A review of the soft side in project management: concept, trends and challenges

  • Luiz Fernando Cardoso dos Santos Durão Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo
  • Marcelo Vinicius Di Favari Grotti
  • Paulo Rafael Minetto Maceta
  • Eduardo Zancul
  • Fernando Berssaneti
  • Marly Monteiro de Carvalho


Our aim is to analyze the changes that have taken place in the academic literature of project management induced by the growing interest in the soft side within project management, identifying concepts, trends and challenges. Based on a bibliometric approach, a systematic literature review focusing on content analysis was made in articles published from 1994 to 2015 in the ISI Web of Science and Scopus databases. The literature was found to maintain the separation between the hard and the soft side, being the soft side, for most researchers, an enabler of project performance and success. Each kind of examined skills provides different aspects of project quality and management, being the hard side clearer and more objective and the soft side more ambiguous and subjective. In the whole article, the base used 13 soft skills. The most cited among them was ‘Communication’, cited fifteen times, followed by ‘Leadership’ and ‘Teamwork’ cited nine times each. Despite the stronger impact of the soft skills in the project performance, the literature says that the project members, within the project team, must combine soft and hard skills towards the best performance of the projects.

Como Citar
Cardoso dos Santos Durão, L. F., Di Favari Grotti, M. V., Minetto Maceta, P. R., Zancul, E., Berssaneti, F., & Monteiro de Carvalho, M. (2017). A review of the soft side in project management: concept, trends and challenges. Revista Gestão Da Produção Operações E Sistemas, 12(2), 157. https://doi.org/10.15675/gepros.v12i2.1644