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Perceptions of effective project manager behaviour

Alicia Aitken
Lynn Crawford

Abstract

Effective project management is as much about demonstration of appropriate behaviours as it is about the application of project management skills. Practitioners and researchers are interested in understanding the behavioural profile of “superior” project managers. Cheng and Dainty’s (2005) research into the behavioural profile of “superior” project managers is one of the first research steps into this field. This research identified twelve behavioural competencies that distinguished “superior” project managers in a sample drawn from the construction industry.

Another aspect of the behavioural characteristics of project managers has been explored by Muller and Turner (2006) in their investigation of the differing leadership styles of project managers on differing project types. In this study Muller and Turner use the Emotional Intelligence framework for assessing leadership and behavioural aspects of the project manager in relation to the types of project they manage. The results of their study provide support for their underlying hypothesis that the project manager’s leadership style, and the type of project it is applied to, have a combined effect on the success of the project, suggesting significant variability in what might be considered “successful” behavioural profiles of project managers on different project types.

In the search for behavioural profiles that distinguish “superior” project managers, an important factor is identifying project managers that are perceived to be “superior” performers. Both Cheng and Dainty (2005) and Crawford (2005) relied upon the perceptions of senior managers to make this distinction. This paper reports on the first stage in a multi-stage research project exploring the effective behaviours of project managers as perceived by project managers and senior management. Similarities and differences in perceptions are discussed and compared with earlier research conducted by Lynn Crawford (2005).

© Copyright Alicia Aitken & Lynn Crawford, 2007

Suggested Citation

Alicia Aitken and Lynn Crawford. "Perceptions of effective project manager behaviour" Paper presented at the World project management week conference. Singapore. Nov. 2007.

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