Phase 1-Sco
Prog. DGP
Adm. - Grad. 2019 - 
Dir.; Codir. Stéphane Gagnon

Career Dynamics for Business Technology and Project Management Professionals

Cabot, Catherine

Context: Business Technology Management (BTM) and Project Management (PM) are two rapidly emerging trans-disciplinary research areas and professional disciplines. Their intersection allows to unite Management Information Systems (MIS), Information Technology Management (ITM), and IT PM within a integrated framework entitled BTM. It seeks to provide guidance for the strategic use of technology and leading digital projects in organizations of all types. Each BTM specialization has well-established international associations, with certification levels supported by proven frameworks uniting best practices. These include Business Analysts, IT Services Management, IT Governance, IT Project Management, among 20+ specializations covered by the BTM Body of Knowledge (BOK) in development.

Problem: BTM professionals are submitted to increasingly complex career choices, with factors that impact their progression primarily driven by technology evolution, learning pace, and industry dynamics. Schools must adjust curricula for IS/IT and BTM to ensure employability of students in new markets, requiring more systematic career literacy programs. As well, with more diverse specializations and certifications required for salary progression, professionals are greatly constrained by competition, yet it is still unclear to what extent multiple certifications help them move along their careers, and what mix is best within an investment model of BTM jobs. There is also a shift away from traditional career progression (e.g., moving through Business Analysis, Project Management, and IT Services Management), which implied loyalty and promotion through ranks of a typical corporate IT division, toward diverse assignments with IT and business units, vendors and consulting, and start-ups, leading to higher turnover rates and alternance of national and international appointments. These trends are also affected by the progressive aging of the IT workforce, the positive effect of more women choosing IT and BTM as their career, and increasing influence of personality and values in choosing what type of BTM career fits best a person.

Theory: We propose an extensive stratified survey of BTM professions from all sectors of the economy and across a dozen countries representing all continents. Our objectives are to capture the peculiarities of technology evolution and its impact on career choices, along with the dynamics of interplay between technology and management appointments during career paths. We rely on the Career Anchor model to map factors affecting relative career success. A comparative international study is best to draw contrasting career patterns, and identify converging factors impacting change. In addition, we attempt to rely on how professionals onboard various positions as factors that affect their network-driven success (e.g., Social Networks Analytics, SNA, applied to crowdsourcing and linkedin). These will be linked within a structural model showing factor dependencies and impact on career progression and satisfaction.

Methodology: We will analyze our online survey using 3 different statistical techniques, using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) path modeling. First, we use the Covariance Based Analysis (CBA) using IBM SPSS Amos and circumvex tests to analyze possible circularity among factors. Second, we use a Partial Least Squares (PLS) method to identify more linkages within smaller samples of our stratified survey. Third, we use Bayesian Networks to extract factors interdependencies and determine their relative reliability among changing career patterns. Models are assessed primarily with goodness of fit measures, but also discriminant analysis to determine relevance of patterns identified.

Outcome: Our research outcomes shall be helpful to help IS/IT and BTM career planning, both from a personal and a business perspective, by providing clear patterns that lead to success, depending on personality and preparedness for technology evolution. Findings can also be integrated within a broader Human Resources Analytics framework, with career anchors serving as new inputs to Talent Management and career piloting rules-based systems. Impacts will be assessed also at the level of professions, helping to guide the ongoing convergence among many specializations within a broader BTM BOK framework, with empirical guidance for curricula development.


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