Empirical study of the current United States facilities management profession

Kenneth Sullivan, Stephen W. Georgoulis, Brian Lines

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to verify pre-existing perceptions of the facilities management (FM) industry through the collection of empirical evidence that establishes the current state of the profession. Data collected will identify the major challenges facing the FM industry, and will be used in the development of proposed academic programs to address these challenges. Design/methodology/approach – Two online surveys of facilities managers on the national and local scale were used to produce a quantifiable description of the profession and its deficiencies. These surveys also focused on obtaining data to aid in the development of formal academic programs to train future facilities managers and measured the willingness of industry representatives to support the proposed academic programs. Findings – Results indicate that there is an insufficient number of facilities managers entering the field to account for the high rate of attrition that will occur in the next ten to 15 years. The main reason for the lack in new facilities managers is the severely limited number of formal academic programs that specifically educate students in FM. Originality/value – Results of this paper are valuable in that they quantified the main challenges facing the profession as well as the willingness of the US FM industry to support and recruit from proposed undergraduate programs. Collected data are also used to develop a specific undergraduate curriculum to educate students in the core skills needed to become successful facilities managers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-103
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Facilities Management
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 4 2010


  • Education
  • Facilities
  • Professional services
  • Retirement
  • United States of America

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation
  • Business and International Management


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