Preparing project managers for the human aspects of project work: fostering sensemaking abilities

van der Hoorn, Bronte and Killen, Catherine P. (2021) Preparing project managers for the human aspects of project work: fostering sensemaking abilities. International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 14 (6). pp. 1314-1334. ISSN 1753-8378

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Abstract

Purpose
To prepare project managers for the human aspects of project work using a new classroom-based approach to foster abilities in collective sensemaking.

Design/methodology/approach
The authors developed an approach for fostering collective sensemaking abilities through three class sessions inspired by Merrill's First Principles of Instruction. The authors implemented the sessions in two cohorts of students, with a total of 57 participants, and evaluated its impact through a series of surveys.

Findings
Findings demonstrated how each component of the educational approach contributed to an increase in students' sensemaking understanding and ability. Through explanation, demonstration and application components, students reported increasing levels of confidence in their ability to facilitate collective sensemaking in practice.

Research limitations/implications
The authors’ findings are based on a sample of 57 students in one university setting. Further studies are required to evaluate the educational approach; such studies could use larger numbers of students or other education settings. Triangulating students' reported understanding and abilities would increase confidence in the effectiveness of this approach.

Practical implications
By explaining the authors’ approach to sensemaking education and providing initial evidence of its success, they provide educators with an example of how to foster collective sensemaking through classroom-based project management education. The approach has potential for teaching other interpersonal skills.

Originality/value
This research provides a novel classroom-based approach to foster sensemaking awareness and skills, and for dispersing contemporary project management thinking and tools to practitioners.


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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Business (18 Jan 2021 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Business (18 Jan 2021 -)
Date Deposited: 06 May 2021 06:33
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2021 02:02
Uncontrolled Keywords: project management education, project training, project practice, project-space model
Fields of Research (2008): 15 Commerce, Management, Tourism and Services > 1503 Business and Management > 150399 Business and Management not elsewhere classified
Fields of Research (2020): 35 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 3599 Other commerce, management, tourism and services > 359999 Other commerce, management, tourism and services not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objectives (2008): E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970113 Expanding Knowledge in Education
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 16 EDUCATION AND TRAINING > 1699 Other education and training > 169999 Other education and training not elsewhere classified
Identification Number or DOI: https://doi.org/10.1108/IJMPB-06-2020-0195
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/41933

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