n Journal of Contemporary Management - Critical core competencies required for effective project leadership in the presence of the authority gap

Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1815-7440



Project management is arguably the fastest growing discipline as organisations move into the euphoria of projectification of their operations. The industry has suddenly realised the effectiveness of management-by-projects as a solution to effectively and efficiently execute operations.

Yet the process of executing a project is bedevilled by high failure rates, conflict - ridden and highly politicized because of authority gap. The matrix structure and the resultant dual loyalty by the employees and the presence of the authority gap with the project manager create the lack of direct access to resources by the project leader. The current increase in the demand for management-by-projects will translate into a demand for effective project practitioners. To date, extensive leadership studies have not provided a universal one-stop-leadership-style with clearly defined critical core competencies for effective leadership.
Findings of this research throw new light on the importance of empowerment of the project manager, interpersonal relationship skills, extroversion, genuineness of senior management, and the responsiveness of the project leaders as indispensable must haves. These critical competencies will therefore facilitate the project execution process and allow the empowered project leader the ability to reduce the high project failure rate and cut down on the high cost overruns.

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