Project Management : from a situational leadership perspective

University essay from Högskolan i Jönköping/Internationella Handelshögskolan; Högskolan i Jönköping/Internationella Handelshögskolan; Högskolan i Jönköping/Internationella Handelshögskolan


Projects have become a key strategic working form and it has been shown that all industries can benefit from project-based working. Each project is unique and present different challenges to managers, which requires good project management skills in order to face these chal-lenges. These skills are referred to as the science and art of project management. The science consists of skills in using different tools and techniques and the artistry refers to skills in practising leadership, which some researchers argue is the most important quality for manag-ers to posses. Since each project is a new situation, project manager s needs to be able to adapt their leadership style to the unique situation of the project. This way of exploring leadership has been done in the Situational Leadership Model originally developed by Paul Hersey and Kenneth Blanchard. The interaction between a leader’s behaviour and the situational factors, ability and willingness, of the members are em-phasized.

The purpose of this study is to study project management from a situ-ational leadership perspective, using the Situational Leadership Model.

The empirical research was conducted through interviews made with representatives from four different companies located in or just outside the city of Jönköping. The representatives included one project leader from each company as well as one or two project members.

The study showed that the Situational Leadership Model was able to predict the appropriate leadership behavior to adopt. Even though it was able to predict the appropriate behavior, it was not adopted in all projects. Two of the five project members were confronted with a faulty leadership behavior.

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