Arts-based Learning von Soft Skills

im Projektmanagement von Veranstaltungen

Competence model

Elements of the model

The starting point of the research project Arts-based Learning of Soft Skills in the Project Management of Events (AL-Pro) is the question of which competences are particularly important in the project management of events and how they affect task accomplishment. The aim was to develop and evaluate a suitable competence model for the project management of events. The special focus was on personal and social competences. The Corona pandemic leads to a change in focus.

How do project managers deal with the given circumstances in the course of the Corona pandemic?
What competences do project managers of customer-related order processing projects need in crisis situations?
What are the characteristics of successful project managers in times of crisis? What skills/behaviours help them to deal with the current situation?
Are project managers of customer-related order fulfilment projects better suited with their competences than others to deal with the crisis?

In the competence model, the crisis aspects have been taken into account.

With the help of the dendogram, the assumptions about the relations and connections of the competences to each other can be clearly presented by forming clusters. Particularly relevant competence components are explained in more detail below.


Organisational competence

Organisational competence refers to the ability to overview processes in organisations and to break them down into subtasks and individual tasks. From the subtasks, necessary steps of action are to be defined, which must be determined in as clear a form as possible in their spatial arrangement, temporal sequence and personnel responsibility in the course of action.[21] Organisational competence thus describes, on the one hand, social action that is composed of several partial competences and influences others to a certain use of knowledge, procedures and techniques in a goal-oriented way.[21] A high level of organisational competence means using available resources for tasks in a goal-oriented, timely and cost-conscious manner in an effective and methodologically appropriate manner, but also the spatial organisational ability in a situation to grasp tasks and prioritise them in terms of the defined project goals of each organisation (organisational level), the team (project level) and the individual task (individual level). Organisational competence in the complex interaction of all actors involved in an event thus also means keeping the focus on customer and organisational goals in the context of the specific task.[27]

Team Capacity

Capacity for teamwork means the willingness to seek solutions together as a team and to be aware of the importance of the cooperation of third parties [29] and the ability to compose and lead work groups in a performance-oriented manner. A team is a group of individuals who are interdependent through a work assignment or joint activity in an organisation and who are responsible as a community for achieving predefined performance goals for the organisation or on behalf of a third party.[32] n this context, a person with high team capability bears responsibility for the ongoing development of the team, from the initial phase of team formation, through teamwork throughout the project period, to the completion of the project and the dissolution of the team.[8] Team capacity means the competence to work in and with groups,[10] to support each other, to bring one’s own skills and commitment to a task into the task creation and to put the team’s performance goals above one’s own performance.[20] Team capacity thus also means the continuous motivation of the team by giving feedback and support and recognising and rewarding good performance.

Ability to Delegate

In the case of delegation of tasks, the selection responsibility and a control responsibility remain the same. The selection responsibility includes checking the required qualifications and the ability to perform the tasks. Delegation does not require end-to-end or permanent control, but final control of the work performed is necessary in any case and can be supplemented by intermediate controls in the case of extensive and complex tasks. Delegation also requires checking the suitability and reliability of the person to whom responsibility is delegated. Thus, the ability to delegate requires, on the one hand, an assessment of the scope and level of performance as well as an assessment of the competence of the person entrusted with a task. In a project, the definition of roles and the determination of responsibility provide the basis for efficient resource management.[1]


Communicativeness means the competence to behave in a manner appropriate to the situation and addressees in written and spoken language, computer-mediated and analogue, to react adequately to messages from others and to convey concerns to different groups in an understandable way. Communication thus serves to specify, fulfil and interpret tasks, within organisations and across organisations.[17] To this end, it is necessary to translate, transform and, if necessary, condense even complex issues so that the thoughts, ideas but also feelings and impressions of individuals or a larger group become clear.[30] In relation to projects, communication skills can be understood as the ability to communicate the project results and contents to the actors involved, such as the management and the team, and to the stakeholders in such a way that the relevant contents can be understood.[1] Thus, the Competence Baseline describes communication as being able to pass on the right information to the relevant interested parties in a form that meets their expectations and is consistent.[8]


Decisiveness mean the use of information about several alternatives and their combination in order to select from the decision alternatives.[24] In relation to project management, decision-making ability can be defined as the ability to make appropriate decisions and take action under the restrictions of limited time, incomplete information and limited resources.[9] Decisiveness require the ability to quickly grasp and evaluate the influencing factors and target requirements underlying a situation and the courage to stand up for a chosen alternative. A distinction can be made in decision-making ability between an adaptive style (“do things better”) and an innovative style (“do things differently”). Adaptive decision-making considers problems within existing paradigms and structures. For problems where paradigms and structures are considered part of the problem, innovative solutions are preferable. Adaptation thus means reduction of conflicts and minimisation of risks.[12]

Standing Conflicts

Standing conflict means the ability to mediate one’s own position and interests and to defend them vis-à-vis third parties. In doing so, to argue objectively and to take into account the arguments of the other person in order to settle differences. To this end, opposing interests or behaviours must be endured and moderated.[29]


Creativity is usually associated with the development of something new. This new thing, however, should also be appropriate for overcoming problems. No restrictions are placed on specific activities. Creativity can be equated with artistic creative processes.[31] Reckwitz defines creativity as the “ability and reality to dynamically produce something new”.[26] In contrast to equating it with an artistic creative process, creativity is not understood as a one-off act, but as something that happens again and again and in the long term. To distinguish it from the purely technical production of innovations, the new can be experienced sensually and affectively.[26] Creativity in the sense of a competence in project management thus means developing previously unknown solutions in all phases of a project.


Assertiveness means being able to represent and enforce decisions made in the long term, even in the face of opposition. Assertiveness requires decision-making power and the “opportunity to assert one’s own will within a social relationship even in the face of opposition, regardless of what this opportunity is based on.[34]


Competence to listen to one’s own feelings through self-awareness and to be able to respond to the feelings of others through empathy. Empathy can be understood as a sub-competence of emotional intelligence, i.e. the ability to recognise one’s own emotions and those of others, to distinguish between them and to use the emotional signals to guide one’s own actions.[16] Self-awareness is understood by Wilkens, Keller and Schmette[36] with reference to Bandura’s social-cognitive theory as the ability of an individual to interpret one’s own behaviour situationally, to process accompanying feedback from the social environment and to adapt one’s own behaviour accordingly. The appropriate processing and passing on of feedback is expressed in this competence dimension. Empowerment as the ability to encourage others to accept challenges, to solve problems and to develop and take responsibility[5] requires empathy.


Acting authentically means acting in harmony with oneself, which means being aware of oneself and accepting this, while behaving openly and truthfully towards others by placing a high value on personal relationships.[4] Gardner et al. name four behavioural dispositions of authentic leadership: self-awareness, in the sense that one’s own strengths and weaknesses as well as their effect on others are known and reflected upon just as much as the characteristics of others; self-regulation on the basis of one’s own values; balanced information processing and relationship transparency in the sense of open and honest dealings with others as well as the willingness to self-disclose.[7] Authenticity is thus bi-directional and describes not only the authenticity of the leader, but also the ability to build authentic, i.e. open and trusting, relationships with others.

RisK Affinity

Hofstede[11] describes Uncertainty Avoidance as a measure of the extent to which members of a society can deal with uncertainty and ambiguity. Risk affinity thus means the ability to accept uncertainty about the consequences of decisions and measures. This does not mean the abandonment of risk management measures. The PMBOK guide[22] describes the risk management process as the process of implementing plans to respond to risks, identifying and assessing risks, monitoring residual risks and controlling risks throughout the project.


Flexibility means the ability to react efficiently to changing environmental conditions and to adapt one’s behaviour to changes without losing sight of the essential project goals, but rather to review them in terms of their significance and effectiveness when conditions change. Or, in short, the ability to react to changes and adapt one’s behaviour to them.[14] Flexibility encourages one to act while thinking, or to act so that one can think more clearly,[35] thus putting the action before planning maxim. Bartram[2] speaks of coping ability in this context, which puts the emphasis on being able to deal effectively with pressure and also to cope with setbacks. Flexibility is related to the concept of self-development as the ability of people to acquire new ways of behaving, to change their own attitudes and to expand their competences.[3] Flexibility in dealing with the unexpected and changes in projects means the ability in the project team to pursue project goals despite resistance and changing requirements, by the team reacting elastically to surprises and growing with them.[18]

ability to take criticism

Ability to give and receive criticism refer to the capacity to react constructively to criticism and, if necessary, to change one’s behaviour without personal reservations towards the critic. Critical faculties are closely related to emotional resilience, i.e. the ability to perform consistently even in conflictual situations in the face of personal challenges or criticism.[5]

Role Flexibility

A role refers to a temporary function of a person within a project. Role flexibility means the ability to take on different roles towards actors and stakeholders in the project and across the project phases.


Self-reflection means the ability to know and recognise one’s limits, strengths and weaknesses[14] and to stand by one’s own needs, values, strengths, weaknesses as well as goals in one’s personal and professional environment and to adopt them in one’s own life design.[3]


Reliability means delivering agreed services at the time and in the quality agreed in the project description.[29] Reliability requires trust of the team in the project management and the project objectives. Rodriguez speaks of trustworthiness as the ability to build trusting working relationships and organisational credibility.[27]


Determination means the ability to derive measures from defined project goals in the short and medium term and to lead them to success.


Experience is not a sharply delineated competence in the proper sense, but a collection of very individual experiences that can usually only be communicated to a third party through illustration. Experience is based on experiences, culture, emotions and values and manifests itself in methodological and social competences as well as in professional competences. As visible routines of action and individual procedures, but also in invisible convictions, values and culturally established schemes, they form the basis of the unspoken agreements on socially acceptable and professionally-methodologically appropriate and solution-oriented behaviour.


Self-organisation refers to the ability to systematically plan tasks within a self-imposed time frame in order to achieve goals, based on self-initiated and structured action without being required to do so by third parties. Self-organisation is thus the ability to act appropriately even in unexpected situations and to structure tasks in the face of new challenges by countering increasing complexity through the selection of information and recollection of existing options for action.[36]

Learning ability

Learning can be described as a further development of knowledge stocks in interaction with the environment[13] To this end, the individual develops his or her own ideas of reality in the learning process and uses these to position himself or herself in his or her environment. An individual learning process is thus always connected with information processing, whereby individual mental models are formed. Organisational learning can be defined as the ability of an organisation to discover and correct mistakes and to change the organisational value and knowledge base in such a way that new problem-solving and action competences emerge. [15] Organisational learning can be defined as the ability of an organisation to discover and correct mistakes and to change the organisational value and knowledge base in such a way that new problem-solving and action competences emerge.[23] Learning ability therefore means the competence to develop individual knowledge stocks and to support organisational learning.

Crisis management

A crisis is a situation that deviates from the normal state with the potential for consequences that cannot be foreseen at the time of occurrence, the momentum of which can no longer be handled with standard organisational solutions, but requires crisis management.[28] These ad hoc adjustments challenge planned routines. The opportunities created by norms work routines in the team to align with these normative expectations decrease and ambiguity increases.[18] Crisis management first requires the reduction of complexity in order to remain capable of making decisions in situations with decision-making uncertainty, as is common in crises, and to minimise the negative factors influencing cognitive ability and the ability to act.[19] Nachbagauer describes the reduction of the framework for action and the reduction of decision-making freedom in crisis management as fragmentation and describes a process in which ad hoc adjustments are initiated based on the need for rapid action and tasks are delegated to separate areas of control.[18] The importance of early crisis prevention is proven, among other things, by projects[6] dwhich show that project risks are insufficiently taken into account in the planning of projects. One reason for this is the overestimation of the project management.

Leadership Ability

Leadership means the ability to direct the project team towards goals and to motivate and engage other people in such a way that these goals can be achieved through joint effort. Leadership ability means personally standing up for the team and acting loyally towards the organisation or the given project goals. To this end, different leadership styles must be applied to different types of projects depending on the situation, the course of the project and the team.

Digital Competence

Digital competence encompasses the safe, critical and responsible use of and engagement with digital technologies for education, training, work and participation in society. It covers information and data literacy, communication and collaboration, media literacy, digital content creation (including programming), security (including digital wellbeing and competences related to cyber security), copyright issues, problem solving and critical thinking. Skills include the ability to use, access, filter, assess, create, programme and share digital content. Individuals should be able to manage and protect information, content, data and digital profiles, as well as recognise and use programmes, devices, artificial intelligence or robots in an effective way, according to the Council [25]


  1. Arrow upAnantatmula, V. (2010). Project Manager Leadership Role in Improving Project Performance. Engineering Management Journal Volume 22, Issue 1. 13-22.
  1. Arrow upBartram, D. (2005). The great eight competencies: A criterion-centric approach to
  1. Arrow upDechange, A. (2020): Projektmanagement – Schnell erfasst. In Kröger, D. (Hrsg.). Wirtschaft – Schnell erfasst. Berlin: Springer. 317-382
  1. Arrow upDemont-Biaggi F. (2020) Authentische Führung in Extremsituationen. In: Kern EM., Richter G., Müller J., Voß FH. (Hrsg.) Einsatzorganisationen. Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler.
  1. Arrow upDulewicz, V. und Higgs, M. J. (2005). Assessing leadership styles and organisational context. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 20(2), 105–123.
  1. Arrow upFabricius, F.; Büttgen, M. (2015): Project managers’ overconfidence: how is risk reflected in anticipated project success? Business Research (2015) 8:239–263
  1. Arrow upGardner, W. L.; Avolio, B. J.; Luthans, F.; May, D. R.; Walumbwa, F. (2005): “Can you see the real me?” A Self-Based Model of Authentic Leader and Follower Development. In: The Leadership Quarterly, 16 (3), S. 343–372.
  1. Arrow upGPM. (2013). ICB-IPMA COMPETENCE BASELINE Version 3.0. Nürnberg: GPM.
  1. Arrow upGushgari, S. K., Francis, P. A., Saklou, J. H. (1997). Skills critical to long-term profitability of engineering firms. Journal of Management in Engineering, 13(2), 46-57.
  1. Arrow upHeyse, V.; Erpenbeck, J. (2009). Kompetenztraining. 64 modulare Informations- und Trainingsprogramme für die betriebliche, pädagogische und psychologische Praxis. 2. Aufl. Stuttgart: Schäffer-Poeschel.
  1. Arrow upHofstede, G. (1997): Cultures and Organizations. Software of The Mind. New York: McGraw.
  1. Arrow upKirton, M. (1976). Adaptors and innovators – a description and measure. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 61(5), 622-629.
  1. Arrow upKlimecki, Rüdiger / Lassleben, Hermann / Thomae, Markus (2000): Organisationales Lernen: Zur Integration von Theorie, Empirie und Gestaltung. In: Georg Schreyögg und Peter Conrad (Hrsg.). Organisatorischer Wandel und Transformation. Managementforschung, Band 10. Wiesbaden: Gabler Verlag. S. 63-98.
  1. Arrow upLiikamaa, K. (2015): Developing a Project Manager’s Competencies: A Collective View of the Most Important Competencies. Procedia Manufacturing 3; 6th International Conference on Applied Human Factors and Ergonomics (AHFE 2015) and the Affiliated Conferences, AHFE 2015. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  1. Arrow upLindsay, Peter H. und Norman, Donald A. (1981): Einführung in die Psychologie. Informationsaufnahme und -verarbeitung beim Menschen. Berlin, Heidelberg: Springer Verlag.
  1. Arrow upMayer, J.; Salovey, P. (1997). What is emotional intelligence? In: Salovey, P., Sluyter, D. (Hrsg), Emotional Development and Emotional Intelligence: Implications for Educators. Basic Books, New York, 3–31.
  1. Arrow upMoser, M. (2018). Bedeutung von Soft Skills in einer sich wandelnden Unternehmenswelt. Eine Studie zu dem besonderen Stellenwert von Kompetenzen im Personalmanagement. Wiesbaden: Springer Gabler.
  1. Arrow upNachbagauer, A.; Schirl-Böck, I.; Weiss, E. (2020): Unerwartete Herausforderungen in Projekten erfolgreich managen. Erfahrungen aus der Human-Factors-, Hochsicherheits- und Resilienzforschung. Berlin: Springer.
  1. Arrow upNeumer, J. (2018): Forschungsansätze und -richtungen zu einem neuen Umgang mit Ungewissheit. In Böhle, F. et al. (Hrsg.). Umgang mit Ungewissheit in Projekten. Expertise für die GPM Deutsche Gesellschaft für Projektmanagement e. V. Nürnberg: GPM. 59-160
  1. Arrow upNiermeyer, R. (2007): Motivation. Instrumente zur Führung und Verführung. 2. Aufl. München: Haufe. competencies: A criterion-centric approach to
  1. Arrow upPfadenhauer, M. (2010). Kompetenz als Qualität sozialen Handelns. In T. Kurtz & M. Pfadenhauer (Hrsg.), Soziologie der Kompetenz (S. 149–172). Wiesbaden: Springer VS.
  1. Arrow upPMI Project Management Institute (2011). Projectmanagement Professional Handbook. Online unter: [2020-09-20]
  1. Arrow upProbst, Gilbert J. B (1993): Organisation. Landsberg, Lech: Verlag Moderne Industrie.
  1. Arrow upRadecki, C. M.; Jaccard, J. (1996). Gender-role differences in decision-making orientations and decision-making skills. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 26(1), 76-94
  1. Arrow upRat der Europäischen Union (2018): 2018/C 189/01
  1. Arrow upReckwitz, A. (2019): Die Erfindung der Kreativität. Zum Prozess gesellcshaftlicher Ästhetisierung. 6. Auf. Berlin: Suhrkamp.
  1. Arrow upRodriguez, A. (2005). Critical factors in hiring, promoting, and designing job descriptions for strategic project managers. Minnesota: Dissertations Publishing LCC.
  1. Arrow upSakschewski, T; Paul, S. (2020): Glossar. In Sakschewski, T. et al. (Hrsg.). Sicherheitskonzepte für Veranstaltungen. Grundalgen für Behörden, Betreiber und Veranstalter. 3. Aufl. Berlin at al.: Beuth. 313-339.
  1. Arrow upSakschewski, T.; Paul, S. (2017): Veranstaltungsmanagement. Märkte, Aufgaben und Akteure. Wiesbaden: SpringerGabler.
  1. Arrow upSamovar, L. A.; Mills, J. (1995). Oral communication: Speaking across cultures. 9. Aufl. Dubuque, Iowa: Brown and Benchmark.
  1. Arrow upSchubert, T. (2009). Kreativität und Innovation – Schlüsselkompetenzen in der Wissensgesellschaft. Berufsbildung in Wissenschaft und Praxis (BWP); 38. Jahrgang, Heft 6/2009. 10-13. Brown and Benchmark.
  1. Arrow upThompson, L. (2017). Making the team. A guide for managers. 6. Auflage. Pearson Education, Upper Saddle Rive
  1. Arrow upvalidation. The Journal of Applied Psychology, 90(6), 1185-1203.
  1. Arrow upWeber, M. (1980 [1922]): Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Grundriß der verstehenden Soziologie. Tübingen.
  1. Arrow upWeick K. E., Sutcliffe K. M. (2010): Das Unerwartete managen. Wie Unternehmen aus Extremsituationen lernen, 2. Aufl. Schäffer-Poeschel, Stuttgart
  1. Arrow upWilkens, U.; Keller, H.; Schmette, M. (2006): Wirkungsbeziehungen zwischen Ebenen individueller und kollektiver Kompetenz -Theoriezugange und Modellbildung. In G. Schreyögg; P. Conrad (Hrsg.). Management von Kompetenz. 121-162.