Integrating sustainability into Project Management practices: the perspective of professional institutions

Luca Sabini

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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This is paper is based on a work in progress research project, therefore results and conclusions are preliminary.Synopsis: ‘Sustainability’ in its broadest meaning has acquired a great importance in modern society, and consequently influences almost every aspect of social life. This paper analyses the transformation that the project management profession is undergoing towards the integration of sustainability into its core values and practices.Research design: This research uses qualitative data from a mix of semi-structured interviews and archival evidence – professional bodies of knowledge,codes of ethics, newsletters, websites, social media platforms, blogs, onlinedatabases, and international standards – with the intention of answering thefollowing research question: ‘what is the influence of professional associationswith regard to the institutionalizing of sustainability practices into projectmanagement (PM) tools and techniques?’Main findings: There are different players which influence, in different ways, thePM profession. Our analysis reveals that the nature of these actors is veryheterogeneous, and the influence of the professional world of PM on theinstitutionalization of sustainable project management is manifested in thedifferent actions carried on by the entities we highlighted above. Therefore, theshift towards SPM is the result of the combination of each actor’s individualstrategy (Muzio, Brock, & Suddaby, 2013).Research implications: The analysis of sustainable project management (SPM) isaimed at contributing to the PM academic literature, describing thetransformation of PM practices, and to the practitioner literature, engaging withPM professional associations on the way they introduce the set of new practices.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInternational Research Network on Organizing by Projects (IRNOP) 2017
PublisherUTS ePRESS
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jun 2018
EventIRNOP 2017: International Research Network on Organizing by Projects - Boston Universtiy, Boston, United States
Duration: 11 Jun 201714 Jun 2017


ConferenceIRNOP 2017
Abbreviated titleIRNOP 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address


  • Sustainability
  • professional associations
  • Project management


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