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Article

Jan Terje Karlsen, Parinaz Farid and Tim Torvatn

The purpose of the research was to investigate which management roles were adopted in this merger process and to look at project management skills and competencies and how…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the research was to investigate which management roles were adopted in this merger process and to look at project management skills and competencies and how they may influence the management roles in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a qualitative case study design relating to the merger of two municipalities in Norway, one of which was much larger than the other. Data was gathered from semi-structured interviews in addition to reading relevant documentation.

Findings

In diminishing order of importance the management roles were entrepreneur, leader, spokesman, monitor, liaison, resource allocator.

Research limitations/implications

While the research was carried out with the intention of making it replicable, the authors acknowledge that different researchers, with different participants on different occasions may show differences in the results.

Practical implications

This study suggests that particular attention and practical decisions are needed to support public sector project managers in gaining the technical skills of project work. Another practical implication of this study is the importance of interpersonal skills, leadership experience and informal authority in public sector change management projects.

Originality/value

This paper has originality in that there is little previous data on how public project managers exercise their management roles in parallel in an organizational change project. It has value in that previous research indicates a disappointing outcome for many change projects but not how better outcomes may best be sought by public project change managers.

Details

Development and Learning in Organizations: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7282

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Article

Jan Terje Karlsen, Parinaz Farid and Tim Torvatn

This paper investigates the emphasis placed on different managerial roles by the project manager in a public merger and change project.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates the emphasis placed on different managerial roles by the project manager in a public merger and change project.

Design/methodology/approach

A research model was designed based on six management roles: leader, resource allocator, spokesman, entrepreneur, liaison and monitor. Empirical data were collected using in-depth interviews. The studied case concerns a large public merger and change project between two municipalities in Norway.

Findings

The paper reveals that the project manager emphasized the externally oriented entrepreneur role mostly. The internally oriented resource allocator role that focuses on managing the project was least emphasized. The research identifies a gap between needed and actual competence in basic project management as a barrier to exercise the resource allocator role more thoroughly.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should investigate other public merger and change projects so that these findings may be generalized.

Practical implications

This research concludes that project managers in public change projects should be more internally oriented towards the resource allocator role. Furthermore, public project managers need to make sure that they possess the necessary technical project management competence to practice the resource allocator role effectively.

Originality/value

Rather than stressing the importance of leadership in general to manage a project, this paper is original as it applies a set of management roles to empirically study what a public project manager practice.

Details

International Journal of Organization Theory & Behavior, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1093-4537

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Article

Jan Terje Karlsen and Morten Emil Berg

This paper aims to study the influence of project managers’ signature strengths on project team resilience.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to study the influence of project managers’ signature strengths on project team resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors performed a qualitative multiple case study design to explore the research question. Open-ended interviews, site visits, observations and documents were the data sources. The authors used character strengths and virtues within positive psychology as a theoretical framework in the data analysis.

Findings

The main finding of this study is that the project manager’s use of signature strengths influences the resilience of the project team. The cross-case analysis revealed four signature strengths – leadership, open-mindedness, persistence and hope – that influenced team resilience in all three studied cases.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should investigate other organizations, types of projects and countries so that the findings may be generalized.

Practical implications

This paper provides managers and teams with useful insights on signature strengths and team resilience. The findings stress the importance of managers being aware of their signature strengths and knowing how to use them. As the working situation today is often more complex, uncertain and difficult than ever, it is important to have resilient managers and teams.

Originality/value

This study contributes to increased knowledge on signature strengths and team resilience.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

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Article

Jan Terje Karlsen

Trust in how projects are managed is important because leaders have the power to make decisions that impact project outcomes. Steering committees provide strategic…

Abstract

Purpose

Trust in how projects are managed is important because leaders have the power to make decisions that impact project outcomes. Steering committees provide strategic direction and governance for projects and they support the project manager. The purpose of this paper is to study how steering committees contribute to governance and trust. More specifically, the aim is to explore, which steering committee features and governance mechanisms are important for building trust.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical data were collected using in-depth interviews. The studied case concerns the Norwegian Navy’s experience with a steering committee in the project of building new frigates.

Findings

Findings show that the steering committee had a significant impact on governance and trust in the project. The identified governance mechanisms performed by the steering committee included: control and performance measurement, support, decision-making, relationship management, reporting, resource management, risk management and strategic focus.

Research limitations/implications

Despite the limitations of studying only a single case, the findings may provide general learning, as well as important practical information and experience to managers interested in the role of the project steering committee.

Practical implications

The paper provides key managerial implications that project owners should take into account when organizing a steering committee. The analysis identifies composition, competence, authority, responsibility, commitment and continuity as steering committee features that contribute to building trust. Findings particularly highlight the choice to include external steering committee members to be successful.

Originality/value

This research extends the current understanding of how through different features and governance mechanisms a steering committee can build trust in the management of projects.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

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Article

Morten Emil Berg and Jan Terje Karlsen

The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss how project managers practice a coaching leadership style (CLS).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe and discuss how project managers practice a coaching leadership style (CLS).

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on a case study of an organization practicing coaching in projects.

Findings

The research findings show that to succeed with a CLS, project managers must have a large toolbox, which includes signature strengths, self-management and a give culture. Further, the paper describes how a model consisting of two learning processes can help to implement a CLS in practice.

Research limitations/implications

This study is exploratory, contributing to the development of a substantive theory. Theory testing as well as more in-depth investigation of mental models of a CLS would be valuable.

Practical implications

Coaching leadership theories offer insights that can be leveraged to make project management more effective through improved research foundations.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on how a CLS is carried out in projects and how it can be improved and should thus be of interest to managers searching for tools and models for effective leadership.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 39 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

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Article

Petter Gottschalk and Jan Terje Karlsen

This study investigates the emphasis placed on different managerial roles by IT project managers. Six managerial roles were applied in this research: personnel leader…

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.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 105 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article

Jan Terje Karlsen

The paper aims to investigate the communication of uncertainty information and knowledge between the project manager, owner and steering group. The purpose of the project…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to investigate the communication of uncertainty information and knowledge between the project manager, owner and steering group. The purpose of the project is to identify the effects of project owner and steering group involvement in the process of uncertainty management.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical data are based on a qualitative case study with in‐depth interviews following a semi‐structured approach. The building of new frigates, a project in the Royal Norwegian Navy, is studied. This is a large public technology project, with a great deal of media and public attention from Norwegian society.

Findings

The project owner and steering group involvement in the project's uncertainty management process were identified. The interviews revealed that uncertainty information and knowledge have frequently been communicated and shared. The results indicate that this has reduced the asymmetric information problem between the parties. This involvement has also contributed to building a collaborative, respectful, professional and trusting relationship between the parties. Another effect that was found is that the project owner has learned about uncertainty management and developed uncertainty consciousness. Moreover, the data indicate that the uncertainty information has helped the project owner develop a holistic view for improved decisions.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should investigate other scenarios, types of projects, cultures and countries, so that these findings may be generalized.

Practical implications

The paper concludes that project owner involvement and communicating uncertainty information are important for the effective management of uncertainties and achieving project success.

Originality/value

The involvement of the project owner and the communication of uncertainty information between the project manager and the owner are studied in this research paper.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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Article

Morten Emil Berg, Geoff Dean, Petter Gottschalk and Jan Terje Karlsen

The paper aims to argue that leadership by police managers is needed to stimulate and encourage knowledge sharing in police investigations, and to report an empirical…

Abstract

Purpose

The paper aims to argue that leadership by police managers is needed to stimulate and encourage knowledge sharing in police investigations, and to report an empirical study of what management roles are most important in investigations.

Design/methodology/approach

A research model was designed based on six management roles and a set of hypothesized relationships. A survey measuring management roles and knowledge sharing attitude was conducted in Norway. Respondents were senior investigation officers.

Findings

Only one management role was found to be a significant determinant of knowledge sharing in police investigations based on the sample used in this survey research within the Norwegian police force: the spokesman role was the only significant role. As a spokesman, the senior investigation officer extends organizational contacts to promote acceptance of the unit and the unit's work within the organization of which they are a part.

Research limitations/implications

The low response rate of 20 percent may make it difficult to draw strong conclusions. Unfortunately, the authors have no information about what kinds of non‐response bias might be present (significant variation between the sample and the population). Future research should be more consistent in identifying the population.

Practical implications

While police investigations (of organized crime, trafficking, narcotics, economic crimes, homicide, etc.) need a stimulating internal structure for knowledge sharing, investigations depend on knowledge sharing with relevant persons and departments outside the unit as well to succeed.

Originality/value

Rather than stressing the importance of leadership in general to stimulate knowledge management, this paper is original as it applies a set of management roles to empirically study where leadership makes a difference for knowledge sharing attitudes.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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Article

Jan Terje Karlsen, Ketil Græe and Mona Jensvold Massaoud

The purpose of this study is to investigate how trust can be built in a relationship between a project and its stakeholders.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate how trust can be built in a relationship between a project and its stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical data are based on a qualitative case study with in‐depth interviews following a semi‐structured approach. A Norwegian project, the new opera house, is studied. This is a large public construction project, with a great deal of media and public attention by Norwegian society.

Findings

The study results show that trust is built in a project‐stakeholder relationship by improving communication skills, behaving reliably, showing commitment, being sincere, benevolent and competent, obtaining and acting with integrity, working towards reaching project milestones and establishing common goals.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should investigate other scenarios, types of projects, cultures and countries, so that these findings may be generalized.

Practical implications

This research concludes that trust is important for building a well‐functioning business relationship. Trust can be seen as a result of good project‐stakeholder relations, and trust is reciprocal. Trust is something that must be earned, and it can be easily lost.

Originality/value

How to build trust in project‐stakeholder relationships is studied in this research paper.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 3 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

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Article

Jan Terje Karlsen

The purpose of this paper is to study the effectiveness of current uncertainty management practice in projects with a special focus on the organization's cultural dimension.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the effectiveness of current uncertainty management practice in projects with a special focus on the organization's cultural dimension.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical data were obtained using in‐depth interviews with project management professionals in three project‐oriented organizations in Norway, Statsbygg, Telenor and the Norwegian Defence Logistic Organization. All the respondents from these three organizations are people who actively work with projects and uncertainty management.

Findings

The study results show that a supportive uncertainty management culture is characterized by: positive attitude, commitment of time and resources, openness and respect, understanding of uncertainty management, uncertainty management internalized into daily work, senior managers asking for and using uncertainty information, proactive uncertainty management, a focus on opportunities, clear areas of responsibility, accepted and operationalized policy and terminology, and a holistic uncertainty view. Moreover, the interviews revealed that commitment, knowledge, communication, openness, and trust are factors that contribute to building a supportive uncertainty management culture.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should investigate other organizations, types of projects, and countries, so that these findings may be generalized.

Practical implications

This paper concludes that a supportive culture is important for achieving effective uncertainty management in projects. Uncertainty management practice will run more smoothly, there will be less problems and benefits of the uncertainty management activities will be more easily achieved.

Originality/value

A supportive organizational culture for creating a well‐performing management of uncertainties in projects is studied in this research paper.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 4 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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