International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 21–32 www.elsevier.com/locate/ijproman
Matching the project manager’s leadership style to project type Ralf Muller ¨
, J. Rodney Turner
a ˚ ˚ Umea School of Business, Umea University, Sweden Groupe ESC Lille, Avenue WillyBrandt, F59777 Euralille, France
Received 21 March 2006; accepted 21 April 2006
Abstract We look into the interaction of the project manager’s leadership style with project type, and their combined impact on project success. We aim to show that diﬀerent leadership styles are more likely to lead to a successful outcome on diﬀerent types of project. A recently developed integrated model of intellectual, emotional and managerial competence (IQ, EQ, MQ, respectively) is used to identify project managers leadership styles. A web-based questionnaire was used to determine the leadership style of project managers and relate that to the success of their most recent projects. These are related to project types, using a recently developed categorization system for projects. These quantitative results are validated against qualitative results obtained using semi-structured interviews of managers responsible for assigning project manager to projects. Ó 2006 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved. Keywords: Leadership; Emotional intelligence; Project type; Project success
1. Introduction Building on the behavioural, contingency and visionary schools of leadership, the emotional intelligence school  and the competency school (see for instance: [28,41,24,16] have shown in a general management context that the manager’s leadership style inﬂuences the performance of their organization, and that diﬀerent leadership styles are appropriate in diﬀerent contexts. On the other hand, the project management literature has almost studiously ignored the contribution of the project manager, and his or her competence to the success of their project . Over the past twenty years, there has been a changing understanding of what constitutes project success . In the 1980s, researchers focused on the application of tools and techniques [29,32]. More recently they have focused on risk manage* Corresponding author. Present address: Wildwood, Manor Close, East Horsley, Surrey KT24 6SA, UK. Tel./fax: +44 1483 282 344. E-mail addresses: email@example.com (R. Muller), rodneytur¨ firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com (J.R. Turner). 1 Home Address: Sjobogatan 10, 212 28 Malmo, Sweden. Tel./fax: +46 ¨ ¨ 40 68 91 312.
ment and governance support the project receives from the parent organization [10,5]. Historically, research into project management has emphasized eﬃciency rather than behavioural or interpersonal factors, . A recent research study suggested diﬀerent project management approaches are appropriate for diﬀerent types of project . This would suggest that diﬀerent project management styles, and thus diﬀerent competency proﬁles and leadership styles for the project manager would be appropriate for diﬀerent types of project. This would be consistent with ﬁndings in the general management literature. We have therefore undertaken a research project with the aim of determining whether: 1. the project manager’s leadership style inﬂuences project success; 2. diﬀerent leadership styles are appropriate for diﬀerent types of project. We conducted a web-based questionnaire in which we used a recently developed instrument for determining leadership dimensions and styles  to determine the leadership styles of 400 project managers. We also asked
0263-7863/$30.00 Ó 2006 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.ijproman.2006.04.003
R. Muller, J.R. Turner / International Journal of Project Management 25 (2007) 21–32 ¨
the respondents questions about their most recent project to determine its success and to be able to categorize it according to the...