The identification of temporary horizontal leaders in projects: The case of China
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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Original versionInternational Journal of Project Management. 2017, 36 (1), 95-107. 10.1016/j.ijproman.2017.05.011
Balanced leadership in projects describes the dynamic transition of leadership authority between the project manager and one or more team members. Within this concept, the present study investigates the context, criteria, and processes for identifying project team members as candidates for the role of horizontal leader. Five case studies, followed by validation interviews were conducted in China. Results show that structure and agency by the project manager set the context, wherein professionality, personality and attitudinal characteristics of team members are evaluated for identification. This is executed in two parallel processes, where the project manager evaluates, develops and assesses candidates, and the team members evaluate their situation, compete with others, develop their skills, and look for guidance from the project manager. Managerial and theoretical implications are discussed.