Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


David Duby


four-year research university Project Manager, Qualified Personnel Shortage, Scientific and Technical Projects


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Human Resources Management | Management Sciences and Quantitative Methods | Performance Management | Training and Development


Qualified individuals are an essential resource of project teams. A primary goal of the project manager is to ensure appropriate team members are hired to meet project objectives and stakeholder expectations. However, this is not always the case since a shortage of qualified project personnel seldom occurs, and prevents the project from being completed successfully. The project personnel shortage problem is prevalent in a four-year research university as inaccessibility to qualified individuals threatens the project deadline and delivery to sponsors. Research suggested these qualified individuals are recruited to provide scientific and technical expertise to academic projects. They possess knowledge and capabilities utilized in three dimensions of research, fundamental, applied and experimental scientific. Some results of their effort in these dimensions have produced theories, methods, algorithms, technology, equipment, instrument, mechanism, and systems. This study explored the reasons for the shortage of qualified project personnel and the actions of project managers relating to the shortage. The study utilized a qualitative methodology, along with a case study design to explore the problem, as experienced by project managers in a four-year research university in the Southeast. Findings revealed problems in the areas of compensation, leadership involvement, pipeline issues, project funding, and the need for adequate project planning. The implications of the findings were also examined, followed by recommendations to project stakeholders. As Christ cautioned his followers that before building a tower one must first consider the cost; likewise, project managers must carefully plan before execution of project resources, specifically qualified project personnel which are needed to achieve successful project completion.