organizations are in dire need of constructive notions and processes to enhance
their project performance. The management has to respond quickly in order to
counter the dynamic and contradicting expectations from the customers. At the
same time, they have to cope with the market environment that has become more
competitive as a result of various companies searching for innovative methods
and approaches to upgrade their project performance (Anantatmula, 2010). It
is essential for the management department to create better and improved tools
for boosting their overall performance of the projects.
blend of leader’s behaviors and approaches that an individual adopts during the
completion of a particular job and how he/she develops the connection with
his/her subordinates is referred to as the leadership style (Müller & Turner, 2007). There
are various approaches that an individual may use in order to have a particular
task completed within the stipulated timeframe and efficiently. Such forms of
leadership include but are not limited to the following: transformational,
transactional and laissez-faire
(Anantatmula, 2008). In order to
enhance the performance of the project in any firm, the styles form the basis
for manager’s behaviors and approaches.
style of leadership is linked to individuals who have strong and complete
recognition with the leader and further identifies the need for change, the
creation of a new vision, and assemble commitment and dedication (Yang, Huang, &
Wu, 2011). On the other hand, transactional style of leadership
is comprised of continuous interaction/swaps between the followers and the leaders (Yang,
Wu, Wang, & Chin, 2012). It is essential to note that
activeness and dynamism characterize both transactional and transformational
styles of leadership (Anantatmula,
2008). The two types of leadership styles are a complete opposite of the
laissez-faire approach which is inactive. In mentioned form of leadership, an
individual keeps away from making absolute critical decisions of an
organization as a manager (Upadhya,
2009). In project surroundings, the role of the manager is very vital,
and, thus, he/she must exhibit behaviors that can impact the outcome of the
firm positively through nurturing of innovativeness and upsurge the overall
the research, the project performance is viewed as multi-dimensional with both
short and long-term measures (Anantatmula, 2010). The role of the
leaders is critical when constructing the real atmosphere which is needed for
the promotion and deliverance of enhanced innovative projects. Moreover, the
impacts of transformational, laissez and transactional leadership styles on the
performance of the project have been discussed. The collection of the data in this research will be done
using the quantitative research method and Survey method (Multifactor Leadership Questionnaire). Given the current research,
projects can originate from different customers, implying that they could be
separate and unrelated (Yang et al., 2012). The present study will
be essential in filling the gap that exists through the re-examination
procedure of the relative impacts of the three styles of leadership practiced
by project managers in project performance in the software industry of third world countries.
Commonly used terms
Leadership style- a
style of providing direction, motivating people and implementing plans
A carefully planned enterprise that either belongs to an individual or a group
process of performing a particular task or job
of the Problem
project managers that apply the transformational style of leadership possess an
emotional intelligence that proves to be vital in enhancing the actual project
performance (Anantatmula, 2010).
In a bid to find the gap in the study, it only requires the incorporation of
the transformational style of leadership
(Müller & Turner, 2007). However,
in order to evaluate the effects of leadership styles on project performance
and fill the identified gap, all the three forms of leadership will be applied.
The IT industry in the third world
countries has been rising steadily with a significant growth being registered.
The evidence for the observation has been highlighted in a report from the
international IT telecommunication on Pakistan. Being a third world country,
Pakistan has exceeded the expectation of the majority of the developed
countries by becoming the 20th most efficient and excellent
developer of software services in the world. The demand for effective
programs to run the overall activities of the government and private firms has
considerably increased. Thus, the software development sector is increasingly
becoming important. The research under consideration is trying to explain why
the industry has become the central pillar of any organization in the world by
studying the effects of the three styles of leadership (Laissez-fair, transactional
and transformation) of the project managers on the performance of the project
in the software industry of third world countries (Müller & Turner, 2007). In a bid to identify and understand the need for
of the study in the software industry, a prior survey was conducted on several
software industries in third world countries which apply the styles of
leadership in enhancing their project performance (El Emam & Koru, 2008). On the
other hand, a few sectors which do not use any of the three techniques of
administration in managing their projects. The result of the survey served as a
motivation for constructing this research (Westlund, 2007). The reality that came across from the
outcome of the study indicated that over 90 percent of the software companies
across all the third world
countries do not practice any leadership styles and project management (Upadhya, 2009). However, the
survey found that such organizations have technical project managers and
project leaders that are responsible for providing the customer with the
specifications but do not deal with intricate issues of software development
and processes (El Emam & Koru,
2008). Only 10 to 15 percent of the software companies in the countries
are efficiently utilizing project managers and their styles of leadership. The
study will focus on the following objectives:
locate the direct impact of Laissez-faire style of leadership of managers on
software development projects
facilitate the software organizations to upsurge their overall project
strengthen the results obtained on software firms
gap that exists in the prior studies found that constrained research has been
conducted and almost all of them only focus on the effects of the two major
styles of leadership, i.e., transactional and transformational while ignoring
laissez-fair leadership approach (Anantatmula,
2008). It is vital to explore all the possible direct effects of
leadership styles on project performance at the industry level (El Emam & Koru, 2008). The
purpose of the study will be to take a unique approach by investigating the
impact of full leadership model and the styles of the managers on project
performance in the software industry in third world countries (Pakistan as a
The study will focus on providing
previous literature on the model of leadership styles of project managers and
how the approaches impact the performance of the
in the software industry.
Leadership and Its Importance
concept of leadership is underpinned by the ability to visualize, enable, and
stimulate the workers. It can be described as a composite process that has some
level of uncertainties over the extent to which particular set of standards has
been set (Upadhya, 2009).
It is recommended that individuals who have scientific skills and have limited
leadership abilities to deal with people efficiently. However, very few
practical research that solely focuses on leadership styles in project
management and the overall performance have been conducted for the past years.
In the current fast moving globalized economy, clients have played a
significant role in boosting the approach to information and production of
goods in many organizations across the continents. The increasing demands for
product specifications, quality, repair, cost, and collections have played as
critical factors for enhancing the approaches used by project managers.
reality of the market has increased the competition and the anxieties of the organizations
which in return has enlarged their efficiency and competence in their
performance. Moreover, the demand for originality that is brought by project
managers is accompanied by process enhancements, progress, and maturity. Upadhya, (2009) argued that the
modern atmosphere of the 21st century requires firms to continuously
invent by incorporating the shared understanding, creativity, and skills of
their workers. Transformational leadership can be a useful tool to be applied
in rejoining and acquiring the knowledge possessed by the employees (Gumusluoglu & Ilsev, 2009).
In order to avoid staff from working at cross-purposes, transformational
leaders play a vital role in providing the required direction, maintenance, and
the coordination of the highlighted tasks in an organization (Gumusluoglu & Ilsev, 2009).
Various studies have indicated a positive correlation between the instigation
of work structure from leaders and the performance of the creative activities
which lead to the success of project performance (Yang et al., 2012).
various works of literature have put much emphasis on both transformational and
transactional leadership styles, few writings critically explain how they
forecast the performance of a particular project. For example Turner and Müller (2005) indicated
that transformational but not the transactional style of leadership of managers
in financial sector completely predicted the unit performance in companies over
a period of one year (Tipu, Ryan, & Fantazy, 2012). Moreover, they found that
laissez-fair style of leadership was not ideal for a variety of organizations
and economies. In this regard, they stated that the model was more appropriate
when used at small and micro levels of companies, while the other styles were
more suitable for medium size firms. Also Yang et al. (2011), made a comparison between the two major
styles of leadership. In their elaboration, they stated that transformational
style of leadership is inclined to the individual relationship with the workers
while the transactional method is oriented to the job since the leaders are
focused on the outlined procedures as opposed to a transformational leader (Gumusluoglu & Ilsev, 2009).
leaders appoint workers’ values and beliefs in order to advance the wanted
performance by providing them with inspirations (Tipu et al., 2012). The leaders provide the staff with
ideological justifications in order to connect them with their characteristics
to that of the organization. Thus, the employees got motivated and inspired to
create an escalated performance for their tasks/projects (Westlund, 2007). The
transformational leaders amplify the staff’ understanding of the threshold set
by the company in order to produce the desired results (Tipu et al., 2012). By doing so, the leader
lifts up the overall performance of the firm through effective handling of the
various projects presented.
leaders develop clear and precise structures that make everything seem clear
and in position for the employees. According to Yang et al. (2011), they highlighted seven major
characteristics of transactional leadership. The approach of administration
gives a sense of encouragement to the workers through the provision of
emotional support in order to implement the needed change. The seven features
include the following:
leader set the course and provide guidelines
the need for the staff
informed decision during uncertainty
as a change agent
position and arrange them
as an example to others
out the best in the employees
to Müller and Turner (2007), there
is a positive correlation between the provision of reward for the best
performing employee and his/her performance. The contributors to the study of
transactional leadership and management style introduced the reward system in
order to encourage and nurture better and improved performance positively (Westlund, 2007). Moreover,
preceding studies have indicated that such form of leadership brings forth
positive impacts due to the dedication, and commitment of the subordinates
which in return increases their performance in the assigned project.
laissez style of leadership had a negative correlation with the performance of
the workers (Turner and Müller, 2005).
Thus, the approach of administration is considered to be appropriate in
managing the performance of the projects all the time. According to the study
conducted by Turner and Müller
(2005), they indicated that passive management by exception and laissez
approach of leadership correlate positively with each other. However, when
compared with different leadership dimensions, it showed a negative correlation
(El Emam & Koru, 2008).
Therefore, the laissez style of leadership negatively influences the dependent
result variables. When project managers are highly rated by the technique, by
their staff and the extra effort employed exerted by workers, so task
satisfaction and insights of a leader’s efficiency on a particular project
performance is low.
managers can visualize and lead a set of bright individuals in an environment
that possess a shared organization or administration. The transformational
style of leadership has changed the involved procedures and practices from
being seen on a perspective of power and agreement to promise, dedication,
faithfulness, and recognition which in return has best-suited project framework
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