This Guest paper was submitted for publication June 2009. It is copyright to Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo and John Suermondt © 2009 Under Creative Commons License, by <CCL> see

Introduction | Objective of the Study 
The Study Instrument and its Application | Study Observations | Conclusion

Dr. Paul D. Giammalvo, CDT, PMP, CCE, MScPM, is Director of the ASEAN Project Manager's Center of Excellence, Inc. (APMX) For over 12 years, he has been providing project Management training and consulting throughout SE Asia. He is active in the Association for the Advancement of Cost Engineering International, (AACE); Construction Specifications Institute (CSI); Construction Management Association of America, (CMAA) and serves on the Global Project Management Forum Steering Committee. Email:

John Suermondt has 19 years experience in selection, recruitment, leadership development and succession planning. John is a senior HR Management Consultant with specialized expertise in individual assessment related to position analysis based on the individual companies' corporate requirements. He has been based in Asia for the last 30 years advising international companies, conglomerates, and national companies on how to optimize their human capital by leveraging their deep understanding of human resources to maximizing their individual talents. Email:


I am a lifelong project manager with some 40 years of project management experience most of which come from construction project management. And over those years, I have noticed that some people are just naturally better project managers than others.

Looking back and having spent most of my life working around the world, it didn't seem to matter whether those people were engineers, men or women, what country they called home, what language they spoke nor how they worshipped their God. It also didn't seem to matter what astrological sign they were born under, nor did it appear obvious that those who were naturally good carried lucky talismans. And most certainly, it didn't matter if they did or did not have PMP, PRINCE2, MBA or PhD behind their name!! So what is that elusive "something" that make some people just "natural" project managers?

When I began my PhD research to the answer the question: "Is project management a profession? And if not, what is it?" I intended to include in part of that research a chapter on behavioral attributes. However, as with many projects, time and quality constraints won out and I had to "de-scope" and the part that got omitted was my research into behavioral attributes. Nevertheless, that was only a temporary diversion and now, with my PhD in hand, I am resurrecting my interest in this topic.


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