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The Leadership Styles of Successful Project Managers – Investigating the Successful Project Delivery and Management Methods

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Type of Academic Paper – Dissertation

Academic Subject – Leadership

Word Count – 17692 words

Business School

The Leadership Styles of Successful Project Managers – Investigating the Successful Project Delivery & Management Methods.

Abstract

This study aimed at determining the best leadership styles for successful project management that can be used by all project managers. A quantitative research method, a questionnaire was selected to conduct this research, where the survey data was collected from 74 project managers from different SMEs and large-scale enterprises in the Middle East region via Survey Monkey. The quantitative data was statically analyzed using frequency distribution analysis. Based on the research, the transformational leadership style was the best leadership style for successful project management and can be used by all project managers. The transformational leadership style enables the successful completion of projects in the most effective manner within a specific time period and stipulated budget. It is recommended for the project managers of SMEs and large-scale enterprises in the Middle East region to employ a transformational leadership style to complete projects successfully within the target period and under the stipulated budget. However, when unexpected situations are expected in projects, it is recommended to use situational leadership as it enables the project managers to adopt a leadership style according to the requirements and circumstances of each project.

Introduction

Background to Research

In today’s complex economy, project management is rapidly becoming the leading organisations’ choice practice (Pinto, 2007). Project management deals with people management and handles the management of time and resources (Veal, 2004). The complex projects being executed nowadays necessitates efficient management of people, time, and resources and qualified and improved leadership (Zimmerer & Yasin, 1998).

Most scholars in the field of project management such as; Muller and Turner (2007), Lloyd-Walker and Walker (2011), DuBois, Hanlon, Koch, Nyatuga, and Kerr (2015) agree that different leaders have different leadership styles, and each of the styles contributes to project success in different ways. Erickson et al. (2015) also report that leadership style plays an influential role in any given project’s performance. They argue that leadership style is an important project success factor and that some styles are better situated for certain situations than others.

It was suggested by Barber and Warns (2005) that the project manager must possess leadership skills to be able to move the project in the correct direction. Therefore, it is imperative for a successful project that the project manager continuously develops his leadership skills (Burke, 2013). To complete a project, it is essential that the project manager is proficient in the technical know-how about the project and should also possess administrative and leadership capabilities (Burke, 2007). However, there is no consensus among scholars about the most appropriate leadership style for successful project management.

Leadership enables the team members to realize their potential and successfully achieve the desired goal (Daft, 2014). Several leadership style theories are available in the literature, such as; laisse-fair leadership (Lewin, LIippit & White, 1939), contingency or situational leadership (Hersey& Blanchard, 1969), transformational leadership (Burns, 1978), emotional intelligence (Dulewicz & Higgs, 2000). However, the researchers related to project management have limited evidence regarding which leadership styles are best for successful project management or project managers (Muller & Turner, 2007).

Given this, the present study focuses on exploring different leadership styles adopted by project managers in the Middle East region, and undertake a critical analysis of these leadership styles; to better understand and suggest which leadership style is the best for project management and is used by successful project managers. A representative sample of the piddle East region’s project manager was selected to collect primary data through surveys. The research also utilized past research that has already been conducted about this topic in the theoretical and empirical literature. However, as the empirical literature explaining the leadership styles used by the project managers is limited; therefore, it would be inevitable to include the literature on leadership styles which is not related to project management. Besides, the existing empirical literature on project management provides evidence related to the attributes or traits or qualities necessary for a successful project manager, so it was reviewed in the literature review. This research will add to the existing literature by concluding which of the leadership styles and attributes are best for successful project management.

Rationale for Research

Many scholars like Armandi, Oppedisano, and Sherman (2003) and DuBois et al. (2015) argue that such a leadership style does not exist which can be applied effectively to all projects. This implies that the type of project also plays a significant role in dictating the type of leadership style that project managers employ. In the past, various studies have been conducted to establish clearly how leadership styles vary with project types (DuBois et al., 2015). One such study was by Muller and Turner (2007) who reported that for successful completion of different projects it is necessary that such a leadership style is used which is by the project type will make the project successful. However, which successful project managers use leadership styles are not suggested in these past researches. Moreover, limited evidence exists in the past empirical literature regarding the leadership style of successful project managers. In this regard, this research is highly significant. It is focused on empirically analysing which of project managers’ attributes are best for project management’s success and which leadership style is best for project management.

Aims and Objectives

This present study aims at determining the best leadership styles for successful project management that can be used by all project managers. Based on the research aim, the objectives are:

  1. To determine the main leadership styles and qualities or attributes of project managers
  2. .To determine which leadership styles are best suited for successful completion of projects within the target period and under the stipulated budget

Structure of the Dissertation

The dissertation structure is based on five elements, namely; introduction, literature review, methodology, results and analysis, and conclusions and recommendations. The introduction covers the research background, the rationale for the research, aims and objectives, and limiting factors. The literature review covers the theoretical and empirical past literature related to the leadership styles and leadership styles/traits best for the project management/managers. The methodology covers the research philosophy, research design, research questions, data collection methods, and ethical issues. The results and analysis cover the results in the output of the statistical data analysis, interpretation and discussion based on the findings of the results The conclusions and recommendations section covers the recommendations for future research and practical applications and conclusions where the summary of the main findings are concluded in relation with the research questions and aim of this study. The appendix is also provided at the end. 

Literature Review

Introduction

In this section, the past empirical and theoretical literature related to the leadership/management styles and qualities of successful project managers is explored. Given this, different leadership theories are discussed in this section. The leadership theories reviewed in this study are trait-based leadership, behaviour or style-based leadership, contingency-based leadership, emotional Intelligence-based leadership, competency-based leadership, and charismatic or visionary-based leadership theory. Based on these leadership theories, different leadership styles are found in the literature: laissez-faire leadership, situational leadership, transactional leadership style, and transformational leadership. The leadership styles adopted by project managers are subsequently adopted also reviewed. Moreover, the literature related to the impact or relationship of leadership styles on projects’ success is also included. Past research articles are analyzed to identify and suggest which leadership style can significantly influence a project’s success and is best for project management or it used by successful project managers (Muller & Turner, 2007). Also, based on the literature, the qualities/characteristics of successful managers are also identified.

The literature related to leadership theories provides limited evidence in project management and specifically to the leadership style of successful project managers. Therefore, the literature related to domains other than project management was also included to identify which leadership style is used by successful managers in general or which leadership style enables effective performance. It is argued in the past literature that one type of leadership style may not be suitable for all types of projects. Therefore, it is important to find out which leadership styles can be used effectively in project management and which leadership styles cannot (Armandi et al., 2003). The leadership styles used can vary with the types of projects (DuBois et al., 2015). According to Barber and Warns (2005), projects’ performance can be improved significantly if the appropriate leadership style is used. However, which leadership style is appropriate for which type of projects was not suggested.

The leadership concept has increasingly become familiar during the past two decades in management (Mumford & Gold, 2004). There are various definitions of leadership found in the literature. As per Stogdill (1948), leadership is the relationship between the subordinates and managers who intend major changes and outputs that reflects their common purpose. Rauch and Behling (1984) referred to leadership as a procedure that influences an organised group’s activities toward the achievement of the goal.

Leadership Theories

The past literature provides evidence of different leadership theories. According to Turner and Muller (2005) leadership theories can be classified into the six following categories; trait-based leadership, behaviour or style based leadership, contingency-based leadership, emotional Intelligence-based leadership, competency-based leadership, Transformational and visionary based leadership theory.

The trait theory of leadership propagates that individuals cannot become a leader unless he/she was born leaders, so only those who are leaders since their birth can become leaders (Armandi et al., 2003). Based on the qualities of a leader highlighted under this trait theory, it is possible to differentiate between a non-leader and a leader. The theory highlights seven characteristics of an effective project manager: the ability to solve problems quickly and effectively, goal orientation, enthusiasm towards taking the initiative confidence, vision, communication and negotiation skills (Nahavandi, 2016). However, this theory is considered complex as more than 100 traits can be regarded as ideal for an organisation to be successful (Fairhurst & Connaughton, 2014).

During the 1940s, a new theory of leadership emerged as behavioural or styles. This new theory negated the previously coined trait theory and stated that one does not have to be a born leader; rather, leadership is a learned behaviour. The behavioural theory identifies six parameters that can help assess potential leadership skills. These parameters include concern regarding; people, authority, production, decision-making, decision-making, and flexibility towards rules (Turner and Muller, 2005). Effective leaders between task and results maintain balance. However, the poor leader neglects the balance between tasks and results. Lastly, there is the team management leader who maintains task efficiency while focusing on relationships. However, the most suitable leadership style is ‘team management’, which attaches to both people and production (Blake & McCanse, 1991).

The contingency theory of leadership focuses on leaders’ abilities to use diversified strategies in various situations (House, 1971). Although it offers a model by which leadership effectiveness can be predicted, it does not explore all possible situations.

Visionary leaders are those who share “a vision of the future and a relationship between leaders and followers based on far more than just the simple exchange of rewards for compliance” (Keegan & Hartlog, 2004, p. 609). These leaders exude self-confidence and charisma that helps influence subordinates or employees with a similar vision or mission (Keegan & Hartlog, 2004).

Transformational leadership has the power of changing individuals (Northouse, 1997). Most scholars agree that transformational leadership is based on the principle of exchange between the subordinates and the leaders. Wherein, the leader offers rewards and subordinates offer compliance to complete the exchange process. There is a consensus among the commentators that transformational leadership can be constructive in the project based-context (Keegan & Hartlog, 2004).

A visionary or charismatic school is perhaps the most important because it addresses project managers’ need to be progressive thinkers. They have to persistently estimate and predict when and what can likely go wrong in a project. Therefore, they need to devise steps towards resolving such discrepancies in case they arise (Lewis, 2007). It is safe to assume that transformational leadership can easily influence people’s thinking, which is considered an integral facet of skills a project leader must possess (Partington, 2003).

Emotional intelligence theory differentiates between leaders based on their emotional skills, rather than intellect when dealing with ith situations (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee 2002). This theory has four dimensions: self-awareness, self-management, relationship management, and social awareness.

Literature Review

Introduction

In this section, the past empirical and theoretical literature related to the leadership/management styles and qualities of successful project managers is explored. Given this, different leadership theories are discussed in this section. The leadership theories reviewed in this study are trait-based leadership, behaviour or style-based leadership, contingency-based leadership, emotional Intelligence-based leadership, competency-based leadership, and charismatic or visionary-based leadership theory. Based on these leadership theories, different leadership styles are found in the literature: laissez-faire leadership, situational leadership, transactional leadership style, and transformational leadership. The leadership styles adopted by project managers are subsequently adopted also reviewed. Moreover, the literature related to the impact or relationship of leadership styles on projects’ success is also included. Past research articles are analyzed to identify and suggest which leadership style can significantly influence a project’s success and is best for project management or it used by successful project managers (Muller & Turner, 2007). Also, based on the literature, the qualities/characteristics of successful managers are also identified.

The literature related to leadership theories provides limited evidence in project management and specifically to the leadership style of successful project managers. Therefore, the literature related to domains other than project management was also included to identify which leadership style is used by successful managers in general or which leadership style enables effective performance. It is argued in the past literature that one type of leadership style may not be suitable for all types of projects. Therefore, it is important to find out which leadership styles can be used effectively in project management and which leadership styles cannot (Armandi et al., 2003). The leadership styles used can vary with the types of projects (DuBois et al., 2015). According to Barber and Warns (2005), projects’ performance can be improved significantly if the appropriate leadership style is used. However, which leadership style is appropriate for which type of projects was not suggested.

The leadership concept has increasingly become familiar during the past two decades in management (Mumford & Gold, 2004). There are various definitions of leadership found in the literature. As per Stogdill (1948), leadership is the relationship between the subordinates and managers who intend major changes and outputs that reflects their common purpose. Rauch and Behling (1984) referred to leadership as a procedure that influences an organised group’s activities toward the achievement of the goal.

Leadership Theories

The past literature provides evidence of different leadership theories. According to Turner and Muller (2005) leadership theories can be classified into the six following categories; trait-based leadership, behaviour or style based leadership, contingency-based leadership, emotional Intelligence-based leadership, competency-based leadership, Transformational and visionary based leadership theory.

The trait theory of leadership propagates that individuals cannot become a leader unless he/she was born leaders, so only those who are leaders since their birth can become leaders (Armandi et al., 2003). Based on the qualities of a leader highlighted under this trait theory, it is possible to differentiate between a non-leader and a leader. The theory highlights seven characteristics of an effective project manager: the ability to solve problems quickly and effectively, goal orientation, enthusiasm towards taking the initiative confidence, vision, communication and negotiation skills (Nahavandi, 2016). However, this theory is considered complex as more than 100 traits can be regarded as ideal for an organisation to be successful (Fairhurst & Connaughton, 2014).

During the 1940s, a new theory of leadership emerged as behavioural or styles. This new theory negated the previously coined trait theory and stated that one does not have to be a born leader; rather, leadership is a learned behaviour. The behavioural theory identifies six parameters that can help assess potential leadership skills. These parameters include concern regarding; people, authority, production, decision-making, decision-making, and flexibility towards rules (Turner and Muller, 2005). Effective leaders between task and results maintain balance. However, the poor leader neglects the balance between tasks and results. Lastly, there is the team management leader who maintains task efficiency while focusing on relationships. However, the most suitable leadership style is ‘team management’, which attaches to both people and production (Blake & McCanse, 1991).

The contingency theory of leadership focuses on leaders’ abilities to use diversified strategies in various situations (House, 1971). Although it offers a model by which leadership effectiveness can be predicted, it does not explore all possible situations.

Visionary leaders are those who share “a vision of the future and a relationship between leaders and followers based on far more than just the simple exchange of rewards for compliance” (Keegan & Hartlog, 2004, p. 609). These leaders exude self-confidence and charisma that helps influence subordinates or employees with a similar vision or mission (Keegan & Hartlog, 2004).

Transformational leadership has the power of changing individuals (Northouse, 1997). Most scholars agree that transformational leadership is based on the principle of exchange between the subordinates and the leaders. Wherein, the leader offers rewards and subordinates offer compliance to complete the exchange process. There is a consensus among the commentators that transformational leadership can be constructive in the project based-context (Keegan & Hartlog, 2004).

A visionary or charismatic school is perhaps the most important because it addresses project managers’ need to be progressive thinkers. They have to persistently estimate and predict when and what can likely go wrong in a project. Therefore, they need to devise steps towards resolving such discrepancies in case they arise (Lewis, 2007). It is safe to assume that transformational leadership can easily influence people’s thinking, which is considered an integral facet of skills a project leader must possess (Partington, 2003).

Emotional intelligence theory differentiates between leaders based on their emotional skills, rather than intellect when dealing with ith situations (Goleman, Boyatzis, & McKee 2002). This theory has four dimensions: self-awareness, self-management, relationship management, and social awareness.

Styles of Leadership

As per Cleland, leadership is “a presence and a process carried out within an organizational role that assumes responsibility for the needs and rights of those people who choose to follow the leader in accomplishing project results” (1995, p. 86). No matter what skills are possessed by leaders, different leaders perform their leadership roles in varying styles. These styles are different in nature, for instance, autocratic, transformational, democratic, hands-off, participative, and situational. In the literature, various styles of leadership are discussed; however, in the context of project management, few of the leaderships are discussed, such as; transformational leadership style, situational leadership style, laissez-faire leadership style, transactional leadership style, and emotional intelligence.

Transformational Leadership Style

It is a leadership style where the leader, as being a mentor, works along with his followers; while leading them by example, he motivates and encourages them to achieve some positive change and self-development (Muller, Geraldi, & Turner, 2012). Prabhakar (2005) elaborated on the different types of styles that existed and further classified them in terms of stability; transformational leadership thrives on change, controls through systems and procedures, and exercises ‘control’, which will promote an inspirational vision within a firm. Moreover, it is also very important to boost staff empowerment by knowing their value.

Furthermore, a transformational leader is defined as an individual who contributes towards transforming a working organization (Joyce & Judge, 2004). Therefore, this is carried out by motivating employees, inspiring them, and developing their personal strength, which will, in turn, take them to a higher level of performing. Thus, this will also contribute to firm success. As the leader is a role model for the workers, he will have to work harder to gain a certain kind of respect and win the trust of his followers. Even in hard situations, such leaders have to lead their subordinates by example in order to gain their trust and respect. This shows how integrity and high values are maintained by transformational leaders. (Garfield & Stanton, 2009)

Leadership style also emphasizes the communication approach through with the vision is clearly communicated to the subordinates. Additionally, the focus should be placed on long-term goals, and at the same time, importance should be given to individuality, principles, and values. According to Grossman and Valiga (2009), transformational leaders also take into consideration creativity, innovation, and intellectual stimulation. Moreover, meaningful and challenging tasks and projects are as well designed by leaders that will prove to be beneficial for the followers.

Transformation leaders motivate subordinates to participate in problem-solving by analyzing the situation through critical thinking. Moreover, such leaders elevate the interests of subordinates and make them empower (Kouzes & Posner, 2007). On the other hand, transformational leaders are also the ones to motivate all the workers whereby they have a positive influence on them while building high performances and satisfactory teams. The subordinates, after getting empowered, are able to achieve a higher performance level. This leadership style develops self-motivation in followers. Historic leaders like Genghis Khan had used a transformational style of leadership, and by using which he was able to unite the uncivilized Mongols to create the world’s largest army of his time. (Feinberg, Ostroff, & Burke, 2005)

Situational Leadership Style

The contingency theory of leadership discussed above provides the basis for this leadership style (Hersey & Blanchard, 1969). It is a leadership style where the leader manages and leads their followers by adapting and adjusting his style to fit the needs of the followers and the situation (Hersey, Blanchard, & Johnson, 2008). According to situational leadership, such a leadership style is to be adopted, which is suitable for the circumstances of the situation at hand. In order to come up with an effective approach to leadership, it is very important to understand the situation properly in which the leader has to work. This can be done by analyzing the team or firm’s competencies, skills, and motivation. Therefore, as the situation progresses, the leader will also have to decide on the style that will be most appropriate for the development level of the team or company. As a result, the leader has to manage certain kinds of changes in their leadership style instead of concentrating upon setting up a permanent and dominating style.

DiMarco, Goodson, and Houser (1989), while analyzing the application of situational leadership style in project management, suggested that project managers require to have diversified leadership skills so that they are able to manage the uncertainties which may arise in project management. For successful project management, a range of leadership skills is required for the project managers to possess. It was concluded that for successful project management, it is necessary for project managers to select such a leadership style which is according to the environment and circumstance of a given project, and so situational leadership style was found to be the best for project management.

Laissez-faire Leadership Style

It is a leadership style where a leader delegates the authority to their followers and gives them the liberty to make their own decision and do work (Muller, Geraldi, & Turner, 2012). It is also termed as hands-off style because the subordinates get the liberty to solve problems on their own, while supervision and guidance can be offered by the leader (Alice, Johannesen-Schmidt & Engen, 2003). In addition, without being directly connected to the processes, the subordinates fulfill their roles and tackle their work assignments effectively and efficiently. Generally, this approach is accompanied by little direction and motivation by leaving the team in difficulties. Moreover, this approach is most suitable in the research and development section, whereby the employees are highly motivated and skilful and have the potential to produce excellent results. However, in order to gain a certain kind of popularity and self-gain, in some circumstances, it is not weird that some leaders can even misuse this style by dragging the project to a loss. (Ulrich & Ulrich, 2010)

This leadership style is not effective in developing motivation and job satisfaction in virtual employees. This type of leadership style is ineffective in project management because due to complete freedom, the project can go beyond the scope, vision, and timeframe (Alice, Johannesen-Schmidt & Engen, 2003). The project manager’s duty is to ensure that the scope, vision, and timeframe of a project are as per planning. Due to a lack of participation from the leader in the laissez-faire leadership style, the leader is unable to control the scope, vision, and timeframe of a project, and so this style of leadership is not suitable to use for project management. (Lee, 2016)

Transactional Leadership Style

This leadership style is a leadership style that aims to; analyze, organize, and supervise the performance of the subordinates. The transactional leaders monitor the work of their subordinates so that the subordinates can be controlled and any deficiency in their performance can be identified. This type of leader likes the subordinates to follow them as commanded (Bass, 2008). This leadership style is based on the exchange principle so that when subordinates show good performance, they are offered positive rewards; however, when they show bad performance, they are punished or not offered any positive rewards. This motivates subordinates to show good performance, and hence this style of leadership is in line with Maslow’s theory of needs (Joyce & Judge, 2004). Very limited evidence exists in the literature of project management related to transactional leaders; therefore, this leadership style was not much focused on in this study and not included in the fieldwork.

Emotional Intelligence Leadership Style

The capability of people to comprehend and address the emotions of their own and of those who are around them is known as emotional intelligence (Pahl, 2009). The leadership style where a leader leads the followers while managing and considering their own emotions as well as of their subordinates is based on emotional intelligence (Brown & Moshavi, 2005). A high level of emotional intelligence is indicated by how well individuals can understand why they are feeling something, what are the meaning of different emotions, how their emotions can affect others, and how they can manage their emotions and that of others (Williams, 2007). The ability of leaders to understand emotions can affect their subordinates’ performances. According to Jiang (2014), for a specific project, it is appropriate to use a leadership style based on emotional intelligence.

A study was performed in India by Bhalerao and Kumar (2016) to study how subordinates’ commitment level is impacted by the leaders’ emotional intelligence. Through the survey, quantitative data were collected from respondents from the manufacturing and IT industry. Based on the results, the subordinates’ commitment level was found to be insignificantly related to leaders’ emotional intelligence. Cavazotte, Moreno, and Hickman (2012) had performed a study to identify how leadership performance and transformational leadership style impact the emotional intelligence and personality of leaders. It was found that the transformational leadership style has a significant relationship with emotional intelligence.

Qualities/Attributes of Leader for Successful Project Management

In this section, the empirical evidence from the past researches related to the leadership qualities for successful project management or of successful project managers is discussed. Norrie and Walker had defined project management as “the day-to-day operations of a project plan in pursuit of an agreed set of outcomes – on time and within budget” (2004, p. 48). Despite being identified as necessary for project success, strong project leadership does not necessarily translate into the completion of successful projects (Gray & Larson, 2002). The aim of project management is to ensure that the requirements of a project are met, for instance, in terms of; quality, scope, delivery time, and budget (Murugesan, 2012). According to Murugesan (2012), for project management success, the following leadership attributes are necessary for the project manager/leader to possess, namely; good communication, emotional intelligence, calmness, trustworthiness, ability to solve problems, and build a team. Hagberg (2006) had conducted a study and found that for successful project management, the project managers/leadership must possess the following attributes; flexibility, diplomatic, listening and negotiation skills, confidence, decisiveness, financial competency, and cost mindedness, sincerity, and ability to delegate.

While analyzing the leadership qualities of project managers, it was identified by Curran, Niedergassel, Picker, and Leker (2009) that level of trust between project managers and team members has a significant impact on the project manager’s success. However, the risk and support of upper management were found to have an insignificant impact on the project manager’s success. It was also suggested that strong project leaders have a high level of trust in their subordinates and team members.

It is suggested by Kerzner (2013) that open communication coaching and teamwork are necessary for managers to effectively managing projects. It is vital that the managers are able to resolve conflicts and enhance the capabilities of their team members to achieve optimum project results. Moreover, for long terms success empowering the subordinates and delegation of power is necessary for the project managers. (Kerzner, 2013)

Three categories of qualities are highlighted by Muller, Geraldi, and Turner (2012), which are necessary for the managers/leaders to have for managing projects successfully, namely, emotional qualities, intellectual qualities, and managerial qualities. Pandya (2014) had suggested that for successful project management nowadays, it is necessary for the project managers to have certain leadership qualities in addition to technical knowledge, namely, flexibility and out-of-the-box thinking, positive attitude, highest ethical values, and morality, and interpersonal skills.

Besides, the project manager’s personal qualities or traits can impact the type of leadership the project manager select (Malach-Pines, Dvir, & Sadeh, 2008). Zakaria, Mohamed, Ahzahar, and Hashim (2015) had conducted a study and found 7 leadership attributes of successful project managers and found these attributes to have a positive impact on the success of projects. Those leadership attributes are namely; goal setting and planning, sense of responsibility, team building, time management, good communication, decisiveness and ability to solve problems, and conflict resolution. However, out of these seven attributes, the goal setting, and planning attribute is the most important for construction project management.

Antonakis, Avolio, and Sivasubramaniam (2003) conducted a study using full range MLQ to measure the following leadership qualities; laissez-faire, contingent reward, intellectual stimulation, idealized influence, inspirational motivation, individualized consideration, and active and passive management by exception. Clark (2004) had suggested certain leadership qualities which are necessary for project management effectiveness. Those leadership qualities were namely; time management, conflict resolution, teamwork, coaching, delegation, open communication, collective decision making, monitoring of tasks. Udhayakumar and Karthikeyan (2014) had conducted a study to identify the managerial qualities for successful construction project managers. It was found that to become a leader, it is necessary that project managers must be; perfectionists, dedicated, punctual, courageous, and able to understand the behaviour of others.

Montequina, Nieto, Ortegaa, and Villanuevaa (2015) conducted research based on the survey to identify what leadership qualities are possessed by successful project managers. In this study, the personality theory given by Jung (1988) was employed to formulate a questionnaire-based five-point Likert scale. Through the survey, primary data was collected from 78 project managers from different countries. There were 13 questions in the questionnaire which were focused on identifying the preference of project managers to identify leadership qualities. However, in each question, two contradicting qualities were evaluated, for instance, preference for flexibility over control. Based on the results, certain leadership qualities of successful project managers were identified, namely; structured behaviours, rational decision making, and extroverts. It was found that the successful project managers; are more sociable than reserved, are more firm people than pleasing, are more extroverts than introverts, respect fairness more than empathy, respect deadlines more than adapting them to new circumstances, prefer making logical decisions than decisions based on emotions, prefer making decisions based on objectivity than decisions based on team consensus, prefer control more than flexibility, prefer the scope of projects to be freeze than leaving it open for addition.

DuBois et al. (2015) had performed research to find critical leadership qualities which can have an impact on project success. The following leadership qualities were critical for the project success; self-confidence, openness, organization, team building, re-evaluation if required, clearly defined success criteria and scope of the project, clearly established roles and relationships of team members. Having one or two of these leadership qualities is not sufficient, rather It is necessary that leaders possess a combination of these qualities to be able to manage a project and subordinates efficiently. It was also found that these leadership qualities enable the project completed efficiently in less time.

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Leadership Style and Project Management

In this section, the empirical evidence from the past researches related to the leadership style for successful project management is discussed. Muller and Turner (2007) while reviewing the past researchers related to the leadership styles used by successful project managers identified that for successful project management it is necessary that the leadership style of the project manager is in line with the type of the project. Although the leadership styles which are used by successful project managers were not found in the past researchers (Muller & Turner, 2007).

Vierimaa (2013) had also studied the emotional Intelligence leadership of project managers by reviewing the past literature and interviews of five project managers. The qualitative data was obtained by using semi-structured interviews. It was found that teamwork can be improved by using emotional intelligence in project management. This will enable the project managers to recognize and comprehend the subordinates’ emotions by which they would be able to better address their emotions and improve the efficiency of the team.

Kotlyar and Karakowsky (2007) had performed a study using MLQ to measure different leadership styles namely; passive-avoidant transactional, and transformational styles of leadership. Based on the research the MLQ was found to be effective in measuring the specific leadership styles. Moreover, it enables individuals to self assist their own leadership behaviours and identify how they perceive their leadership qualities.

How the project management performance and employees job satisfaction can be affected by the emotional Intelligence of project leaders was analyzed by Turner (2007). Emotional Intelligence was taken as a performance measure in this study. It was argued that limited evidence exists in the past literature where the emotional dimension was studied to improve the performance of projects. Based on this research it was found that project outcome depends upon job performance and job satisfaction level of project team members, and the job performance and job satisfaction level of project team members are affected by an understanding of emotional intelligence.

Moreover while analyzing the relationship between different leadership styles of project managers and project success it was identified by Yang, Huang, and Wu (2011) that transformational and transactional leadership styles are most appropriate to use for project managers. A complete version of the Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ) given by Bass and Avolio (2004) was used by the researchers to measure the components of different leadership styles. Different leadership styles namely; transformational, laissez-faire, transactional, and leadership by exception were measured on the basis of certain traits.

A study was conducted by Maamari and Majdalani (2017) to find how leadership style is impacted by emotional intelligence and how organizational citizenship behaviour of employees is impacted by leadership style. In this research, the leadership style was used as a mediator to identify its impact on the relationship between organizational climate and the emotional intelligence of leaders. A survey-based quantitative method was employed in this study to collect data on the basis of which the proposed model was statistically tested. Based on the results the leadership style was found to be positively impacted by the emotional intelligence of leaders. Moreover, the perception of employees regarding the organizational climate was found to be positively impacted by the leadership style. Therefore, the leadership style was found to have a mediating role between organizational climate and the emotional intelligence of leaders.

Conclusion

By reviewing the previous literature different leadership theories, different leadership styles and qualities of successful project managers are identified. It was evident that there are six leadership theories found in the literature; namely; trait-based leadership, behaviour or style based leadership, contingency-based leadership, emotional Intelligence-based leadership, competency-based leadership, and charismatic or visionary based leadership theory. Moreover, different leadership styles were found in the literature, such as; laissez-faire leadership, situational leadership, transformational leadership, and transactional leadership style. However limited evidence of leadership styles was found in the context of project management, which includes; autocratic leadership style, democratic leadership style, and transactional leadership style. However, in the context of project management, few of the leadership styles are found, namely; transformational leadership style, situational leadership style, laissez-faire leadership style, and emotional intelligence. In addition variety of leadership qualities/trails were identified which are necessary for successful project management or are possessed by successful project managers, namely; good communication, emotional intelligence, calmness, trustworthiness, ability to solve problems, build team (Murugesan, 2012), flexibility, diplomatic, listening and negotiation skills, confidence, decisiveness, financial competency and cost mindedness, sincerity, ability to delegate (Hagberg, 2006), open communication, coaching, and team work (Kerzner, 2013), emotional qualities, intellectual qualities, and managerial qualities (Muller, Geraldi, & Turner, 2012), flexibility and out-of-the-box thinking, positive attitude, highest ethical values and morality, interpersonal skills (Pandya, 2014), goal setting and planning, sense of responsibility, team building, time management, good communication, decisiveness and ability to solve problems, and conflict resolution (Zakaria, Mohamed, Ahzahar, & Hashim, 2015), contingent reward, intellectual stimulation, idealized influence, inspirational motivation, individualized consideration, and active and passive management by exception (Antonakis, Avolio, & Sivasubramaniam, 2003), time management, conflict resolution, teamwork, coaching, delegation, open communication, collective decision making, monitoring of task (Clark, 2004), perfectionist, dedicated, punctual, courageous, able to understand behaviour of others (Udhayakumar & Karthikeyan, 2014), sociable, firm people, extroverts, fairness, respect deadlines, logical and objective decision making, prefer control (Montequina et al., 2015), self-confidence, openness, organization, team building, re-evaluation if required, clearly defined success criteria and scope of project, clearly established roles and relationship of team members (DuBois et al., 2015).

Methodology

Introduction to Research Methodology

The systematic approach to problem-solving is known as a research methodology. There are two primary research methods namely; qualitative and quantitative which were available to select for this research. According to Bryman and Bell (2003) qualitative research focuses on data collection that can be analyzed in words. Whereas, quantitative research deals with data collection that is in numeric form and can be analyzed statistically. In view of this, in this research quantitative research method was selected to employ using an online survey based on questionnaires. The quantitative data was statically analyzed using frequency distribution analysis.

Research Philosophy

The manner in which data is collected, analyzed and interpreted in research can be referred to as a research philosophy. Selecting the right research philosophy is of paramount importance for the appropriateness of any research (Bryman & Bell, 2003). The core focus of philosophies is the way we believe knowledge is developed.  As per Saunders, Lewis, and Thornhill (2012) there are three types of research philosophy that can be employed to conduct a research study, namely; interpretivism, positivism, and realism. Interpretivism believes there are no rules and that people make their own sense of the world according to context and experience (Collis & Hussey, 2009).  Hence, the role of the researcher is to make sense of different views in different contexts, and so understanding specific perspectives and experiences can allow us to have some understanding of the phenomena. This research philosophy is based on perceived knowledge and it seeks to find conclusions in accordance with some definite context to understand a specific situation. In this research philosophy, qualitative research approaches like the interview is used to collect data and the qualitative data is analyzed using the interpretative technique.

In contrast, positivists take the view that the world conforms to rules and logic (or truth) and that the researcher uncovers or identifies logic or test predictions about that logic.  Hence once we understand the logic we can make predictions that can be observed and measured. For instance, in business research the use of quantitative surveys allows us to test the prediction, hypotheses, and make generalisations (Bryman & Bell, 2003). It involves quantitative data and enables cause and effect relationships testing. As it requires qualitative data collection, therefore, quantitative research methods like survey questionnaires are generally used in this research philosophy.

When interpretivism and positivism are used together it gives rise to realism research philosophy. In realism, the researchers require both quantitative and qualitative methods to be used collectively to conduct one research project from different approaches (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2012). An example of realism research would research where a quantitative method such as a survey and a qualitative method such as an interview is used together with a survey to understand a phenomenon. By analysing a phenomenon from both qualitative and quantitative viewpoints this research philosophy enables the researcher to overcome the shortcoming of both the research methods. Moreover, critical realists see the world as multilevel and reality can be independent of our thinking.  Unlike positivists who aim to uncover the truth, critical realists suggest that there is always room for error and to understand we need to triangulate from different perspectives and methods as single perspectives are fallible.

However, in this present study, the research philosophy of positivism was employed to collect, analyse and interpret the quantitative data because it is quantitative research.

Research Design

Research design is a blueprint for research that enables the researcher to organise different parts of research in a consistent manner so that the research objectives are effectively addressed by the collection, analysis and results of the data. Research design can be considered as a stitching substance that holds different components of research together. Simply it can be understood as a recipe that requires specific instructions to follow and a particular list of ingredients to mix for correctly preparing a dish. In the same manner, a specific research design enables a researcher to conduct research by using specific types of data, and specific type of instruments for data collection, specific methods to analyse the data and draw results. (Saunders, Lewis, & Thornhill, 2012)

As per Bryman and Bell (2003) there are different types of research design that can be used to conduct research such as; descriptive design, causal design, exploratory design, cross-sectional design and experimental design. In this study, a descriptive research design was employed. Descriptive research design is based on the collection and analysis of data in description form. It enables the researcher to find how, when, what, where, who aspects of a research question. However, it cannot be used to answer why or identify causal relationships based on the analyzed results. Descriptive research design is useful in analysing the current situation of a phenomenon, explaining the manner in which the phenomenon exists.

The descriptive research design can be of three types based on the way the data is collected and analyzed, namely; survey, case-study and observational design (Collis & Hussey, 2009). Therefore, the researcher had to select one of the three descriptive research designs in this study. The survey-based descriptive research design is used when research requires data sampling so that a smaller representative sample of a large target population can be selected to collect primary data via survey instruments such as questionnaires. This type of descriptive research design permits the collection of rich data which can be analyzed statically to bring logical and meaningful results.

In view of the description of the three descriptive research designs, the survey-based descriptive research design was selected in this study. It is because the research objectives and questions of this study necessitated that such a method is used which would allow the collection of quantitative data via questionnaire and so philosophically positivist approach was taken. As descriptive research design based on the survey would enable the researcher to collect quantitative data via questionnaire and interpret the results based on descriptive statistical analysis such as frequency distribution therefore it was appropriate to select it to conduct this study.

Research Questions

Following are the research questioned which will be answered to achieve the purpose of this study:

  1. Primary: What are the main leadership attributes and leadership style(s) adopted by the successful project managers and under what circumstances are these style(s) most preferred?
  2. Secondary: Is there one leadership style or set of leadership attributes that can be considered as most effective, and can it be used across all projects?

The study will help project managers understand if there is one leadership style or a certain set of leadership trails that can be used for all projects. This will help project managers to more effectively perceive the needs of the project and manage their team.

Data Collection Methods

The quantitative method was used to collect data in this study. In quantitative research, data is collected in the form of numbers and is statically analyzed to interpret the results (Collis &Hussey, 2009). The data is collected from a number of respondents, where normally a smaller representative sample of the research population is selected (Collis & Hussey, 2009). The closed-ended questionnaire is a widely-used tool to conduct quantitative research. The pure closed-ended questionnaire is normally based on dichotomous questions where the answers are either yes or no. However, to open out closed-ended questions a little the researcher can use scales such as 5 points Likert Scale where answer choices are provided to the respondents to express their answer selection. In the questionnaire, the questions and the answer choices are developed on the basis of the reviewed literature. To collect data from a large sample it is appropriate and easier to use the survey method (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2013). Therefore, in this study closed-ended questionnaire was used as a quantitative research method to collect primary data from a sample of project managers.

The research population in this study is the project managers from different SMEs and large-scale enterprises in the Middle East region. As the research population was large and it was not possible to reach the entire population, therefore, a smaller representative sample of 74 project managers from different SMEs and large-scale enterprises in the Middle East region was selected. The questionnaire was responded to by 74 project managers however there were some missing data (around 4 to 9 missing responses across the whole survey) as some of the questions were skipped by the respondents. However, in this study, the response rate was still more than 85%. The selected sample was reached through Survey Monkey. The project managers from different industries including the construction industry were included in the sample. The project managers were chosen through LinkedIn and from my Facebook contact list, and they forwarded the survey link to their friends who were in the same line of work and position. This indicates that those participants were selected to include in this study which was accessible to the researcher. Therefore, convenience-based sampling was appropriate to use in this study because it was not possible to randomly select the project managers from the population (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2013).

The questionnaire was drafted after critically reviewing the leadership styles and qualities, as well as the available literature to identify the ‘research gap’ as well as ‘key factors’ of the subject under study. A questionnaire was developed and used by Montequina, Nieto, Ortegaa, and Villanuevaa (2015) in a previous study to identify the managerial attributes of successful project managers, where 13 questions were used in the questionnaire and the questions were based on a 5-point Likert scale. In this present study, some of the questions from the questionnaire used by Montequina et al. (2015) are selected while slight modification, where the contradicting qualities from one question were used to form two. Moreover, in this study, more questions were added to the questionnaire to include aspects related to leadership qualities/attributes which were not included in the Montequina et al. questionnaire. The quantitative data was collected through Survey Monkey where the respondents had the liberty to answer the questionnaire at their own convenience and so the researcher will not be able to influence the data collection. The questionnaires were self-administered and had structured format questions. The questionnaire mostly contained Likert scale items (questions), where the extent to which the participants were agreed or disagreed with a particular question was identified. Moreover, demographic questions were also included to identify the demographic characteristics of the participants, such as; age and gender.

Before conducting the final data collection, a pilot study was also performed to ensure that the questionnaire is appropriately designed, such that it was able to obtain the required information and bring valid results. As per Collis and Hussey (2009) it is appropriate to select a smaller representative sample to perform the pilot study. Therefore, for conducting the pilot study 5 respondents (project managers who were found on LinkedIn) were selected. The Monkey Survey provided the data and the results output of the pilot study in the form of raw data and frequency distribution analysis. Based on the results of the pilot study it was found that the survey questionnaire was feasible to use for a full-scale study and required no changes. The questionnaire is provided in Appendix. Once the pilot study confirmed that the survey questionnaire was feasible to use for full-scale study then the final data collection was performed via Survey Monkey and the data were also analyzed by Survey Monkey and hence frequency distribution analysis result outputs for all of the questionnaire questions were obtained without using SPSS or Excel packages to analyze the final data. It was found that there were some missing values however there was no need to transform the data because the Monkey Survey had already recorded and exported the data and result outputs in Excel files.

Ethical Issues, Reliability and Validity

Various ethical aspects were considered while performing this study.  Informed consent was obtained from the participants regarding their willingness to participate in this study by asking the participants to sign the ‘Participant Consent Form’ which was provided by the Salford University, UK. In addition, the ‘Participant Information Sheet’ was provided to the participants, where all the details about the research were disclosed. In the ‘Participant Information Sheet,’ the participation was expressly notified that their participation is voluntarily therefore it is up to them to decide if they want to participate in the survey, and even at a later they were allowed to withdraw their consent and ask us not to include their data in the research. Moreover, efforts were being made to protect the privacy of all the participants in this research, and their personal information such as names and email addresses were kept confidential and were not disclosed. To ensure confidentiality the provided information was stored safely, kept in an encrypted file format with password protection. Besides, the hard copies of the data were stored in a locked cabinet and were only accessible to the researcher during the course of this research. Additionally, the electronic data files were stored on a computer that was protected by a password and the password was only known by the researcher. Furthermore, it was ensured that only the authorized persons had access to the data which included; the researcher, and supervisor. However, the data was destroyed at the end of the research.

Methodological Limitations

These were some methodological limitations of using survey questionnaires which are discussed here. In a closed-ended questionnaire, the respondents provide answers by selecting one of the answer choices, therefore it was not possible to identify if the respondents were lying or selecting the answer choices randomly rather than based on their true opinion. It is also argued that the results of questionnaires can artificially be created and hence critics question the validity of its results. Furthermore, a closed-ended and structured survey questionnaire is inflexible as its questions cannot be changed during the data collection process. It is possible that a preferred answer choice of the respondents is not included in the closed-ended questionnaire and hence it would be unsuccessful in obtaining actual results. It is also possible that the respondents may interpret the predefined questions differently than what the researcher had intended them to understand and so due to misunderstanding, the results may not be valid. Besides, respondents may prevent themselves from providing negative answers in fear that they could get in trouble if their negative answers are disclosed. (Cohen, Manion, & Morrison, 2013)

Conclusions

In this study, the research philosophy which was selected to use was positivism. The research objectives and research questions of this study necessitated that such a research philosophy is used which permits collection, analysis and interpretation of quantitative data therefore positivism research philosophy was employed. Moreover, a descriptive research design based on a survey was selected in this study as it enables the researcher to collect quantitative data via questionnaire. In view of this, an online survey was conducted on Survey Monkey to collect primary quantitative data.

Overall this is fine but I have noted some key things that need addressing.  Do just check the detail and proof.

Results and Analysis

Introduction

This section presents results from all the data collected. The survey data were analysed using frequency distribution analysis and the results are discussed while comparing and contrasting it with the past literature to identify if this research validates or contradicts the existing empirical literature. Efforts were made to ensure coherence between the sections of the paper. In this regard, the results and discussion helped in addressing the research objectives and answering the research questions. The results of the frequency distribution analysis were based on 74 respondents. However, there were some missing values in the data as some of the respondents had not answered all of the questions. Survey Monkey provided the result outputs of frequency distribution analysis of the surveyed data. Based on the results of the frequency distribution analysis the most repeated answer choices were identified to indicate the view of the majority of the respondents. The first two questions (questions 1 and 2) were related to the demographics of the respondents to identify their age group and if they were working in SMEs or large-scale enterprises. Then five questions (from questions 3 to 7) were focused to identify the leadership style which was best; for successful completion of projects within a specific time period, for successful completion of projects within a stipulated budget, in terms of managing unexpected situations which may result in project delay or inefficiency, in terms of most effective completion of projects, in terms of communication and interpersonal skills necessary for project management. The remaining seventeen questions (from questions 8 to 24) of the questionnaire were based on 5 points Likert scale and focused to identify the leadership qualities/attributes of the most successful project managers. The results and findings from the questionnaire are discussed in the following sub-section.

Findings from Questionnaire

The question 1 of the questionnaire was focused to identify the gender of the respondents. Based on the results given in table 4.1 it was found that 80.8% of the project managers were males, while the rest 19.2% of the project managers were female. This indicated that there were more males project managers amongst the respondents than females and so there were significant gender biases present in the data.

Table 4.1

Q1 Select your gender?

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
Male 80.8% 59
Female 19.2% 14
answered question 73
skipped question 1

Question 2 was focused to identify how many of the respondents were from SMEs and how many were from large-scale enterprises. In this regard in question 2, the respondents were asked to select if there are ‘less than 250’ or ‘more than 250’ employees in their companies. If there were ‘less than 250’ employees in a company then it was SMEs while if there were ‘more than 250’ employees then it was large-scale enterprises. It was found that 25.7% of the respondents had selected ‘less than 250’, however, 74.3% of the respondents had selected ‘more than 250’ employees as shown in table 4.2 given below. This indicated that the project managers had representation from SMEs and large-scale enterprises both, however, the majority of the project managers were from large-scale enterprises.

Table 4.2

 

Table 4.2

Q2 How many employees are there in your company?

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
Less than 250 25.7% 18
More than 250 74.3% 52
answered question 70
skipped question 4

In question 3 the respondents were asked to select the leadership style which is best for the successful completion of projects within a specific time period. The results output of frequency distribution analysis of question 3 is provided in table 4.3 given below. Based on the results it was evident that 50% of the project managers had selected transformational leadership style, 41.2% had selected situational leadership style, 5.9% had selected Laissez-faire leadership style, and only 2.9% had selected emotional intelligence leadership style. This indicated that in view of the majority of the project managers transformational leadership style is the best for the successful completion of projects within a specific time period. When the projects are to be completed within a specific time period then transformational leadership style is the best to employ.

Table 4.3

Q3 Select the leadership style which is best for successful completion of projects within a specific time period

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
Transformational 50.0% 34
Situational 41.2% 28
laissez-faire 5.9% 4
Emotional intelligence 2.9% 2
answered question 68
skipped question 6

The subsequent question (question 4) was focused to identify the leadership style which is best for the successful completion of projects within a stipulated budget. The results output of frequency distribution analysis of question 4 is provided in table 4.4 given below. Based on the results it was clear that 47.8% of the project managers had selected transformational leadership style, 39.1% had selected situational leadership style, and 5.8% had selected laissez-faire leadership style, while 7.2% had selected emotional intelligence leadership style.

This shows that in view of the majority of the project managers transformational leadership style is best for the successful completion of projects within a stipulated budget. When the projects are to be completed within a tight budget then it is best to use a transformational leadership style.

 

 

Table 4.4

Q4 Select the leadership style which is best for successful completion of projects within a stipulated budget

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
Transformational 47.8% 33
Situational 39.1% 27
laissez-faire 5.8% 4
Emotional intelligence 7.2% 5
answered question 69
skipped question 5

In the next question (question 5) the respondents were requested to select the leadership style which is best in terms of managing unexpected situations which may result in project inefficiency. The results output of frequency distribution analysis of question 5 given below in table 4.5 reflects that 20.3% of the project managers had selected transformational leadership style, 59.4% had selected situational leadership style, and 5.8% had selected Laissez-faire leadership style, however, 14.5% had selected emotional intelligence leadership style. It was evident that the majority of the project managers believed situations leadership style to be the best leadership style in terms of managing unexpected situations which may result in project inefficiency. Therefore when unexpected situations are expected in projects then it is best to use a situational leadership style.

Table 4.5

 

 

Q5 Select the leadership style which is best in terms of managing unexpected situations which may result in project inefficiency

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
Transformational 20.3% 14
Situational 59.4% 41
laissez-faire 5.8% 4
Emotional intelligence 14.5% 10
answered question 69
skipped question 5

In question 6 the respondents were asked to select the leadership style which is best in terms of the most effective completion of projects. The results output given below in table 4.6 indicates that 48.5% of the project managers had selected transformational leadership style, 39.7% had selected situational leadership style, and 11.8% had selected Laissez-faire leadership style, however, 0.0% had selected emotional intelligence leadership style. This reflected that in view of the majority of the project managers transformational leadership style is the best in terms of the most effective completion of projects. Most effective completion of projects becomes possible by using transformational leadership style.

Table 4.6

 

 

Q6 Select the leadership style which is best in terms of most effective completion of projects

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
Transformational 48.5% 33
Situational 39.7% 27
laissez-faire 11.8% 8
Emotional intelligence 0.0% 0
answered question 68
skipped question 6

Moreover in question 7, the respondents were requested to select the leadership style which is best in terms of communication and interpersonal skills necessary for project management. The results output given below in table 4.7 below shows that 28.6% of the project managers had selected transformational leadership style, 18.5% had selected situational leadership style, and 10.0% had selected Laissez-faire leadership style, however, 42.9% had selected emotional intelligence leadership style. This indicates that in view of the majority of the project managers, a leadership style based on emotional intelligence is the best in terms of communication and interpersonal skills necessary for project management. The leadership based on emotional intelligence is able to understand, express and address their own emotions and that of their subordinates therefore such leaders are able to have good communication and interpersonal skills.

Table 4.7

Q7 Select the leadership style which is best in terms of communication and interpersonal skills necessary for project management

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
Transformational 28.6% 20
Situational 18.6% 13
laissez-faire 10.0% 7
Emotional intelligence 42.9% 30
answered question 70
skipped question 4

The next question (question 8) was based on 5 points Likert scale, where the project managers were requested to express the extent to which they were agreed or disagreed that the most successful project managers prefer to make decisions based on logic more than on emotional arguments. Based on the results given below in table 4.8 it was found that 7.1% of the respondent project managers were strongly disagreed, and 1.4% disagreed with the statement of the question. While 7.1% were neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement. However, 54.3% were agreed and 30.0% were strongly agreed that most successful project managers prefer to make decisions based on logic more than on emotional arguments. This indicates that in view of the majority of the respondents the most successful project managers make logical decisions rather than decision-based on emotions.

Table 4.8

 

Q8 Most successful project managers prefer to make decisions based on logical more than on emotional arguments

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 7.1% 5
2 = Disagree 1.4% 1
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 7.1% 5
4 = Agree 54.3% 38
5= Strongly agree 30.0% 21
answered question 70
skipped question 4

In question 9 the responding project managers were requested to express the extent to which they were agreed or disagreed that the most successful project managers are sociable more than reserved people. Based on the results given below in table 4.9 it was found that 1.5% of the project managers were strongly disagreed, and 9% disagreed with the statement of the question. While 16.4% were neither agreed nor disagreed with the statement. However, 53.7% were agreed and 19.4% were strongly agreed that the most successful project managers are sociable more than reserved people. This indicates that in view of the majority of the respondents the most successful project managers are sociable more than reserved people.

Table 4.9

Q9 Most successful project managers are sociable more than reserved people

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 1.5% 1
2 = Disagree 9.0% 6
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 16.4% 11
4 = Agree 53.7% 36
5= Strongly agree 19.4% 13
answered question 67
skipped question 7

Moreover in question 10, the responding project managers were asked to express the extent to which they were agreed or disagreed that the most successful project managers prefer a structured organization more than a flexible organization. It was evident based on the results of question 10 given below in table 4.10 that 1.4% of the project managers were strongly disagreed, and 14.5% disagreed with the statement of the question. While 24.6% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however, 52.2% were agreed and 7.2% were strongly agreed that most successful project managers prefer a structured organization more than a flexible organization. This shows that in view of the majority of the respondents the most successful project managers prefer a structured organization more than a flexible organization.

Table 4.10

Q10 Most successful project managers prefer a structured organization more than a flexible organization

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 1.4% 1
2 = Disagree 14.5% 10
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 24.6% 17
4 = Agree 52.2% 36
5= Strongly agree 7.2% 5
answered question 69
skipped question 5

Question 11 was focused to identify the extent to which the project managers were agreed or disagreed that the most successful project managers prefer to have control more than flexibility. It was evident based on the results of question 10 given below in table 4.11 that 1.5% of the respondent project managers were strongly disagreed, and 16.2% disagreed with the statement of the question. While 20.6% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however, 50.0% were agreed and 11.8% were strongly agreed that most successful project managers prefer to have control more than flexibility. This indicates that in view of the majority of the respondents the most successful project managers prefer to have control more than flexibility. From the results, it is inferred that for successful project management it is more important that project managers have control than flexibility.

Table 4.11

Q11 Most successful project managers prefer to have control more than flexibility

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 1.5% 1
2 = Disagree 16.2% 11
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 20.6% 14
4 = Agree 50.0% 34
5= Strongly agree 11.8% 8
answered question 68
skipped question 6

Afterwards in question 12 the responding project managers were asked to express the extent to which they were agreed or disagreed that the most successful project managers prefer to make consensus team decisions more than objective decisions. It was found as shown in the table 4.12 that 4.5% of the project managers were strongly disagreed, and 32.8% was disagreed with the statement of the question. While 19.4% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however 34.3% were agreed and 9.0% were strongly agreed that most successful project managers prefer to make consensus team decisions more than objective decisions. This shows that the respondents were of mixed opinion and so the answer to this question could not be identified based on majority. Therefore it was not clear if the most successful project managers prefer to make consensus team decisions more or objective decisions more.

Table 4.12

Q12 Most successful project managers prefer to make consensus team decisions more than objective decisions

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 4.5% 3
2 = Disagree 32.8% 22
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 19.4% 13
4 = Agree 34.3% 23
5= Strongly agree 9.0% 6
answered question 67
skipped question 7

In question 13, the responding project managers were requested to express the extent to which they agree or disagree that most successful project managers prefer to freeze the scope more than leaving it open for additional requirements. The results given below in table 4.13 depicted that 0.0% of the project managers were strongly disagreed, and 10.4% disagreed with the statement. While 22.4% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however, 37.3% were agreed and 29.9% were strongly agreed that most successful project managers prefer to freeze the scope more than leave it open for additional requirements. This shows the majority of the project managers were of the opinion that most successful project managers prefer to freeze the scope more than leave it open for additional requirements.

Table 4.13

Q13 Most successful project managers prefer to freeze the scope more than leave it open for additional requirements

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 0.0% 0
2 = Disagree 10.4% 7
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 22.4% 15
4 = Agree 37.3% 25
5= Strongly agree 29.9% 20
answered question 67
skipped question 7

In subsequent question (question 14), the responding project managers were requested to express the extent to which they agree or disagree that most successful project managers prefer to respect deadlines more than adapt them to new circumstances. The results given below in table 4.14 depicted that 0.0% of the project managers were strongly disagreed, and 16.2% disagreed with the statement. While 17.6% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however, 52.9% were agreed and 13.2% were strongly agreed that most successful project managers prefer to respect deadlines more than adapt to new circumstances. This indicates the majority of the project managers were of the opinion that most successful project managers stick to the deadlines and complete the project within the pre-decided deadlines rather than extend the deadline later if circumstances changes.

Table 4.14

Q14 Most successful project managers prefer to respect deadlines more than adapt them to new circumstances

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 0.0% 0
2 = Disagree 16.2% 11
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 17.6% 12
4 = Agree 52.9% 36
5= Strongly agree 13.2% 9
answered question 68
skipped question 6

The next question (question 15), was focused to find the extent to which the responding project managers were agreed or disagreed, that most successful project managers show fairness. The results given below in table 4.15 are evident that 2.9% of the project managers were strongly disagreed, and 10.3% disagreed with the statement. While 14.7% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however, 47.1% were agreed and 25.0% were strongly agreed that most successful project managers show fairness. This indicates the majority of the project managers were of the opinion that most successful project managers show fairness.

Table 4.15

Q15 Most successful project managers show fairness

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 2.9% 2
2 = Disagree 10.3% 7
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 14.7% 10
4 = Agree 47.1% 32
5= Strongly agree 25.0% 17
answered question 68
skipped question 6

In question 16 the responding project managers were requested to express the extent to which they were agreed or disagreed that the most successful project managers show empathy. The results given below in table 4.16 indicate that 3.1% of the project managers were strongly disagreed, and 9.2% were disagreed with the statement of the question. While 32.3% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however 46.2% were agreed and 9.2% were strongly agreed that the most successful project managers show empathy. This shows that most successful project managers show empathy.

Table 4.16

Q16 Most successful project managers show empathy

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 3.1% 2
2 = Disagree 9.2% 6
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 32.3% 21
4 = Agree 46.2% 30
5= Strongly agree 9.2% 6
answered question 65
skipped question 9

Subsequently, in question 17, the responding project managers were asked to express the extent to which they were agreed or disagreed, that successful project managers require their subordinates to strictly follow the existing structures for the performance of tasks. The results given below in table 4.17 are evident that 2.9% of the project managers were strongly disagreed, and 27.9% have disagreed with the statement. While 20.6% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however, 44.1% were agreed and 4.4% were strongly agreed that successful project managers require their subordinates to strictly follow the existing structures for the performance of tasks. This shows that in the opinion of the majority of the project managers successful, project managers require their subordinates to strictly follow the existing structures for the performance of tasks.

Table 4.17

Q17 Successful project managers requires their subordinates to strictly follow the existing structures for performance of tasks

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 2.9% 2
2 = Disagree 27.9% 19
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 20.6% 14
4 = Agree 44.1% 30
5= Strongly agree 4.4% 3
answered question 68
skipped question 6

in question 18, the responding project managers were requested to express the extent to which they were agreed or disagreed, that successful project managers only provide guidance. The results given below in table 4.18 shows that 20.6% of the project managers were strongly disagreed, and 45.6% disagreed with the statement. While 14.7% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however, 16.2% were agreed and only 2.9% were strongly agreed that successful project managers only provide guidance. This indicates that the majority of the project managers were not of the opinion that successful project managers only provide guidance. Therefore it is inferred that successful project managers not just provide guidance to the subordinates or team members but lead them and provide help to ensure successful completion of projects.

Table 4.18

Q18 Successful project managers only provide guidance

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 20.6% 14
2 = Disagree 45.6% 31
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 14.7% 10
4 = Agree 16.2% 11
5= Strongly agree 2.9% 2
answered question 68
skipped question 6

Furthermore, in question 19, the responding project managers were asked to express the extent to which they were agreed or disagreed, that successful project managers provide maximum freedom regarding task completion to the subordinates. The results given below in table 4.19 reflect that 10.4% of the project managers were strongly disagreed, and 29.9% disagreed with the statement. While 20.9% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however, 35.8% were agreed and 3.0% were strongly agreed that successful project managers provide maximum freedom regarding task completion to the subordinates. This shows that the responding project managers were of mixed opinions and so it was not possible to identify if successful project managers provide maximum freedom regarding task completion to the subordinate or not.

Table 4.19

Q19 Successful project managers provide maximum freedom regarding task completion to the subordinates

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 10.4% 7
2 = Disagree 29.9% 20
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 20.9% 14
4 = Agree 35.8% 24
5= Strongly agree 3.0% 2
answered question 67
skipped question 7

Afterwards in question 20, the responding porject managers were requested to express the extent to which they agree or disagree, that successful project managers delegate decision making power to the subordinates. The results given below in table 4.20 are evident that 4.5% of the project managers were strongly disagreed, and 21.2% were disagreed with the statement. While 21.2% were neither agreed nor disagreed. However 47.0% were agreed and 6.1% were strongly agreed that successful project managers successful project managers delegate decision making power to the subordinates. This indicates that majority of the project managers were of the opinion that successful project managers delegate decision making power to the subordinates.

Table 4.20

Q20 Successful project managers delegate decision making power to the subordinates

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 4.5% 3
2 = Disagree 21.2% 14
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 21.2% 14
4 = Agree 47.0% 31
5= Strongly agree 6.1% 4
answered question 66
skipped question 8

Question 21 was focused to identify the extent to which the project managers were agreed or disagreed that the successful project managers empower the subordinates. It was evident based on the results given below in table 4.21 that 0.0% of the respondent project managers were strongly disagreed, and 4.4% disagreed with the statement of the question. While 4.4% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however, 57.4% were agreed and 33.8% were strongly agreed that successful project managers empower the subordinates. This indicates that in view of the majority of the respondents the successful project managers empower their subordinates.

Table 4.21

Q21 Successful project managers empower the subordinates

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 0.0% 0
2 = Disagree 4.4% 3
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 4.4% 3
4 = Agree 57.4% 39
5= Strongly agree 33.8% 23
answered question 68
skipped question 6

Question 22 was focused to identify the extent to which the project managers were agreed or disagreed that successful project managers elevate the interests of subordinates. It was found based on the results given below in table 4.22 that 0.0% of the respondent project managers were strongly disagreed, and 3.0% disagreed with the statement of the question. While 13.4% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however, 58.2% were agreed and 25.4% were strongly agreed that successful project managers elevate the interests of subordinates. Therefore in view of the majority of the project managers, successful project managers elevate the interests of their subordinates.

Table 4.22

Q22 Successful project managers elevate interests of subordinates

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 0.0% 0
2 = Disagree 3.0% 2
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 13.4% 9
4 = Agree 58.2% 39
5= Strongly agree 25.4% 17
answered question 67
skipped question 7

The next question (question 23) was focused to identify the extent to which the project managers were agreed that successful project managers require to have good communication. The results given below in table 4.23 indicated that 0.0% of the respondent project managers were strongly disagreed, and 1.6% disagreed with the statement of the question. While 1.6% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however, 25.0% were agreed and 71.9% were strongly agreed that successful project managers require to have good communication. Therefore in view of the majority of the project managers the successful project managers have good communication skills.

Table 4.23

Q23 Successful project managers require to have good communication

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 0.0% 0
2 = Disagree 1.6% 1
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 1.6% 1
4 = Agree 25.0% 16
5= Strongly agree 71.9% 46
answered question 64
skipped question 10

In question 24 the respondent project managers were asked to express the extent to which they were agreed or disagreed that the successful project managers must have interpersonal skills. The results given below in table 4.24 reflected that 2.9% of the respondent project managers were strongly disagreed, and 0.0% disagreed with the statement of the question. While 1.4% were neither agreed nor disagreed, however, 29.0% were agreed and 66.7% were strongly agreed that successful project managers require having interpersonal skills. Therefore, the majority of the project managers were of the opinion that successful project managers have good interpersonal skills.

Table 4.24

Q23 Successful project managers require to have good communication

Answer Options Response Percent Response Count
1 = Strongly disagree 2.9% 2
2 = Disagree 0.0% 0
3 = Neither agree nor disagree 1.4% 1
4 = Agree 29.0% 20
5= Strongly agree 66.7% 46
answered question 69
skipped question 5

Conclusion

From the results of frequency distribution analysis, the transformational leadership style was found to be the best leadership style of successful project managers because, it enables successful completion of projects within a specific time period, stipulated budget and in the most effective manner. The findings of Yang, Huang, and Wu (2011) had found a similar finding as they had also suggested that the transformational leadership style is most appropriate to use for project managers. However findings of this study are based on a small sample, therefore, it does not provide absolute proof. Additionally based on this study situational leadership style was found to be the best leadership style in terms of managing unexpected situations, therefore when unexpected situations are expected in projects then it is best to use situational leadership style. This finding supports the findings of DiMarco, Goodson, and Houser (1989) as they had also found concluded that for successful project management it is necessary for project managers to select such a leadership style which is according to the environment and circumstance of a given project.

Moreover, the results of this present study also suggested that a leadership style based on emotional intelligence is the best in terms of communication and interpersonal skills necessary for project management. It is because able such leaders can understand, express and address their own emotions and that of their subordinates therefore such leaders are able to have good communication and interpersonal skills. This finding supports the findings of Brown and Moshavi (2005), Murugesan (2012) and Jiang (2014). Amongst the four-studied leadership style (namely; transformational leadership style, situational leadership style, laissez-faire leadership style, and emotional intelligence leadership style) the transformational leadership style was found to be the best leadership style of successful project managers.

Besides, based on the results of this study the successful project managers were found to have the following qualities/attributes for successful project management; logical decision making rather than emotional, more sociable than reserved, prefer structured organization more than a flexible organization, prefer to have control than flexibility, prefer to freeze the scope more than leaving it open for additional requirements, stick to the deadlines and complete the project within the pre-decided deadlines rather than extended the deadline later if circumstances changes, show fairness, show empathy, strictly follow the existing structures for the performance of tasks, not just provide guidance to the subordinates or team members but leads them and provide help to ensure successful completion of projects, delegate decision making power to the subordinates, empower their subordinates, elevate the interests of their subordinates, have good communication skills and interpersonal skills. The findings of Montequina et al. (2015), Murugesan (2012), Hagberg (2006), Pandya (2014), Zakaria, Mohamed, Ahzahar, and Hashim (2015), and Clark (2004) support these findings. It is because Montequina et al. (2015) had found successful project managers to be; sociable, firm people, show fairness, respect deadlines, logical and objective decision making, prefer control, Murugesan (2012) and Zakaria, Mohamed, Ahzahar, & Hashim (2015) found successful project managers to have good communication skills, while Hagberg (2006) found successful project managers to have flexibility and ability to delegate, however, Pandya (2014) found successful project managers to have the flexibility and interpersonal skills, and Clark (2004) successful project managers to have delegation and open communication.

 

Conclusion and Recommendations

Introduction

In this section conclusions are drawn regarding the research findings while addressing the aim, research objectives and research questions of this study. There were two research questions which were answered in this research based on frequency distribution analysis of the surveyed data. The two research questions are answered separately in the two sub-sections 5.3 and 5.4 respectively given below in this section. Besides the reviewed literature is also compared and contrasted with the conclusions from the research questions to conclude if the present study validates or contradicts with the present literature. Moreover, based on the findings of this study recommendations are made regarding policy implications in project management and scope for empirical research in future.

General Conclusions

The research aims of determining the best leadership style for successful project management was successfully addressed upon completion of this study. Amongst the four-studied leadership style (namely; transformational leadership style, situational leadership style, laissez-faire leadership style, and emotional intelligence leadership style) the transformational leadership style was found to be the best leadership style for successful project management and can be used by all project managers. It was due to the fact that the transformational leadership style enables successful completion of projects in the most effective manner within a specific time period and stipulated budget. However, it was concluded that when unexpected situations are expected in projects then it is best to use situational leadership style for project management because situational leadership style enables the project managers to select such a leadership style which is according to the requirements and circumstances of a given project. In view of this, the best leadership style for successful project management or of successful project managers would depend upon the requirements and circumstances of a project and so it would vary with changing requirements and circumstances of projects. Therefore, it is hard to suggest one leadership style which can prove best for a variety of projects. Nevertheless, it is concluded that the transformational leadership style is the main leadership style of project managers as it is best suited for the successful completion of projects within the target period and under the stipulated budget.

Conclusions for Research Question 1

The first research question of this study was focused to identify the main leadership attributes and leadership styles adopted by successful project managers and under what circumstances are these styles most preferred. There were three pasts of this question; the first part was related to identifying the leadership attributes adopted by the successful project managers, the second part was related to identifying the leadership style(s) adopted by the successful project managers, and the third part was related to identifying under what circumstances this leadership style (s) are most preferred.

Based on the research findings the successful project managers adopt the following leadership attributes/qualities; logical decision making, fairness, empathy, sociability, delegate power to subordinates, empower subordinates, elevate the interests of their subordinates, good communication skills, interpersonal skills, prefer structured organization and existing structures for the performance of tasks, prefer control, prefer to freeze the scope of projects, stick to the deadlines and complete the project within the pre-decided deadlines rather than extended the deadline later if circumstances changes. Similar findings were also suggested by previous studies, namely; Montequina et al. (2015), Zakaria, Mohamed, Ahzahar, and Hashim (2015), Pandya (2014), Murugesan (2012), Hagberg (2006), and Clark (2004) as they have found successful project managers to have similar attributes/qualities.

Regarding the leadership style(s) which is adopted by the successful project managers, the transformational leadership style was identified as the best leadership style for successful project management and can be used by all project managers. It was due to the fact that the transformational leadership style enables successful completion of projects in the most effective manner within a specific time period and stipulated budget. This finding validates the findings of Yang, Huang, and Wu (2011) as they had also suggested that the transformational leadership style is most appropriate to use for project managers.

Moreover, regarding the circumstances under which different leadership styles are most preferred were also identified in this study. In this regards the research concludes that in situations where completion of projects are required within a specific time period and stipulated budget than under such circumstances transformational leadership style is most preferred to use.

While in projects where unexpected situations are expected then under such circumstances situational leadership style is most preferred for project management as it enables the project managers to adopt such a leadership style which will be in accordance with the requirements and circumstance of a given project. This finding supports the findings of DiMarco, Goodson, and Houser (1989) as they had also suggested that for successful project management it is necessary to use situational leadership style as it allows selection of such a leadership style which is according to the environment and circumstance of a given project.

However, in situations where communication and interpersonal skills are necessary for project management and the project managers must be able to understand, express and address their self emotions and that of their subordinates, then under such circumstances leadership style based on emotional intelligence is the most preferred to use. This finding supports the findings of Brown and Moshavi (2005), Murugesan (2012) and Jiang (2014).

Conclusions for Research Question 2

The second research question of this study was focused to identify the one leadership style or set of leadership attributes that can be considered as most effective and used across all projects. In this regard, it is concluded that the transformational leadership style can be the one leadership style that can be considered as most effective as it enables successful completion of projects in the most effective manner within a specific time period and stipulated budget. However, it is difficult to conclude which of the leadership styles can be used across all projects because the different project has different requirements and circumstance due to which a leadership style which is most effective for one type of project may not be most effective for the other type of project.

In view of this, the situational leadership style can be regarded as the one leadership style which can be considered as most effective and used across all projects. It is because by using situational leadership style it is possible for the project managers to select different leadership styles for different projects, where the selection of leadership styles will be in accordance with the requirements and circumstances of each project. For instance, if a project requires the project manager to have good communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to understand, express and address their self emotions and that of their subordinates then in such type of project it is most preferred to use leadership style based on emotional intelligence.

Moreover the leadership attributes/qualities which were concluded as most effective for project management and can be used across all projects are; logical decision making, fairness, empathy, sociability, delegate power to subordinates, empower subordinates, elevate the interests of their subordinates, good communication skills, interpersonal skills, prefer structured organization and existing structures for the performance of tasks, prefer control, prefer to freeze the scope of projects, stick to the deadlines and complete the project within the pre-decided deadlines rather than extended the deadline later if circumstances changes. For effective project management, it is necessary that these leadership attributes are adopted by the project managers. These leadership attributes are necessary for effective project management irrespective of the type or requirements of projects and so can be adopted by project managers across all projects.

Conclusions of the Research Process

The research process which was used in this study was based on analysis of the survey questionnaire (quantitative data). The survey data were analyzed using frequency distribution analysis where the most repeated answer choices were identified to indicate the view of the majority of the respondents. The survey data was collected and frequency distribution analysis was conducted over the Survey Monkey website. The quantitative data collection method (survey) was appropriate for this research as it enabled the researcher to address all the research questions of this study. Moreover, based on the frequency distribution analysis the best leadership style for project management as well as the leadership attributes of successful project managers was identified. To complete this study the researcher had a limited budget and time and so it was appropriate to use quantitative research based on the online survey as this method allowed the collection of data from a number of respondents with limited time and cost. Therefore, in conclusion, the research process proved sufficient in addressing the aim and objectives of this study within the available resources.

Recommendations

The recommendations regarding the policy implications and scope for future research are made in this section. It was concluded that the transformational leadership style is best suited for the successful completion of projects within the target period and under the stipulated budget. Therefore, it is recommended for the project managers of SMEs and large-scale enterprises in the Middle East region to employ a transformational leadership style to complete projects successfully within the target period and under the stipulated budget. This means that by using a transformational leadership style the project managers would be able to complete the project effectively within the deadlines and without incurring extra costs. However, when unexpected situations are expected in projects then it is recommended to use situational leadership as it enables the project managers to adopt a leadership style in accordance with the requirements and circumstances of each project. Moreover, the project managers are recommended to adopt the following attributes necessary for successful project management by the SMEs and large-scale enterprises in the Middle East region, namely; logical decision making, fairness, empathy, sociability, delegate power to subordinates, empowering subordinates, elevate the interests of their subordinates, good communication skills, interpersonal skills, prefer structured organization and existing structures for the performance of tasks, prefer control, prefer to freeze the scope of projects, stick to the deadlines and complete the project within the pre-decided deadlines rather than extended the deadline later if circumstances changes.

Limitations

There were some limiting factors that have been encountered during the course of this study. Reviewing the past literature had proved challenging as the findings of this study are partly reliant on the research conducted by other researchers. The questionnaire which was used for data collection was developed on the basis of reviewed literature therefore if the researcher had failed to review any useful piece of literature then it is possible that the questionnaire is not appropriate and hence would be ineffective in fulfilling the objectives of this study. Moreover, as the results of this study depend upon the quantitative information which the participants had provided, this had proved to be a considerable limitation for this study. It is because if the participants had not provided factual information then the results would not bring actual findings regarding the best leadership style of successful project managers.

Another limitation of this study is related to the time frame as many of the literature resources such as leadership styles were relatively old and so reviewing that literature may not be appropriate due to difference of time frame. Moreover, for completing this research limited time of three months were available, therefore it was necessary to complete the entire research in the available time period, and this had posed another limitation to this study.

Future Research

Besides regarding the future research the following recommendations are made. The sample size in this study was limited to 74 respondents (project managers) therefore for future research it is recommended to have a larger sample size. In this study, the research was based on only quantitative data, as qualitative data was not collected therefore to improve research findings in future research the qualitative data could also be employed along with quantitative data (interview) to triangulate findings from different research methods. It was a major limitation of this study that the survey (quantitative) data were analyzed using frequency distribution analysis therefore in future research inferential statistical analysis such as; Multiple Regression and Correlation Analysis is recommended to employ to validate the findings of this study by testing the impact and relationship of the studied leadership styles on successful project management.

 

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Appendix 1 – Questionnaire

Transformational leadership style: It is a leadership style where the leader as being a mentor works along with his followers, while leading them by example he motivates and encourages them to achieve some positive change and self-development by which the followers will be transformed into future leaders.

Situational leadership style: It is a leadership style where the leader manages and leads his/her followers by adapting and adjusting his style to fit the needs of the followers and the situation.

Laisse-faire leadership style: It is a leadership style where a leader delegates the authority to his/her followers and gives them liberty to make their own decision and make work.

Emotional intelligence leadership style: It is a leadership style where a leader leads the followers while managing and considering their emotions.

Put (ü) before the answer choices to express your selection

 

1. Please select your gender?                     Male                    Female
2. How many employees are there in your company?
Less than 250              More than 250
3. Select the leadership style which is best for successful completion of projects within a specific time period

Transformational      Situational      Laisse-faire      Emotional intelligence

4. Select the leadership style which is best for successful completion of projects within a stipulated budget

Transformational      Situational      Laisse-faire      Emotional intelligence

5. Select the leadership style which is best in terms of managing unexpected situations which may result in project inefficiency

Transformational      Situational      Laisse-faire      Emotional intelligence

6. Select the leadership style which is best in terms of most effective completion of projects

Transformational      Situational      Laisse-faire      Emotional intelligence

7. Select the leadership style which is best in terms of communication and interpersonal skills necessary for project management

Transformational      Situational      Laisse-faire      Emotional intelligence

Please express the extent to which you agree or disagree to the following. Where; 1 = strongly disagree, 2 = disagree; 3 = neither agree nor disagree; 4 = agree; 5=strongly agree).

 

Question

1 2 3 4 5
Answer Options
8. Most successful project managers prefer to make decisions based on logical more than on emotional arguments
9. Most successful project managers are sociable more than reserved people
10. Most successful project managers prefer a structured organization more than a flexible organization
11. Most successful project managers prefer to have control more than flexibility
12. Most successful project managers prefer to make consensus team decisions more than objective decisions
13. Most successful project managers prefer to freeze the scope more than leave it open for additional requirements
14. Most successful project managers prefer to respect deadlines more than adapt them to new circumstances
15. Most successful project managers show fairness
16. Most successful project managers show empathy
17. Successful project managers requires their subordinates to strictly follow the existing structures for performance of tasks
18. Successful project managers only provide guidance
19. Successful project managers provide maximum freedom regarding task completion to the subordinates
20. Successful project manager’s delegates decision making power to the subordinates
21. Successful project managers empowers the subordinates
22. Successful project managers elevate interests of subordinates
23. Successful project managers requires to have good communication
24. Successful project managers requires to have interpersonal skills

Appendix 2 – Ethical Approval for Dissertation

Appendix 3 – Participant information sheet

Appendix 5 – Pie Charts

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