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Analysis and Synthesis of Prior Research

Identification of principal schools of thought, tendencies in the academic literature, or commonalities
that define the academic scholarship regarding your topic
� Evaluation of the main concepts with a focus on their application to management practice and their
impact on positive social change
� Incorporation of the Learning Objectives from this 2-week pair of study
In addition to the above elements, the Presenter(s) for this week will focus thematically on:
� Role of questioning practices in neutralizing resistance to change
� Importance of winning principles in leadership
� Role of strategic leadership in encouraging innovation



Analysis and Synthesis of Prior Research


In project management, several research studies have been directed towards studying the
proponent of leadership extensively. These researcher’s primary objectives are directed towards
highlighting the essence of project leadership as an essential element in the success of a project..
Their findings are based on the demands of the market conditions that require a strong
foundation on skills, knowledge, and leadership to ensure that the projects are successful.
On the other hand, findings from these studies clearly determine that the outcome of any
project is determined by the increase in emphasis on human and organizational elements of
project management. It is empirical to state that these inquiries clearly depict that the success of
any project lies more on human factors such as project leadership as opposed to technical factors.
However, irrespective of the plethora of research invested in this area, several project managers
are still inhibited by challenges with regards to leadership. Such challenges include teamwork,
leadership styles, uncertainties, stress, learning, and motivation. This paper seeks to conduct an
analysis and synthesis of some of the prior research methods and the roles of leadership in this

An Overview of Project Management

According toPackendorff, Crevani, & Lindgren (2014), projects have two essential
characteristics. These characteristics include the beginning and end of a project that
result in the production of unique products. On the other hand, each and every project
has unique tasks that are completed within specified durations in order to ensure that
the project is successful (pp.15). An effective project management portfolio and

resource management often leads to revenue growth in organizations. However, in
optimizing these processes, it is essential to provide value during the entire project
lifecycle in order to satisfy customer needs. This clearly indicates the need of finding
the right leaders who possess the required skills in resource and portfolio management.

Analysis of Literature

According to Gonzalez (2014), the element of project management remains a
relatively new concept. The author acknowledges that before the advent of this
approach, conscious efforts were developed to incorporate specialized tools aimed at
managing complex projects (pp.22). Consequently, project management incorporates
appropriate methodological approaches in the planning and guidance of a project
lifecycle. Gonzalez defines this process as a well planned and organized approach that
is geared towards accomplishing specific tasks within an organization.
On the other hand, Doh, & Quigley (2014) defines the process of project
management as the application of knowledge, processes, methods, experiences, and
skills in achieving the objectives of a project. Projects according to this author are
unique and engage transient endeavors directed towards achieving the planned
objectives of an organization. These objectives are primarily defined in terms of their
benefits, outputs and outcomes. The success of a project may be deemed as fit when it
achieves the defined objectives of an organization within the developed parameters in
terms of budgetary allocations and time. Organizations that pursue approaches of
initiating project management within their functions need project managers with an
established knowledge on the inclusion of project management methodologies to
achieve success in a project. These methodologies according to a research conducted

by Norrie & Walke (2015) are considered to be different in their approaches and
terminologies. However, the primary commonalties between these approaches are
empirically determined to share two primary features: projects are delivered within
different stages and different project management processes go through different
stages (pp.28). Phases and stages as alleged by these authors remains essential for
the project leaders. This often requires the project leaders to ensure that the
deliverables are produced at the end of every stage to meet the purpose of the project.
In addition, the team members need to be prepared for the next project phase.
Phillips et al (2016) brings into light the essence of determining the project management
processes that run through different phases. The first phase in project management is referred to
as the phase management. In this phase, project leaders are required to ensure that the project’s
process is satisfied with the conditions required in completing each and every phase (pp.47). The
project leaders need to understand the deliverables that need to be approved and completed by
the projects stakeholders before beginning the first phase. The second phase is that of planning
that requires the leaders to ensure they have the right resources, human capacities, supporting
tools, and methodologies in meeting the objectives of the project within the required timeframe
and budget.
On the other hand, Głodziński, & Marciniak (2016) acknowledges the need of the control
phase that requires project leaders to incorporate effective control measures on the scope, costs,
risks, issues, and benefits that may be encountered during the project’s lifecycle. The common
denominator in this process is the creation of reports that detail the information required in
creating an overall picture of the precedence of processes during the project’s lifecycle (pp.232).
According to this author, leaders can achieve this process through the development of a project’s

dashboard. The author details the necessity of team management that requires the project leaders
to manage a team through the inclusion of different approaches achieved by an established set of
skills on team management. Communication clearly plays an essential role in this phase, an
aspect that requires a clear cut approach of dispensing information to the board, team members,
and stakeholders. Inadequate communication has been established as one of the primary
challenges that inhibit project management processes.
The process of procurement is another phase that is common in most projects. This is a
process that requires the project leaders to hire third parties in managing the purchasing process
through the inclusion of IT systems (Lewis et al, 2014). The project leader during this phase
remains responsible in managing these third parties. The integration phase is another process that
impacts the projects process through which a project interface is considered with other functions
of an organization. Lastly, the project management process goes through an evaluation process
that determines if the project has achieved its objectives, an aspect that is followed by its closure.

Evaluation of the Main Concepts

Project management as reviewed in different research literatures entails a holistic
approach that clearly recognizes the fact that the well-being of the portfolio is dependent on the
performance of a project. This is often attributed to the direct and indirect dependencies and the
availability of resources including the roles of project leaders in making appropriate decisions
that lead to the success of the project’s portfolio even when challenges are inhibited during the
project’s process (Galvin et al, 2014). The combination of appropriate project management
methodologies within an organization and efficient management techniques often gives an
organization the capacity to determine the projects that are specifically aligned with the
strategies and objectives of an organization. Consequently, the project leaders are inspired to

utilize the available resources through the application of priorities in the course of the project.
Furthermore , the project leaders regularly assess the manner in which the functions of a project
are run with the aim of ensuring the health of the portfolio. An effectual use of project
management methodologies at the project level improves the satisfaction of customers, reduces
the risks associated during the projects phase, and increases chances of its success.
Role of Questioning Practices in Neutralizing Resistance to Change
According to Barnwell et al (2014), the process of project management may be inhibited
by several changes especially in the inclusion of different approaches and technology during the
project’s process. Change as detailed by this author may take three forms. Incremental changes,
that are relatively determined as small in scope and may result in small improvements (pp.6).
Strategic changes, that is large in scope and would result in restructured effort. The last phase is
determined as the transformational change that has the capacity to move an organization to its
future state. Change is likely to be received either positively or negatively within an
organization, a factor that would result in resistance.
Questioning is considered as an effective approach that plays a central role in neutralizing
the resistance that is encountered during the project management process. This process aids a
project leader to make decisions that would inspire the team members to embrace the change
process in project management.Through the application of appropriate leadership approaches and
skills, a leader is likely to motivate project team members towards embracing change and
achieving the outcomes required for a project (Barnwell et.al, 2014). Therefore, the project
leader strives to keep the spotlight of the organization’s vision through an approach that inspires
the teams to collaboratively work together, address the obstacles encountered within the process,

and champion the course of the project. By doing this, the team members are inspired and
encouraged to engage in innovative practices that increase the success of a project.

Importance of Winning Principles in Leadership

As detailed in the literatures reviewed, the success of a project contingently relies upon
an effective approach developed in the management of constraints that include time,
performance expectations, and costs. To effectively achieve these functions, it is integral that a
project leader displays appropriate strategic leadership approaches and skills. A project leader
has the capacity to direct projects effectively through the application of appropriate leadership
skills and attributes such as proficiency, balance, sound decision making, persistence, vision,
trust, integrity, and sincerity (Dick et al, 2015). Winning principles in leadership crucially remain
essential in motivating team members to achieve the required project outcomes through a
motivational approach. On the other hand, these principles spur appropriate communication
approaches within team members, a factor that enables a smooth operation of the project’s

Strategic Leadership in Encouraging Innovation

Strategic leadership is considered as essential in the management of a project. This aspect
has been established by different literatures as integral in encouraging innovation. Strategic
leaders are known for their capacity to encourage and inspire innovation within the face of this
changing environment that seeks innovation and change as an essential element in meeting the
demands of the current market (Dick, et.al.2015). These leaders are considered to play roles in
building their capabilities of organizational resources and competencies with the aim of gaining

sustained competitive advantage. By encouraging innovation, these leaders consider human
capital as essential and work towards creating core competencies through an approach that
expends efforts directed towards sustaining the health of the human resources in projects.


Project management as detailed in this paper is an integral element that determines the
success of an organization. In achieving positive outcomes in this process, it is imperative that
the project leaders deploy effective project management methodologies and effective leadership
approaches and skills.



Barnwell, D. et al (2014). Leadership of International and Virtual Project Teams. International
Journal Of Global Business, 7(2), 1-8.

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