Fundamentals of Codifying National Competency Standard for Project Managers in Iran: Necessity of a Paradigm Change in Strategies

Document Type : Research Article


1 Faculty member of Tehran Science and Research Unit; Faculty of Civil Engineering, Architecture and Art; Construction and Water Management Department; Tehran; Iran.

2 Faculty member of Tehran University; Faculty of Architecture; Project and Construction Management Department; Tehran; Iran.

3 Faculty member of Tarbiat Modares University; Faculty of Architecture and Art; Project Management and Construction Department; Tehran; Iran.


This research effort aims at investigating theoretical foundations of developing a competence baseline for project managers in Iran using the Grounded Theory approach. Based on a series of interviews, the competencies affecting the success of project were identified. Throughout these interviews, 551 codes were identified and open, axial, and selective coding was practiced to analyze the coded data, ending up codifying the causal conditions, contextual factors, strategies, and consequences. Considering the causal conditions, impacts of micro environmental factors and special conditions of the country on the project management were crystal clear. These causal conditions were observed to lead to a highly fluctuating environment, non-standard projects, poorly predictable behaviors, and regulations with person- or case-specific interpretations. In such a context where behavioral competences are affected by environmental conditions, one may refer, as a fundamental approach and a major part of the paradigm change to the second-order project management, to the greater importance of behavioral and environmental competencies rather than technical issues. At the same time, one may refer to the paradigm change from technical competencies to agility-based competencies that have roots in the PM-2 as an approach that worth considering. Consequences of these strategies include the necessity of ruling out the conventional structures of linear programming and rather paying attention to key competencies of project managers such as holism, persistent troubleshooting, instantaneous management, creativity and problem-solving capability, high mental preparedness, flexibility, commitment, and result-orientation, which are outcomes of the paradigm change to the PM-2.


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