A Royal Charter Is Not Enough – How PM Professional Associations Can Continually Show the Value of Professionalisation to the Markets

Kun Wang, Ian Stewart


The Association for Project Management (APM) is engaged in the process of raising the status and performance of Project Management (PM) in the UK. They have obtained a royal charter, regarded as the “locus of professionalisation”, but can the APM really assist PM to achieve “a world where all projects succeed”, when there is no provable link between professionalisation and performance of practitioners? This current claim alone (along with chartership) will not improve the profession’s market reputation, which also raises concerns regarding the APM tactics for growth by engaging practitioners and corporate partners. This article uses actor-network theory to re-frame a historical case of the major UK Cost Accounting Association (ICWA), identifying the tactics this association used to effectively represent the value of the occupation/profession and influence their markets. Parallels and recommendations are generated for the APM, research directions are proposed for PM professionalisation and associations’ tactics for building market value.


PM professionalisation; professional associations; historical case; cost accounting; actor-network theory

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13128/cambio-23233

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