptation time for implementation of useful reflective academic research to industry.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)17-32
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan. 2008


  • Knowledge transfer
  • Learning styles
  • Project management


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