Published here July 2003. 

Abstract | Introduction | Case Study Process | Findings
Turnaround Leader Selection Guidelines | Leader Selection Criteria
Selected References


Of the four project manager types revealed by Shenhar and Wideman's style matrix, the least represented in these leaders was the action-oriented "driver" (1). "Uses partnerships" was the only driver attribute among the fourteen attributes at or above the ninety percent response level. The other three styles each had four to five attributes above ninety percent: the visionary "Explorer," the practical, facilitation-oriented "Coordinator" and the stabilizing, analytical "Administrator." The nearly absent representation of the "driver" style in these leaders, and the presence of the other three styles, reinforced the "super high-tech" match for project type.

Management Style Keyword Descriptors Selected by >=90% Respondents as Related to Project Manager Type and Skill/Characteristic (adapted from Shenhar and Wideman, 2001)

Board Members'
Keyword Choice
Mgr Type Skill / Characteristic
Evokes dedication 94% Explorer Organizing
Solution Seeker 100% Explorer Organizing
Leads by Example 94% Explorer Executing
Determined 94% Explorer Controlling
Uses partnerships 95% Driver Executing
Focus on participation 95% Coordinator Planning
Obtains willing effort 94% Coordinator Organizing     
Develops commitment      100%      Coordinator Executing
Understanding 100% Coordinator Executing
Focus on solutions 94% Administrator      Planning
Objective oriented 94% Administrator Planning
Reinforces commitment 100% Administrator Executing
Flexible 95% Administrator Controlling
Implements Decisions 100% Administrator Controlling

Differences in perceptions of the leader's style varied with the differing modes of position attainment. Board members petitioned for new leadership in two cases. In the third case the new leader rotated into the position as part of a longstanding succession process. Members who felt removed from the leader selection process indicated the leader possessed less positive and more negative project management style attributes. Members who felt they had a direct involvement in the leader selection process credited the leader with more positive project management style attributes.

Case Study Process  Case Study Process

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