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The long way to professional recognition: project management in Italy

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)822-840
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2017


Purpose: The professionalization of project management (PM) profession has developed differently according to the different environments in which it has been introduced. The purpose of this paper is to examine an example of this professional project (Italy) with this research question: “what have been the professionalization strategies of PM professional associations within Italian field?” Design/methodology/approach: The authors develop a qualitative case study made up of semi-structured interviews and archival data. Findings: The analysis demonstrates how PM in Italy has embarked on a clear upward trajectory in terms of its occupational size, economic significance and institutional development. However, the development of PM in Italy considerably lags behind Anglo-Saxon countries. The authors also identify three main strategies through which this professionalization project is being accomplished (see Section 5). These are corporate engagement, expanding membership and institutional recognition. Research limitations/implications: The study reviews the professionalization of PM in Italy. This is not a comparative study, but rather highlights Italian PM professionalization. Moreover, the authors expect significant findings could be reached with a comparable research across different national contexts. Originality/value: This work constitutes the first detailed and comprehensive study in the field of PM within the Italian context.


This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of the following article: Luca Sabini, and Danie Muzio, ‘The long way to professional recognition: project management in Italy’, International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 10 (4):822-840, September 2017. The final, published version is available online at DOI:

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