BUSM1282: Project Management Leadership – What are the Characteristics of an Effective and Successful Project Leader – Literature Review Assessment Answers

Internal Code: 1IDIE

Topic

Literature Review – What are the characteristics of an effective and successful project leader?

Critically analyse the characteristics of an effective project leader who contributes to project success, drawing on the academic literature as evidence for your argument.

Aim

The aim of this assessment task is to conduct a thorough academic literature search to prepare a concise report which identifies the key characteristics of effective project leaders and argues how they contribute to project success, evidenced by citations to the academic literature.

Assessment objectives                                                                                                                                               

On completion of this assignment you should be able to:

  1. Conduct a literature review of relevant material to identify what researchers have found constitutes effective project leadership.
  2. Prepare a report which identifies the characteristics of an effective project leader in the project context.
  3. Create a clear argument of why these characteristics are important supported by citations from the academic literature.

Why is a literature review of effective project management leadership styles part of the assessment for this course?

Increasingly in the workplace, managers are asking for their employees to provide evidence-based justification for decisions to be taken. For instance, you may be asked to put a case to management about the value of leadership training for the company’s project or about the need to include leadership style as a selection criteria for recruiting the appropriate managers for their portfolio of projects.

This literature review process and writing of the subsequent report will develop your ability to:

  1. search for the latest research in leading peer-reviewed academic journals, and
  2. synthesise it altogether into a compelling argument for the importance of leadership to project success.  

Honing your skills for finding and presenting compelling evidence-based arguments in report form will help you to develop as a knowledgeable expert in project management and give you a competitive edge in the workplace.

The Assessment Task

  • Use keywords such as “leadership AND project management”; “project leadership style*”;  “situational leadership AND project*” and “project leadership AND literature review” to search leading project management journal search engines from the RMIT University Library http://rmit.libguides.com/project-management  Good search engines include  Emerald; Science Direct; Web of Science; Proquest
  • Once you have found some articles, start with the most recent papers to give you the very latest research. (You can use a year filter to do this quickly). Read the Abstract first to see if the contents of the article are of interest.  If so, then read the Introduction and Literature section of the article. This should give you citations of important recent papers on this topic, which you can later look up and read. Then briefly scan over their Methodology section so you know how the research was conducted. Finally, go to the Discussion and Conclusion sections to read the study’s findings. If it is relevant, take some brief notes for later use when writing your report.
  • Once you have read at least 10 recent and relevant journal articles, re-read your notes to identify major themes and group them together.
  • Draft a skeleton heading plan for the argument of your report e.g. Introduction (importance of effective leadership to project success); Topic I (give it a name); Topic 2; Topic 3; Topic 4 etc.; Conclusion (concise and compelling summary of your main arguments).
  • Check the rubric for requirements both i. before writing and ii. again after completion of your report to ensure you have met these criteria at the grade standard you are hoping to achieve.  
  • Carefully proofread your final report for spelling, grammar and typos. It sometimes helps to ask a friend or family member to proofread it as well.
  • Check you have met all the assignment requirements listed above in terms of word length, minimum number of references, Harvard citation and reference style Reference guide, numbering of pages etc.
  • If you wish, you can then submit your assignment to RMIT’s assignment reading service Smart thinking feedback for some general feedback on your writing. Allow for a 24 hour turnaround time and also additional time for you to make any subsequent modifications.

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