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A Project Academy – Something Worthwhile?

COMMENTARY

Rolf A. Lundin and Anders Söderholm

Sweden


The Swedish Project Academy was started in 1994 – almost 20 years ago – as a cooperation between people connected to projects in business or in the public sector and people from academia. The initiative came from industry, but the step was quite natural since the connections between academics and the practical world had grown strong also prior to the formal step.

The task for the Academy is to contribute to develop the method of project work in business and in the public sector. The Academy has some similarity to the Swedish Academy in the sense that membership is limited. In this case there are 33 members, one third of which are consultants in the project area, one third consists of project managers and one third academics taking a special interest in projects and temporary organizations.

As to activities, the Academy is very active in various fields:

1)    The Project Manager of the year award is given by the Academy

2)    It provides a list of suitable thesis areas/titles for the bachelor and master level at universities

3)    It selects the best thesis in the project area and provides a reward for the author(s)

4)    It organizes workshops internally for the members of the Academy

5)    It arranges seminars where people in practice are updated on the latest news in research

6)    It regularly holds meetings together with industrial enterprises or public organizations

In order to make a well grounded choice the Academy does a very elaborate job in order to find good candidates, comparing them and making the choice after collecting an impressive amount of information. Leadership qualities and project results are evaluated along with assessment of project complexity and degree of innovation in leadership and project execution.

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About the Authors

Rolf Lundin, PhD

Jönköping International Business School

Jönköping, Sweden

Rolf A. Lundin (b.1942) is a Professor of Business Administration at Jönköping International Business School in Sweden where he was previously the dean. He is currently interim director of Media Management and Transformation Center. He got his PhD at the University of Chicago in 1973 specializing in Management Science. Research-wise he now is interested in temporary organizations and projects, in particular in media.  Prof Lundin can be contacted at [email protected].

Anders Söderholm, PhD

Mid Sweden University

Sundsvall, Sweden

Anders Söderholm (b. 1961) is a professor of management and currently serves as vice-chancellor and president at Mid Sweden University. His research interests are primarily project management and project organization from an organization theory perspective.  Prof Söderholm can be contacted at [email protected].