Emotional intelligence competencies experienced in managing complex technology projects: An exploratory study

by Irwin, Susan M., Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2016, 123 pages; 10239519


Increased globalization and competition have forced companies to implement solutions at a rapid pace using new and evolving technology. As a result, companies are now initiating an increasing number of complex projects each year. Project management (PM) practitioners – the individuals responsible for leading a project team through the planning and implementation of these complex projects – need to understand the tools and techniques to implement a complex project successfully to meet the strategic goals of the organization. Emotional intelligence (EI) is a primary component of the leadership skills necessary to manage a complex project. The purpose of this study was to explore the EI competencies used by PM practitioners who managed a complex project as defined by Qureshi and Kang (2015). Using the Goleman model of EI, this study investigated 22 PM practitioners who managed a complex project and found the PM practitioner’s ability to be adaptable, innovative, and trustworthy to be key personal competencies used in the management of a complex project. Furthermore, the ability to understand organizational politics and its effect on the team and the complex project, to maneuver around it, and to be influential, and deal with conflict are necessary social competencies when managing a complex project. These competencies are not limited to complex projects. This study also investigated EI competencies experienced in non-complex projects and found that trust, conflict management, influence, and political awareness were all EI competencies that held equal importance to PM practitioners when managing a non-complex project. People were the key. Findings from this study found that – although non-complex projects may not provide the innovative approaches or the need to adapt to change as found in a complex project – when people are involved, PM practitioners still need the ability to trust, resolve conflict, deal with and maneuver around the political climate, and influence the team.

AdviserCharlotte Neuhauser
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; Information technology
Publication Number10239519

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