The purpose of this paper is to examine the differences between leadership competences of project managers and those of functional managers.
Leadership styles of 414 project managers were assessed using a validated research instrument, the leadership development questionnaire. The results were compared with the leadership profiles of over 1,000 functional managers, assessed with the same instrument. Quantitative analysis techniques were used to identify significant differences in the leadership styles of project managers when compared to functional managers. Correlations between leadership competences and leadership performance and follower commitment of project managers were compared with those of functional managers.
The paper finds that project managers score higher than functional managers on conscientiousness, sensitivity, and critical analysis, but they score lower on communication and development competencies. The correlation between the fit of project managers to their organizational context and their leadership performance and follower commitment was calculated.
Comparisons show differences in leadership competences for functional and project managers. Managers in general management roles should be trained to a lesser extent in managerial and intellectual competences than those in project management roles. However, solid training in emotional competences is needed for success in both managerial roles.
The differences in leadership competences of project managers and line managers from industry and government are identified.
Rodney Turner, J., Müller, R. and Dulewicz, V. (2009), "Comparing the leadership styles of functional and project managers", International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, Vol. 2 No. 2, pp. 198-216. https://doi.org/10.1108/17538370910949266Download as .RIS
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