The match between project leader and project type

Busser, D.A.J. (2010) The match between project leader and project type.

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Abstract:Projects are a popular way of working in business now-a-days, though many projects are unsuccessful. Knowing this, you start to wonder; what is going wrong, where are the problems? One of the ideas developed by P2ontwikkeling is that a match between project leader and project type is relevant. It is expected that when a project leader matches the project type, the project will be more successful than without the match. To study whether or not this idea is true, a research question is created: ‘Is there a relevant match between project leader and project type and, based on that relationship, what project leader characteristics should be matched to what project type?’ The research setting in which the question is studied includes the two project types fixed deliverable and experimental projects. The projects with a fixed deliverable have the requirement that the deliverable of the project is clear and fixed; only the road to go there can be determined by the project team. Experimental projects do not yet have a fixed deliverable. The team might have a deliverable in mind, but the project research and application studies will determine the final deliverable. The projects studied are still ongoing and found with the help of P2ontwikkeling. The study started by looking at previous studies about the subject. It showed that four studies reviewed the subject in the last couple of years. All these studies showed that the project leader influences success and that the project leader characteristics leading to project success differ per project type. The next section shows the main results of the studies. McDonough III (1990) states that new technology projects are positively influenced by the bisociative problem solving style and the academic degree of the project leader. Minor modification projects are positively influenced by years in the present position and age. Dvir et al. (2006) conclude that high-tech projects need a high level of perceiving, a low level of openness to experiences, and a low level of rebellious dreamer. Derivative projects need a low level of perceiving, a high level of openness to experience, and a high level of rebellious dreamer. The study of Storm and Vuijk (2008) shows that fire projects are in need of diplomatic, self-aware, independent, and autonomous leaders and earth projects are in need of pragmatic, realistic, steady, and organizing project leaders. Müller and Turner (2007a) present that EQ (emotional competencies) is almost always contributing to project success, MQ (managerial competencies) sometimes, and IQ (intellectual competencies) almost never. More specifically, they state that from EQ conscientiousness and sensitivity are the main contributors to project success. For renewal projects in particular self-awareness is important. Title: The match between project leader and project type Master thesis - Daisy Busser - s0198102 3 In these four studies, no agreement is reached about which project leader characteristics are important and how to categorize projects. Therefore, the methodologies are reviewed and also other methods are investigated. With this information the final research model is created. This shows that the relation between project leader and project type is studied looking at the level of progress of the project. The type of project leader is determined with the help of the 16 personality factor (16PF) questionnaire. The type of project is controlled with the help of several attributes of the model of Crawford et al. (2005/2006) and a list of statements created by a practitioner involved in the study. The project’s progress is established with the help of twelve critical success factors and the opinion about the progress of participants in the project. The data is collected with the help of the 16PF questionnaire, questionnaires about the project type and progress, and interviews about progress and project leader characteristics. The analysis of the data is done with the help of SPSS. Several statistical tests are used to analyze the dataset. The main conclusions resulted from the t-tests of the 16PF and the project type. These conclusions are that for fixed deliverable projects a project leader needs a low level of reasoning (B) and dominance (E), a medium level of warmth (A), and a high level of rule-consciousness (G) and self-control. For experimental projects on the other hand, the project leader needs an extremely low level of warmth (A) and rule-consciousness (G), a low level of self-control, and a high level of reasoning (B) and dominance (E). T-tests between the 16PF and the level of progress show that the project leader characteristics necessary for a project to progress well are an extremely low level of tension (Q4), a low level of anxiety, a high level of reasoning (B) and emotional stability (C), and an extremely high level of openness to change (Q1). Most of these necessary project leader characteristics seem logical, though some of them seem illogical. For experimental projects, the level of warmth (A) should be low. This means that a project leader should be reserved, impersonal, and distant. This does not seem logical for experimental projects. Here you would expect a project leader who is warm-hearted, caring, and attentive to others. Also, the level of dominance (E) for fixed deliverable as well as experimental projects seems to be odd. The results show that for fixed deliverable projects a project leader should have a low level of dominance, meaning that the project leader is deferential, cooperative, and avoids conflict. For experimental projects the project leader should have a high level of dominance, meaning being dominant, forceful, and assertive. For this personality factor it could be expected that it would be the other way around. Title: The match between project leader and project type Master thesis - Daisy Busser - s0198102 4 Additionally, self-reliance (Q2) could be expected to be lower (more group-oriented) for experimental projects than for fixed deliverable. The results suggest it to be the other way around. Moreover, the results suggest that for both project types reasoning (B) should be high to gain good progress. The results for fixed deliverable projects on the other hand show that project leaders should have a low level of reasoning (B) to gain good progress on their projects. This is in disagreement with each other. It is possible that the illogicality of these results is caused by other project leader characteristics not investigated in this study. Expertise of the project leader for example may be more important for a good progress of the project than a specific level of one of the 16 personality factors. The study provided an answer to the research question. This answer is that there is a relevant match between project leader and project type and that specific personality factors relate to the two project types. These personality factors are warmth (A), reasoning (B), dominance (E), rule-consciousness (G), abstractedness (M), selfreliance (Q2), and self-control. Furthermore, some personality factors relate to all good progress projects, these are: reasoning (B), emotional stability (C), openness to change (Q1), tension (Q4), and anxiety.
Item Type:Essay (Master)
Clients:
p2 ontwikkeling
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:Business Administration MSc (60644)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/60183
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