A comparison of leadership roles in internal IT projects versus outsourcing projects

Petter Gottschalk (Norwegian School of Management, Sandvika, Norway)
Jan Terje Karlsen (Norwegian School of Management, Sandvika, Norway)

Industrial Management & Data Systems

ISSN: 0263-5577

Publication date: 1 December 2005

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates the emphasis placed on different managerial roles by IT project managers. Six managerial roles were applied in this research: personnel leader, resource allocator, spokesman, entrepreneur, liaison and monitor. With changing business environments, the locus of value creation is no longer within the boundaries of a single firm, but occurs instead at the nexus of relationships between parties. With the growing importance of pooling knowledge resources, knowledge management will have to transcend organizational boundaries in exchanges such as IT outsourcing relationships. We would, therefore, expect to find differences in our two surveys.

Design/methodology/approach

Two surveys were conducted in Norway to investigate these management roles.

Findings

In the first survey, which focused on project management roles in internal IT projects, the respondents emphasized the personnel leader role significantly more than other managerial roles. In the second survey, which focused on project management roles in IT outsourcing projects, the respondents emphasized the spokesman role. The empirical results provide evidence that project managers in internal IT projects are more internally oriented than project managers in outsourcing projects.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should also take into account culture and structure dimensions as well as the specific industry of the IT project.

Practical implications

This research concludes that project managers of both internal IT projects and outsourcing projects should be more externally oriented to meet future challenges.

Originality/value

The contingent approach to leadership roles is applied in this research paper.

Keywords

Citation

Gottschalk, P. and Terje Karlsen, J. (2005), "A comparison of leadership roles in internal IT projects versus outsourcing projects", Industrial Management & Data Systems, Vol. 105 No. 9, pp. 1137-1149. https://doi.org/10.1108/02635570510633220

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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