The Development of a Conceptual Framework for Simulations in Project Management Education

  • Andrew Bell

Student thesis: Master's ThesisMaster of Philosophy


Project management is an experiential subject, and existing passive methods of teaching via lectures and seminars restricts learning to knowledge rather than leading to the deep understanding of the topic that the project management industry requires. Higher Education needs to produce competent graduates, i.e. those with both knowledge and experience.
This research created and validated a conceptual framework to assist in the development of new project management simulations. The investigation confirmed that the use of simulations in the teaching of project management is a valid method of delivering experiential learning, and proposes a framework for how project management simulations can be created.
The research commenced with a literature review, and a questionnaire was issued to project management lecturers to collect information on existing teaching methods and the current use of activities and simulations in the teaching of project management. From the literature and the questionnaire, a conceptual framework was created to assists in the development of new project management simulations. This framework was then tested by
the creation of a new simulation. Finally, the conceptual framework was evaluated and validated by peers who have experience with project management simulations as project
management lecturers. Following this validation the conceptual framework was further
The contribution to knowledge is threefold. Firstly the research provides a literature review
into the use of simulations within project management teaching. Secondly the conceptual
framework provides a starting point to other academics who are considering developing
their own simulations, and finally the conceptual framework can be used to asses existing
The results of the study show that the conceptual framework will greatly benefit academics
when considering the development of simulations in project management teaching. This
is important, because there is a growing need for student centred learning, and students
who have a competence in their subjects as well as knowledge.
Date of AwardMar 2016
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Coventry University
SupervisorAnthony Olomolaiye (Supervisor), Ammar Al Bazi (Supervisor) & Mark Hooper (Supervisor)


  • conceptual framework
  • project management education

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