Project Management Capabilities & Competences for Successful Entrepreneurship in Nigeria


By Dr. Uzoma F. Amaeshi

Department of Project Management Technology
Federal University of Technology, Owerri

Owerri, Nigeria


This study investigates the relationships between project management competences and capabilities and successful entrepreneurship in Nigeria. We adopted descriptive survey design with a total of 53 respondents from a finite population of 19 successful entrepreneurs in Nigeria and collected qualitative data by using a modified form of the behavioural event research questionnaire. We conducted exploratory factor analyses to empirically determine the number of factors within each competence sub-construct, together with reliability and correlational analyses as well as hypothesis testing using a hierarchical ordinary least squares regression analysis. The results of hypothesis testing provided evidence that although the concept of entrepreneurial competences is widely used by government agencies and other business organizations in their drive for economic development and business success in Nigeria in practice, the core concept of competences, its measurement and relationship to performance and business success is in need of further rigorous research and development.

Key words: Project Management, entrepreneurship, competences and capabilities.

1.0 Introduction

Both entrepreneurship development and project management have been globally acknowledged as “instruments for achieving economic growth and development as well as employment creation” (Arowomole, 2000; Kolawole & Torimiro 2005; Rebecca & Benjamin, 2009).

However, one of the crucial issues that need to be addressed in the entrepreneurial business management domain is the alternative or synonymous use of entrepreneurship and project management. Past studies acknowledge that “authors have used both project management and entrepreneurship interchangeably and alternatively in the course of their research work whereas in actual sense they are not the same”. (Rebecca et al, 2009)

According to (Akande et al. 2008), “project management and entrepreneurship tend to achieve the same goal, however, both concepts differ considerably”. This may be confusing as findings in project management study might not be applicable to entrepreneurship. Therefore, distinguishing between project management and entrepreneurship is crucial

Various scholars from literature (Akande et al, 2008; Changanti et al, 1996; Cooper (2008); Covin et al, 2008; Honjo, 2004; Robb, 2002, Barkham, 1994; Begley et al, 1987; Kotey et al, 1997; Sadler-Smith et al., 2003; Batjargal, 2005) noted that “the difference between project management and entrepreneurship is debatable but have failed to establish the missing link between the two”. These researchers have attempted to investigate the various entrepreneurial characteristics affecting project performance, including the entrepreneur’s background and demographic characteristics such as education, age, gender and ethnicity psychological and behavioural characteristics and factors of social and human capital ignoring the relationship between project management and entrepreneurship.

Other researchers (Chandler et al, 1994; Chaston, 1997; Ensley et al, 2006; Lumpkin et al, 1996; Roper, 1998; Dyke et al, 1992; Haber et al, 2007; Lerner et al, 1997; Aldrich et al, 1986; Johannisson, 1993; Chea, P. 2009) however opine that “contingency factors of contextual, organizational and strategic natures are of particular importance in determining project performance” Therefore there is need to properly address these issues.

1.1. Purpose of the study

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationships that exist between project management competences and capabilities and successful entrepreneurship development in Nigeria and to test the hypotheses derived from the model of Man et al, (2002) that aim at establishing the missing link between project management and entrepreneurship development in Nigeria.

Our objective here is to situate the use of words (project management & entrepreneurship) in order to have the proper context and fully understand the missing link. So, if launching a business is a project, then where is project management in managing the launch?


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About the Author

Dr. Uzoma Francis Amaeshi

Federal University of Technology
Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria

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Dr. Uzoma Francis Amaeshi
is a senior lecturer in the department of Project Management Technology, Federal University of Technology, Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria. His doctoral work is in Management with areas of research interest that include: Human Resources Management; Organizational Development and Entrepreneurship development.

Dr. Amaeshi can be contacted at [email protected].