Balanced leadership: A new perspective of leadership in organizational project management

Cambridge University Press
Publication Type:
Cambridge Handbook of Organizational Project Management, 2017, 1st, pp. 186-199
Issue Date:
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2013 Cambridge Handbook Packendorf Muller Sankaran balanced_leadership.pdfPublished version226.85 kB
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This chapter addresses a new perspective towards leadership, that of balanced leadership in organizational project management. The chapter starts with an overview of existing theoretical perspectives of leadership and leaders, where we introduce the distinction between leadership intent as an intra-personal process and practiced leadership as an inter-personal process of influencing. We discuss some of the popular theories in light of this distinction. Then we address the need for balanced leadership, which we propose as the temporary adjustment of leadership exercised by the project manager (vertical leadership) with leadership by one or several team members (horizontal leadership), and the situational particularities that emphasize the appropriateness of one approach over the other. We subsequently develop a four-step process of selecting, enabling, exercising, and controlling for balanced leadership and outline the intra and inter-personal activities for vertical and horizontal leaders in each of these steps. This provides an in-depth overview of the type and scope of inter and intra-personal leadership activities and their synchronization needs for coordinated balanced leadership to happen. Readers learn to look at leadership in and across projects as a combination of horizontal and vertical approaches, distributed in a coordinated way between vertical and horizontal leaders in organizational project management.
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