Factors That Stimulate Project Managers to Consider Sustainability; Exploring the Stimulus Patterns of Canadian Project Managers

  •  Candy Poon    
  •  Gilbert Silvius    


As sustainability is being integrated into corporate strategies, the discussions on sustainability have moved from whether it should be addressed in strategy, to how it should be integrated into business practices. And as projects are a vehicle for the implementation of organizational strategies, it is suggested that consideration of sustainability should be integrated into the processes and practices of project management. A pivotal role in this integration is foreseen for the project manager. The project manager has a central position in the project, which provides the opportunity to influence many aspects of the project. However, an opportunity to act is be enough, as many factors or circumstances influence the actual behavior of the project manager with regards to sustainability.

In a European study into the factors that stimulate project managers to address sustainability, three distinct stimulus patterns were revealed. As national or societal culture is known to influence sustainability behavior, the study reported in this paper focuses on exploring the factors that stimulate Canadian project managers to consider sustainability in their projects.

Similar to the European study, this study revealed three distinct stimulus patterns, that were characterized as ‘Intrinsically motivated’, ‘Pragmatic’ and ‘Normative driven’. The findings of the study confirm the patterns of the earlier study to a large extent. Two of the three patterns of the studies showed similar characteristics. The third pattern of the studies showed partial similarity and partial difference, with the European project managers tending more towards the opportunities for implementation of sustainability, and the Canadian project managers putting more value on the alignment of personal and organizational values.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4725
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4733
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: semiannual

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