The perceived importance of technical competence to project managers in the defense acquisition community

  • Grant K
  • Baumgardner C
  • Shane G
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Abstract

Numerous studies have identified attributes which are associated with effective project managers. One of the more frequently cited attributes is technical competence. This study surveyed 228 project managers from the government sector of the defense aerospace community to determine the importance of technical competence to project managers. More importantly, this study examined the influence of several personal and situational factors on the perceived importance of technical competence. The factors included: the experience level of the project manager, the amount of technical education completed by the project manager, the level of technology employed in the project, the phase of the project, and the caliber of the project team. This study determined the perceived importance of technical competence did not vary by level of experience, though project managers who possessed more technical education perceived technical competence to be more important. With regard to the situational factors, the level of technology did not influence the perceived importance of technical competence. However, technical competence was perceived to be more important during earlier phases of the acquisition process. Further, technical competence was perceived to be more important for managers of extremely good teams and mediocre teams than it was to managers of reasonably good teams

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Authors

  • Kevin P. Grant

  • Charles R. Baumgardner

  • Guy S. Shane

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