Professional Regulatory Entanglement: the Curious Case of Project Management in Italy

Luca Sabini, Steve Paton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Growth in the internationalization of economic activity has favoured an increase in institutional control at a supranational level. A typical example of such institutions that wield this control is corporate professions such as Project Management (PM). Attempting to replicate the successful strategies of the collegial professions but embracing advantages presented by global markets, corporate professions is confronted by the dilemma of how to reconcile the demands of stakeholders at both national and global levels. This research investigates an international corporate profession, PM, and its development within Italy using a historical case study. Results shows an increase in the number of regulations faced by international corporate professions as they attempt to satisfy a number of different institutions (and their competing agendas) while attempting to colonize a national context. This we define as ‘professional regulatory entanglement’. It concludes that what was once a simple bargain involving two actors, the state and the profession, with a long established, commonly agreed and mutually beneficial agenda is now a much more complex system involving multiple actors and a number of competing agendas and this results in the homogenization of professional practice across the globe.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberjoab001
Pages (from-to)51-69
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Professions and Organization (JPO)
Issue number1
Early online date20 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2021


  • Corporate profession
  • professional regulatory entanglement
  • Project management
  • supranational institutions
  • Professionalization
  • Supranational institutions
  • Professional regulatory entanglement


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