Who Supports Project Careers?

Leveraging the Compensatory Roles of Line Managers

This exploratory research examines who supports what aspects of career development on projects. Our main finding is that, although project professionals receive support from formal and informal sources, a compensatory mechanism is at play. When support does not come from direct line managers, project professionals are compelled to initiate informal practices, including mentoring, buddy systems, and communities of practice. Practical implications arise for organizations regarding how to ensure sufficient mechanisms are in place to compensate for lack of line management career support and to allow project professionals to access the development opportunities they need by supporting their self-initiated efforts.
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