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Responsible forms of project management education: Theoretical plurality and reflective pedagogies

Cicmil, Svetlana; Gaggiotti, Hugo


Hugo Gaggiotti
Professor in Human Resource Management


The paper aims to revive an interest in the notion of responsible project management education (RPME) in the context of related contemporary debates about the integration of reflexivity, ethics and sustainability in the business schools’ curricula; the purpose, values and effectiveness of university education; and practical relevance of business and management courses, to mention only a few. We offer an interpretation of what RPME at university level may mean concerning the practice of curriculum design and pedagogy of project management courses in light of a perceived nature of project management theory and the field as practised. We argue that responsible project management education should make the theorising of the process of projectification, relational complexity and practical wisdom (combining prudence, instrumental and value rationality) accessible and appealing to all involved and should pursue experiential reflective learning. To illustrate how it may work in practice, we reflect on our longstanding experience with designing and delivering a PM module for an MBA programme. Apart from the challenge with maintaining the requisite diversity of the teaching team and practitioners’ input into the course, we illuminate some benefits and challenges as perceived by the participating students. These are: discomfort caused by encountering a different ‘project management’; excitement in embracing the unexpected; light-bulb moments in redefining one's own understanding of PM practice and in finding a new way of understanding and dealing with a specific situation in the workplace.


Cicmil, S., & Gaggiotti, H. (2018). Responsible forms of project management education: Theoretical plurality and reflective pedagogies. International Journal of Project Management, 36(1), 208-218.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jul 3, 2017
Online Publication Date Aug 26, 2017
Publication Date Jan 1, 2018
Journal International Journal of Project Management
Print ISSN 0263-7863
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 1
Pages 208-218
Keywords responsible management education, innovative project management course design and pedagogy, applied theorising, interdisciplinary dialogue, reflection, MBA classroom
Public URL
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