Minding the gap: APM’s first research symposium

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Posted by James Driver on 20th Apr 2018

Tuesday 10th April witnessed the first ever APM Research Symposium.  The event a collaboration between the North West Branch, Liverpool Business School and APM research sought to bring together practitioners, academics and students to explore and discuss some of the research currently being undertaken and how best bridge the gap between theory and practice.

Christine Unterhitzenberger whose own Liverpool Business School kindly hosted the event commented “It was a very vibrant event and it was great to be able to facilitate the exchange between industry and academia. I had the chance to talk to some very inspiring people and I hope that through the APM we will have more opportunities to celebrate PM research in the future!”

The event featured a range of presentations from: 

  • APM’s Research Manager Daniel Nicholls provided a brief overview of opportunities for both practitioners and academics in APM’s research programme which included funding, participation and looking ahead to some of the new activities planned for 2018/19. 
  • Dr Christine Unterhitzenberger (Liverpool Business School) who provided an overview of her recently published research on Stakeholder challenge: Dealing with difficult stakeholders.   
  • And Dr Obuks Ejohwomu (University of Manchester) who presented the interim findings of his forthcoming research report co-authored with Dr Paul Chan which explores “the relationship between productivity and project management.”

In addition to a range of engaging Q&A sessions the event also featured elevator pitches and a poster presentation from current researchers and students who wanted to share their current insights, identify potential collaborators and gain participation from local practitioners.

The event was rounded off by a lively panel debate which looked at “Project Management research – where does the journey take us?” which featured a broad range of stakeholder groups including academics, practitioners, students and professional bodies.   This session highlighted not only the importance of research in improving project delivery but also despite recent progress by APM and other likeminded organisations the gap between research and practice still exists however events such as this play an important part in the journey in helping bridge the gap for the future.  

Chair of the APM North West branch Richard Preston commented: “What a great way to explore how we bridge the chasm between academic research and useful application.  Probing questions provided lively discussion from both sides of the divide.  We hope this event can serve to become a regular occurrence and if anyone would be interested in getting involved in the next version to please get in touch.”

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