The Importance of Leadership in Project Management

The Importance of Leadership in Project Management

Melanie S. Karas (TWU School of Management, USA), Mahesh S. Raisinghani (TWU School of Management, USA) and Kerry S. Webb (TWU School of Management, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-400-2.ch005
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Abstract

A project manager’s role on any project goes far beyond task-related deliverables. Although the project manager must be able to effectively manage goals related to time, scope and cost, his or her work does not stop here since the project manager must also be able to manage numerous issues and goals, and be able to lead the people performing them. The desired leadership qualities for a project manager are discussed. As the project manager develops his or her leadership skills and uses them to encourage, motivate, and relate to the members on his or her team, he or she can expect to see the emergence of a more positive environment. Not only will such an environment improve job satisfaction and make the overall functioning of the team easier to handle, studies have also shown evidence of improved job performance and productivity, as well as a decline in the undesirable qualities that are known to occur on a project.
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Introduction

Have you ever been a part of a team that had great potential but could not achieve excellence because of the components of the team? Have you ever been a part of a team whose components seemed to be lacking until everyone pulled together to accomplish something great? Why do these things happen? What is the difference between those two scenarios? The difference is the leadership. A poor leader fails to bring out the best of an already great team, but a great leader can create winners out of a team of individuals who may seem to lack ability. Leadership is a critical and essential component for any project management team.

To better understand the impact of leadership, it may be helpful to consider the following definitions of leadership:

  • Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality (Bennis, 2003).

  • Leadership is the art of influencing others to their maximum performance to accomplish any task, objective or project (Cohen and March, 1974).

  • Leadership is the process of influencing the activities of an individual or a group in efforts toward goal achievement in a given situation (Hersey and Blanchard, 1984).

  • Leadership is the ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organization (House, 1996).

  • Leadership is the art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations (Kouzes and Posner, 2007).

  • Leadership is a process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal (Northouse, 2007).

  • Leadership is the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how it can be done effectively, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives (Yukl, 2002).

Leadership involves the ability to influence people to take actions toward completing a goal or project. Projects contain a number of components – the main three being scope, cost, and time. For the project team to effectively meet scope, cost, and time goals, one must appreciate the impact of positive leadership. It is up to the project manager to manage issues related to scope, cost, and time, as well as to lead the team to successful completion of these goals and the project as a whole.

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Creation Of A Team And Introduction Of The Project

Step one of a project is to identify the project; step two is the essential step of forming the project team. This team should not include just anyone; rather, it is critical to have the “right people on the team. Although members may be added, removed, or replaced throughout the course of the project, the core members should be selected; then, it is time to move forward with developing a team contract. The team contract will improve team relations, enhance communication, provide a clear direction, and increase the commitment of the team members (Schwalbe, 2006).

With the initial pieces in place, the project manager needs to introduce the project to the team of people who will be working together. In doing so, the manager should deliver the information clearly and with genuine enthusiasm. If the project manager has not displayed excitement toward this project previously, now is the time to start. Upon going forward with the project, the project manager must realize his or her role as a leader. As a matter of fact, this person should not think of himself or herself as the project manager, but rather as the project leader.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Harmonizer: Creates feelings of unity among team members.

Leadership: The capacity to translate vision into reality (Bennis, 2003).

Leadership: The process of influencing the activities of an individual or a group in efforts toward goal achievement in a given situation (Hersey and Blanchard, 1984).

Gate Keeper: Keeps team focused and makes sure information stays relevant.

Leadership: A process whereby an individual influences a group of individuals to achieve a common goal (Northouse, 2007).

To pic Jum per: Moves from one subject to the next and creates a lack of focus

Encourager: Supports team members’ ideas.

Aggressor: Criticizes team members and challenges ideas.

Information Seeker: Desires information to become better informed, looks for resources and supporting information.

Withdrawer: Withholds information and does not participate.

Initiator: Looks for new ideas and supports trying different things.

Recogn ition Seeker: Argues their position and wants credit for success.

Actively Disengaged: Employees are not pleased with their work situation and go a step further to actively show their displeasure.

Not-Engaged: Employees are basically going through the motions of their daily routine, not putting any extra effort or enthusiasm into their work.

Leadership: The art of influencing others to their maximum performance to accomplish any task, objective or project (Cohen and March 1974).

Engaged: Employees feel a connection to their company and perform their work with a desirable level of energy and passion for what they do. Their performance helps to move the company ahead.

Clarifier: Makes sure everyone on the team understands information, decisions, etc.

Leadership: The process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how it can be done effectively, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives (Yukl, 2002).

Dominator: Manipulates and tries to take control.

Blocker: Provides reasons why ideas will not work (Establishing the Roles, 2007).

Leadership: The art of mobilizing others to want to struggle for shared aspirations (Kouzes and Posner, 2007.

Leadership: The ability of an individual to influence, motivate, and enable others to contribute toward the effectiveness and success of the organization (House, 1996).

Devil’s Advocate: Challenges ideas and finds fault in suggestions.

Information Giver: Shares gained knowledge with the team and increases the team’s knowledge.

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Editorial Advisory Board
Table of Contents
Foreword
Robert K. Hiltbrand
Preface
Terry T. Kidd
Acknowledgment
Terry T. Kidd
Chapter 1
James W. Price Jr., Pamila Dembla
As exploratory research, the chapter’s aim is to assess if Sun-Tzu’s application of Taoist principles are applicable to the problem domain of... Sample PDF
The Tao To Understanding Enterprise It Project Complexity: Sun-Tzu's Five Factors Revisited
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Chapter 2
A. J. Gilbert Silvius
This chapter describes a study into the expected development of the competences of the project manager in the year 2027. The study was performed... Sample PDF
Project Management 2027: The Future of Project Management
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Chapter 3
Gregory J. Skulmoski, Francis T. Hartman
The purpose of this research was to investigate the soft competencies by project phase that IT project managers, hybrid and technical team members... Sample PDF
The Progression Towards Project Management Competence
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Chapter 4
Ralf Müller
This chapter addresses project managers’ leadership styles, mainly from the perspective of technology projects. It starts by defining and outlining... Sample PDF
Leadership in Technology Project Management
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Chapter 5
Melanie S. Karas, Mahesh S. Raisinghani, Kerry S. Webb
A project manager’s role on any project goes far beyond task-related deliverables. Although the project manager must be able to effectively manage... Sample PDF
The Importance of Leadership in Project Management
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Chapter 6
Jaby Mohammed
This chapter introduces the concept of technology management by objectives. Technology is one of the fastest moving elements in the 21st Century... Sample PDF
Technology Management by Objectives (TMO)
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Chapter 7
Gary Pan
The goal of any product is to be used. In a very real sense, people judge the success or failure of any product by the extent to which it is used by... Sample PDF
Examining Stakeholders' Roles in Influencing IT Project Cancellation Decisions
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Chapter 8
Daniel W. Surry
This chapter will discuss more than 20 system development life cycles (SDLC) found in the Information Technology project management arena, whereby... Sample PDF
Bringing the User into the Project Development Process
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Chapter 9
Evon M. O. Abu-Taieh, Asim A. El Sheikh, Jeihan M. Abu-Tayeh, Maha T. El-Mahied
This chapter uses the Diffusion of Innovations (DOI) theory and examines a business case, highlighting certain gaps in the theory. First, confusion... Sample PDF
Information Technology Projects System Development Life Cycles: Comparative Study
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Chapter 10
Francisco Chia Cua, Tony C. Garrett
This chapter introduces the Firm-Level Value Creation Model as a means of planning Information Systems projects based on their potential for... Sample PDF
Analyzing Diffusion and Value Creation Dimensions of a Business Case of Replacing Enterprise Systems
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Chapter 11
Otavio Prospero Sanchez, Alberto Luiz Albertin
In this chapter the authors investigate the management of service innovation projects; can ICT based service innovation be facilitated by... Sample PDF
IT Project Planning based on Business Value Generation
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Chapter 12
Bendik Bygstad, Gjermund Lanestedt
This chapter provides a framework for technology project implementation in systems where the human is an integral element of the completed project.... Sample PDF
Managing ICT Based Service Innovation
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Chapter 13
Katy E. Ellis
Project management is a carefully planned, organized effort to manage the resources in order to successfully accomplish specific project goals and... Sample PDF
Employee Preparation, Participation, and Performance
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Chapter 14
Jaby Mohammed, Ali Alavizadeh
This chapter provides a fundamental yet comprehensive coverage of quality management. Bringing managers and engineers the most up-to-date quality... Sample PDF
Quality Assurance in Project Management
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Chapter 15
Sohail Anwar
Project management is a carefully planned, organized effort to manage the resources in order to successfully accomplish specific project goals and... Sample PDF
Quality Management and Control
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Chapter 16
Dawn M. Owens, Deepak Khazanchi
Successful implementation of IT (information technology) projects is a critical strategic and competitive necessity for firms in all industrial... Sample PDF
Software Quality Assurance
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Chapter 17
Fayez Ahmad Albadri
An overwhelming number of Information Technology (IT) projects experience persistent problems and failures. This chapter reflects on some of the... Sample PDF
IPRM: The Integrated Project Risk Model
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Chapter 18
Technical Risk Management  (pages 283-294)
Pete Hylton
In today’s highly competitive industrial environment, many high-tech businesses are using Technical Risk Management (TRM) in their engineering... Sample PDF
Technical Risk Management
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Chapter 19
Lauren Fancher
IT projects across all sectors are relying on more iterative methodologies that can employ early and frequent assessment and evaluation processes in... Sample PDF
Early, Often, and Repeat: Assessment and Evaluation Methodology for Ensuring Stakeholder Satisfaction with Information Technology Projects
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Chapter 20
Chad J. Cray
Considering the high failure rate of information technology (IT) projects over the last 40 years, project managers should use all the tools at their... Sample PDF
A Needle in a Haystack: Choosing the Right Development Methodology for IT Projects
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Chapter 21
Mysore Narayanan
In this chapter, the author describes how one can implement and incorporate creative techniques to design, develop, document and disseminate a... Sample PDF
Project Management Assessment Methods
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Chapter 22
Mario Vanhoucke
It is well-known that well managed and controlled projects are more likely to be delivered on time and within budget. The construction of a... Sample PDF
Static and Dynamic Determinants of Earned Value Based Time Forecast Accuracy
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Chapter 23
Michele De Lorenzi
This chapter presents a technology exploration process designed to support service innovation for information and communication technologies in a... Sample PDF
Technology Exploration Process: From Technology to New Services
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Chapter 24
Henryk R. Marcinkiewicz
Three models structure the planning for technology integration into instruction. Institutional needs are assessed for three dimensions suggested in... Sample PDF
Planning for Integrating Technology
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Chapter 25
Michael Crow
Kansas State University has ensured greatly increased academic involvement in the implementation of its new student information system through the... Sample PDF
University Task Force Deepens Academic Involvement in ERP System
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Chapter 26
Joni A. Amorim, Carlos Machado, Rosana G.S. Miskulin, Mauro S. Miskulin
The production of quality educational multimedia content involves both its publication and its use, considering aspects ranging from metadata... Sample PDF
Production, Publication, and Use of Educational Multimedia Content in Brazil: Challenges and Opportunities in Real World Technology Projects
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Chapter 27
Hasan Tinmaz
Technology planning is an indispensable activity for all higher education institutions nowadays. The major purpose of the technology planning is to... Sample PDF
Instructional Technology Plans for Higher Education Institutions
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Chapter 28
Patricia McGee, Veronica Diaz
The rapid proliferation of e-learning tools that offer low or no cost investment and are not housed on institutional servers, has made it very... Sample PDF
Shifting from Classroom to Online Delivery
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Chapter 29
Bimal P. Nepal, Leslie Monplaisir
Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in automotive industry are faced with the conflicting goals of creating vehicles with higher reliability... Sample PDF
Lean and Global Product Development in Auto Industry
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Chapter 30
Debra D. Orosbullard
The business world is running at a faster pace than ever before. Globalization has partnered the world and new ways of doing business to meet... Sample PDF
Future Trends: Global Projects & Virtual Teaming
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Chapter 31
Geoffrey Corb, Stephen Hellen
Social networking technologies—such as Wikis, blogs and instant messaging—are increasingly being employed in business settings to support... Sample PDF
Wiki-enabled Technology Management
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Chapter 32
Owen G. McGrath
Higher education IT project managers have always relied on user activity data as logged in one form or another. Summarized counts of users and... Sample PDF
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