Contingency Model Of Project Leadership

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As more organisations apply the strategy of using projects to deliver high quality products and services, the demand for project managers grows. Furthermore, the success of project-oriented organisations depends greatly on the performance of their project managers (Crawford, Hobbs & Turner, 2005). These organisations need to develop effective project managers in order to achieve high project performance and thus project success (Anbari, Bredillet, Huemann, Turner, 2010; Papke-Shields, Beise, Quan, 2010).

Gary Yukl (2006:8) defines leadership as “the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives”.
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Unlike traits, behavioural leadership is potentially influenced not only by the leaders’ nature but also by the situations those leaders are confronted with. (Vroom and Jago, 2007:3).
The contingency school of leadership was concerned with the suitability of different leadership styles in different leadership situations by matching the personal characteristics of a leader to the leadership situation (Müller et al, 2009:438). The contingency model of leadership posits that the effectiveness of leadership is dependent upon the interaction of leadership style and situational favourableness that is the degree to which the situation provides the leader with the potential power and influence over the followers’ behaviours (Liu, Lepak, Takeuchi, Sims, 2004:128).
The visionary/charismatic school of leadership focuses on two types of leadership: (1) Transformational leadership style (people-orientated), emphasizes follower rewards contingent on meeting specified performance targets. (2) Transactional leadership style (task-orientated) which emphasizes presence of charisma, development of vision, respect and trust (Müller et al,
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Accordingly, the impact of leadership behaviours on project performance has been one of the major issues for both industry and academic fields (Kendra and Taplin, 2004; Turner and Muller, 2005). Researchers in a number of disciplines outside of construction have suggested that leadership style is becoming increasingly critical to project success (Giritli and Civan, 2008; Sunindijo, Hadikusumo, Ogunlana, 2007; Ozorovskaja, Voordijk, Wilderom, 2007). It has been concluded by various articles that the selection of leadership influences the performance of project (Crawford et al., 2005; Dulewicz and Higgs, 2003). Dulewicz says "It's important that senior management are aware that leadership competencies do have an impact on the personnel with whom they work and ultimately, on the success of their change programs,” he suggests that project leaders could be selected based on their leadership profile as measured by a proven questionnaire such as the Leadership Dimensions Questionnaire (LDQ) (
Yang et al. (2011) also declare that an increase in the level of leadership of project managers can improve the relationships between project team members and therefore increase the likelihood of project success. Similarly, Fortune and White (2006) state that successful project outcomes depend greatly
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