Dancing in the white spaces: Exploring gendered assumptions in successful project managers' discourse about their work

Janice Lynne Thomas, Pamela Buckle-Henning

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Articlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    By design, bodies of knowledge capture and influence best working practices. Gendered assumptions based on masculine cognitive styles are predominant in the Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) [PMI. Project Management Body of Knowledge. Project Management Institute 1996]. This study investigates the assumptions and cognitive styles embedded in successful project managers' discussions of their working practices. Both male and female project managers exhibit sophisticated skill in balancing masculine and feminine cognitive styles and attribute their success to "dancing in the white spaces" between the lines laid out by the PMBOK. This raises important questions about the role of the PMBOK in training and certifying project managers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)552-559
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
    Volume25
    Issue number6
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Oct. 2007

    Keywords

    • Cognitive styles
    • Discourse
    • Gender
    • Project management
    • Project manager skills

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