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Leadership Behaviors in Information Technology Project Management: An Exploratory Study

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2 Author(s)
Hazel Taylor ; Inf. Sch., Univ. of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA ; Jill Palzkill Woelfer

While IT projects continue to have a poor reputation for successful outcomes, there is increasing evidence that the project manager's skills can be critical for effective project team performance. The aim of this exploratory study was to examine the leadership behaviors of IT project managers, with the goal of exploring the types of leadership behaviors they used to keep their projects on track. We used an interpretive critical incident method to explore this under-investigated area, interviewing 23 experienced IT project managers from 11 different organizations. Results showed that these managers relied predominantly on task behaviors to ensure efficiency in their projects and boundary-spanning behaviors to manage intra- and inter-organizational collaborations. The prevalence of boundary-spanning behaviors suggests organizations should ensure that personnel in project management roles have both task-oriented knowledge and boundary-spanning skills to bridge the gap between the team and wider stakeholder groups, both within and external to the organization.

Published in:

System Sciences (HICSS), 2011 44th Hawaii International Conference on

Date of Conference:

4-7 Jan. 2011