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Open AccessArticle

Generation Z: Fitting Project Management Soft Skills Competencies—A Mixed-Method Approach

Research Center in Business and Economics (CICEE), Universidade Autónoma de Lisboa, Rua Sta. Marta 47, 5.º Andar, 1150-293 Lisboa, Portugal
ISCET - High Institute of Business Sciences and Tourism, Rua de Cedofeita, 285, 4050-180 Porto, Portugal
Research Unit on Governance, Competitiveness and Public Policies (GOVCOPP), University of Aveiro, Campus Universitário de Santiago, 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal
CIETI – Center for Innovation in Engineering and Industrial Technology, Polytechnic Institute of Porto, R. Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida 431, 4200-072 Porto, Portugal
UFP Energy, Environment and Health Research Unit (FP-ENAS), University Fernando Pessoa (UFP), Praça 9 de Abril 349, 4249-004 Porto, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Educ. Sci. 2020, 10(7), 187;
Received: 8 June 2020 / Revised: 6 July 2020 / Accepted: 17 July 2020 / Published: 21 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Entrepreneurship Education)
Generation Z is arriving in the workforce. Do these youngsters have the skills and traits to fit project teams? This study reviews the literature concerning project management competencies and the traits that are associated with Generation Z. To deepen the understanding of its members (Gen Zers) traits, we explore the self-awareness of their profile, strengths and weaknesses with an empirical study. We used a mixed-method approach, implementing a survey on a sample of 211 college students about to enter the labor market. Comparing our survey results with the literature, we identified differences that reveal some of the lack of awareness of Gen Zers about their traits. Further analysis also revealed a significant correlation between the most highlighted Generation Z traits and essential project management soft skills, pointing to Generation Z as a promissory asset in the project management field. However, other essential project management (PM) soft skills were not grounded in personality traits. Our findings, namely the lack of awareness and association results, suggest the need for further research on educational approaches and re-thinking and targeting education and training policies that could strengthen Generation Z soft skills. Our results also suggest reflections about whether the Gen Zers traits fit the PM competencies sought by organizations. View Full-Text
Keywords: competencies; project management; education; soft skills; Generation Z competencies; project management; education; soft skills; Generation Z
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Magano, J.; Silva, C.; Figueiredo, C.; Vitória, A.; Nogueira, T.; Pimenta Dinis, M.A. Generation Z: Fitting Project Management Soft Skills Competencies—A Mixed-Method Approach. Educ. Sci. 2020, 10, 187.

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