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


It was the year 712 BC (Reese 1977: 930) when the Profit Isaiah proclaimed "The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that He might be glorified. And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations, and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolations of many generations" (Isaiah 61: 1–4).

It was this passage that Christ read from at the start of His ministry on earth with the words "this day this scripture is fulfilled in your ears" (Luke 4: 21). This was to be a direct intervention in changing the lot of the poor, spiritually at least if not economically. Social and economic development may have been debated by the Romans and the Greeks before this time and the disparity of the wealthy vs. the poor may have been noticed but here we find that something is to be done about it which plagues our conscience to this day.

This study is to find how economic development can result from business development, and how social development is not seen as a contributor to economic growth. Lessons are drawn from recent history and the developmental trends experienced in first, second and third world economies. Industrial development as a contributor to economic growth was investigated, and it was found that efficiency competes with the employment of people. The more machines are deployed to increase efficiency the less people have work. The result is that it would seem as if first world technology deployed in third world economies does not create employment but reduces it. To rectify the increasing debt of third world countries the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank see trade and not aide as the solution (World Bank 1998: 9). Trade based on efficient and effective businesses.

Management by projects plays a central role in organisations of the future where project management needs to be described in terms of the fundamentals applicable to business development. From the literature surveyed a trend developed where project management from the perspective of industrial development can be seen as the past, from the perspective of business development as the present and from social development as the future.

Two schools of thought one emanating from America with a distinct industrial approach and the other emanating from Europe with a business approach dominate the history of project management. The life cycle approach developed in Europe for use in business development can be seen as the driver or engine that leads social development. Connected through education in project management as a life skill in an outcomes based environment, the life cycle approach to project management is seen as essential for the development of third world economies.

Abstract  Abstract

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