Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hung, Wei-Chen

Degree Name

Ed.D. (Doctor of Education)

Legacy Department

Counseling, Adult and Higher Education


Management; Engineering; Information technology; Construction contracts--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area; Construction projects--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area; Quality control--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area; Engineering--Illinois--Chicago Metropolitan Area--Management


The engineering procurement and construction management (EPCM) industry in the Chicagoland area is unique in that its customer base is primarily made up of oil and manufacturing companies. This uniqueness extends to the project managers in the EPCM industry, in that, the majority of the project managers who enter the industry with the title project manager, or get promoted to project manager, really don't have a clear understanding of the processes or steps required to achieve project management expertise. As a result, little is known about the path of project managers and how they achieve the outcomes that characterize the project management achievement levels -- novice, intermediate, or expert -- that designate their professional achievement. The purpose of this study was to explore the project management domain -- or area of knowledge -- in the EPCM industry and the expertise that underlies and delineates a project manager's competencies (achievements) -- novice, intermediate, and expert -- for the purpose of understanding how these competencies (achievements) are accomplished in the project management domain. I used three studies in a qualitative method to investigate project managers' growth from novice to expert in the project management domain. Three project managers with varying project management experience, were asked to share their stories and experiences in the context of the EPCM industry. The results of this study were revealing, each of the three project managers used different and similar methods to negotiate the novice to expert path, while achieving varying measures of success in their project management careers.


Advisors: Wei-Chen Hung.||Committee members: Terry Borge; Jorge Jeria; Gene Roth.


193 pages




Northern Illinois University

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