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Power, Leadership and Culture as Drivers of Project Management

Three factors of Project Management

A project in any commercial enterprise is a crucial and essential activity that demands commitment and complete devotion from all members as each business project's progress or failure defines the path the individual company follows in the present and potential economic conditions (Anantatmula, 2010). Project management is a vital job which can be assigned to any individual, particularly in a modern technology corporate environment where adjustments are unavoidable. The total outcome of the project is primarily attributed to three basic qualities that the writer considers to be very vital for any recently hired or inexperienced project managers who sometimes find it hard to identify their specialty in a company. This is what a leader has to be in his personality and attitude that defines a project manager's leadership attitude. The second quality discussed by the writer in his article is an individual's ability to execute his or her own conscience despite objections which can be defined as power and authority of a project manager. This determines the power of taking stance of a project manager. The third and final attribute is the organization’s culture. Workplace culture relates to the views, perceptions, and principles held by the leaders of the organization and the actions that are compatible with their ethics and work. Company culture separates one entity from another, which determines how it can treat you, communicate with you, and even evaluate you.


Power in project management is generally interpreted as the ability to manipulate the lead characters to accomplish an objective in the decision-making phase. In simpler words, power is doing something in your own style and manner (Berggren, 2019).

Which style of power is effective?

In the article, writer discussed various types of powers that resides under the headings of personal and relational power including power of retribution, power of reward, expert power, and referent power. The study performed in this article reveals that the use of retribution power, and income as the major way of supporting project managers leads to a lower degree of benefits. Therefore it seems that project managers will be well served if they do not implement stress retribution, authority or salaries when trying to gain project staff services. It also indicates that in view of incremental incentive capacity, such as promotions, fund allocation, and potential job assignments, they have a modest but positive impact in obtaining project staff support. A friendly behavior act as a basic principle for garnering assistance of workers and team members but appears to have problematic influence on the distribution of resources given (Berggren, 2019), and needs to be assessed for a specific circumstance. Expertise seems a more significant aspect in obtaining interface assistance than in obtaining subservient assistance.


The principle of leadership is about the leadership model, in which the leader of the project will guide and inspire by dominant behavior. Control incorporates human and systemic components in its different ways which can be reinforced by political manipulation (Anantatmula, 2010). Power in the project team may also be divided evenly or unevenly among individuals depending on the nature of the task. Likewise, the managers and leaders in command are always to be held responsible when a plan fails to achieve its organizational objectives (Anantatmula, 2010). Writer addressed the PMBOK list of a leader's values and competencies in a project management agreeing with the attributes mentioned by (Anantatmula, Vittal , 2010). The three basic qualities of leadership are:

Decision-taking: A project leader is assigned the responsibility of making important project decisions (Anantatmula, Vittal , 2010). Any procedure to be carried out or any action to be taken from any specific perspective of the project must have the continued focus’s support as the project's decision-maker.

Planning the project: The Project Leader is responsible for the whole project management plan. Their responsibility lies in the expenses, timetables, and process plans (Rose, 2013).

Managing qualities: The role of project leaders is to oversee the whole project, they are responsible for choosing staff, allocating tasks, approving payments, and other administrative tasks.

In this article, writer Biff Baker tried to clarify the distinction between a manager's and a leader's behavior in various aspects of work. He also described how the two approaches and mindset differs and thus can impact on the final result. These can be listed separately below:

  • Leaders look for Challenges while managers hunt for status quo.
  • Leaders are looking at the bigger picture while managers are thinking within a limited scope.
  • Leaders aspire and empower while managers impose will.
  • Leaders are concerned about making the right decisions in a smart way while managers are worried about the same thing.
  • Leaders have a large influential circle while managers have minimal influence (Rose, 2014).

Style of leadership

Team member expects the leader not to adopt an authoritarian strategy but a teamwork plan and a method of transition leadership where concerns of all members are given respect and heed. (Kissi, Dainty and Tuuli 2013).

Project management is a challenging job requiring leadership behaviors and attributes for successful project completion. For effective project leadership, team development, versatility, interaction, and impactful strategic planning capabilities are necessary (Maambo 2013). From the article and the accompanying sources, therefore, it is evident that leadership plays a significant and essential position in project management as its strategy dictates the ultimate performance of every single project.


The culture in project management is often identified as comprising the principles and ethics of members of staff. In the following matter, the writer made reference to PMBOK guidelines which also include:

  • · General tone of work environment provided
  • · Communal ambitions, project proclamations, and objectives
  • · Methods of Incentive and Compensation
  • · Opinions on partnerships between leadership and executive power
  • · Working ethics
  • · Keeping protocols
  • · Ecological considerations
  • · Socio-standards
  • · Acceptance to risks

Company culture identified in project management in this article is that individuals should attempt to adjust to the obligatory regularity, formality, and method of interaction within that cultural identity. This implementation will have a powerful effect both institutionally and with the project team on the performance and work of the project team (Modeling Impact of Project Management Performance with Among Roles of Project Risk Management and Organizational Culture on Project Success, 2019).


After the development of the PMBOK, extensive work has been undertaken benefiting to professionals who have made too much of a difference. Using the qualitative method approach of qualitative methods, the author used the underlying system for the mutual compilation, coding and interpretation of results regarding what qualities are discussed and what are not given justice in the guidelines of PMBOK. It is evaluated that PMBOK does not discuss outcomes appropriately, adding five results to the meta-model: (1) component and procedure, (2) client-focused, (3) jobs market-focused, (4) management, and leadership, and (5) economic and industry Results. This study concludes that "leadership" inside the PMBOK structure must be incorporated as a driver as it is the driving force of all quality management system within the project.

Learning Outcome

There are not many articles documenting the leadership characteristics of project management performance through rooted analysis methods; this review is therefore a significant contribution to the literature universe. The study will also assist corporations/management in achieving a project leader’s key skills and knowledge so that the companies focus on the resultant solution for every new position of a project manager in order to explore each component and its individual effect on the project.


Anantatmula, V. (2010). Project Manager Leadership Role in Improving Project Performance. Engineering Management Journal, 22(1), 13-22. doi: 10.1080/10429247.2010.11431849

Berggren, C. (2019). The cumulative power of incremental innovation and the role of project sequence management. International Journal Of Project Management, 37(3), 461-472. doi: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2019.01.014

Kissi, J., Dainty, A., & Tuuli, M. (2013). Examining the role of transformational leadership of portfolio managers in project performance. International Journal Of Project Management, 31(4), 485-497. doi: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2012.09.004

Maambo, R. (2013). Project Management Leadership. SSRN Electronic Journal. doi: 10.2139/ssrn.2419996

Modeling Impact of Project Management Performance with Among Roles of Project Risk Management and Organizational Culture on Project Success. (2019). European Journal Of Business And Management. doi: 10.7176/ejbm/11-36-06

Rose, K. (2013). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK® Guide)-Fifth Edition. Project Management Journal, 44(3), e1-e1. doi: 10.1002/pmj.21345

Rose, K. (2014). Personal Effectiveness in Project Management: Tools, Tips & Strategies to Improve your Decision-making, Motivation, Confidence, Risk-taking, Achievement and Sustainability. Project Management Journal, 45(2), e1-e1. doi: 10.1002/pmj.21398

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