Project Management as Company’s Core Competence

Joana Geraldi, Richard Harvey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


In the last decade, project management has emerged as a company’s core competence, many traditional project companies, such as construction companies and engineering contractors, argue that their core competence is not a special technique or process, but rather their know-how in managing projects. The paper is intended to contribute to unlock and comprehend relevant aspects of project management competence in the Plant Engineering Sector. The paper is aimed at analysing the relationship between company structures, project portfolio and project management competence in this sector. It is argued that organisational design is a significant element for achieving success and thus competence in managing certain projects. These questions were empirically tested through a qualitative multi-case study. The empirical work consists of interviews and workshops carried out with 50 employees within the line and project organisations in 6 different companies in the Plant Engineering Sector. The hypotheses posed in the research were illustrated by an analogy between cells and projects. The study identified typical organisational behaviour in project management environment, such as the importance of the project demise, the difficulty of enhancing new types of project structures, the high costs of “wrong” structures (cancer), etc.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2006 Annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium Proceedings
Number of pages13
Publication date2006
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes
Event11th Annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium - Cambridge, United Kingdom
Duration: 27 Sept 200628 Sept 2006


Conference11th Annual Cambridge International Manufacturing Symposium
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Internet address


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