First published as a paper in the September 2000 issue of the Project Management World Today E-zine of the PMForum web site:
Published here June 2001.

Abstract | Introduction | History of Economic Development
Social Spending | Project Management | Conclusion | References


Andre Philip van der Merwe
Faculty of Economic and Management Sciences,
Rand Afrikaans University, South Africa

Development has no formally accepted definition in literature as most authors only give an opinion and do not deliver any concrete understanding of what is meant by the development of society. The United Nations in various programmes on social development use economic growth as well as a number of other different measures to test for social and economic development.

Theories of what causes economic growth abound, partly to analyse economic development of the wealthy vs. the poor and partly to stimulate economic growth in poor countries. Economics teaches that the standard of living is improved for all when wealth is created. Supply and demand determine price and when more is paid for consumption than for production, wealth is created. The economy grows only when the total volume of production increases or when the efficiency of production improves.

Efficiencies can be improved through education, but improvement in technology directly competes with the employment of people. As people are replaced by machines they lose the ability to earn money, and to purchase goods and services, resulting in the shrinking of the economy. Education does not create employment, but it does improve your chances to find a job.

Increased unemployment results in increased rates of crime and violence, as the gap between rich and poor increases. Social development in conjunction with economic development must be balanced by education in project management. Project management that brings people together from diverse cultures, religions, social levels, and education levels to effectively and efficiently reach set objectives.

Project management, where people are managed so that they can manage their work, is the key to our future.


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