Aaron J. Shenhar, Institute Professor of Management,
Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ and R. Max Wideman
The original of this paper first published on the PMForum web site, September,
2000. (Updated presentation, April, 2002.) Presented here as the fifth in a series linking project type through management style to project success.
Published here April, 2002.
In the opinion of the authors, the balance between intellectualism and craftsmanship,
that is, between "brain and brawn" as some might put it, is what determines
the most appropriate management style for producing that element. This recognizes
that to attain the highest potential on a large complex project, one single management
style may not be appropriate throughout the project organization and certainly
not through all phases of the project life cycle. It is evident that failure
to match an appropriate style to project circumstances can quickly demoralize
the project work force and lead to unsatisfactory project results.
If further studies can demonstrate some relationships such as those suggested,
this could be invaluable in helping management to design appropriate organizational
structures for complex projects. It could also assist management in assigning
the most suitable leadership, given the necessary force of personality, tenacity
and skills, for maximizing the probability of a successful project outcome.
Thus, it is hoped that the descriptions provided in this paper will help to
match style to circumstances, or at least provide some basis for further study
in this vital area.