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Illuminating the role of the project owner

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Paper published at Asian Pacific Research Conference on Project Management (APRPM), Melbourne, Australia February 25.-26., 2010 (website)


The Norwegian Centre of Project Management has established a research and development project to gain a better understanding of the role of the project owner and contribute to more professional project owners in the future. The paper reports some early results.

The project has conducted two empirical studies: a questionnaire survey among project management professionals and a series of in-depth interviews with very experienced project owners and managers. The survey paints a picture of the present project owners as rather weak and not fulfilling the role as prescribed by theory. The interviews introduce a different view, showing a rather satisfactory performance by the project owners.

The paper proposes several propositions for further studies, focusing on investigating the effects of experiences, training, project work standards, and socialisation for creating better project owners. The paper further illuminates which areas of the role of the project owner are of importance in order to improve their performance.

Full paper

Download full paper here (pdf)