Trends in Project Management 1966 – 2015

Authors: Biggins, D., Truelove, L. and Lawlor-Wright, T.

Start date: 6 September 2016

This study charts the trends and changing emphases in project management in the last 50 years. A quantitative, positivistic study, using frequency analysis and 116,202 records from online databases, this paper uses 16 a priori categories to search for project management keywords in the period 1966 to 2015.

Graphs are presented for each of the 16 categories showing the percentage of publications in the study period. The categories were analysed using a linear trendline to predict the future trajectory of the category. The key findings were that 13 of the 16 categories of project management were expected to increase in frequency in the literature in the future. It was noted that the findings of this study agree and disagree with previous studies and this was attributed to the different samples used and how the search terms were identified and grouped together.

It is intended that this paper will be of benefit to those studying project management, to academics who work in this sphere and to others interested in this subject area.

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