Empowering the project team: impact of leadership style and team context

Martin Morgan Tuuli (Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Steve Rowlinson (Department of Real Estate and Construction, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR)
Richard Fellows (Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Anita M.M. Liu (Department of Real Estate and Construction, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR)

Team Performance Management

ISSN: 1352-7592

Publication date: 8 June 2012

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine the impact of leadership style and team context on structural and psychological empowerment perceptions in project teams.

Design/methodology/approach

It was posited that span of control and within team interdependence will positively and significantly influence both structural and psychological empowerment. Person‐orientated leadership style was also expected to positively impact both structural and psychological empowerment while task orientated leadership style was expected to have a negative impact. These hypothesized relationships were examined using ordinary least squares (OLS) regression and hierarchical linear modelling (HLM) with data obtained through a parallel quantitative questionnaire survey of construction client, consultant and contractor organizations in Hong Kong.

Findings

No significant relationship was found between span of control and any facet of empowerment while team interdependence had a positive and significant relationship with psychological empowerment but not structural empowerment. Task‐orientated leadership was positively and significantly related to psychological empowerment in the full sample and contractor teams but not in consultant and client teams. Person‐orientated leadership was positively and significantly related to psychological empowerment in the full sample, consultant and client teams but not in contractor teams.

Originality/value

The link between leadership style, team context and three facets of empowerment are examined compared with previous studies often focusing on one facet. Sub‐sample analysis enabled more subtle differences of the impact of leadership style in different context to be revealed, an indication that samples may not be homogeneous.

Keywords

Citation

Morgan Tuuli, M., Rowlinson, S., Fellows, R. and Liu, A. (2012), "Empowering the project team: impact of leadership style and team context", Team Performance Management, Vol. 18 No. 3/4, pp. 149-175. https://doi.org/10.1108/13527591211241006

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2012, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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