Influence of Project Leadership on Success of Public Infrastructural Megaprojects in Kenya

Author(s)

Austin Baraza Omonyo , Prof. Roselyn Gakure , Prof. Romanus Odhiambo ,

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Volume 7 - March 2018 (03)

Abstract

The main objective of this study was to investigate the influence of project leadership on the success of public infrastructural megaprojects in Kenya. The need for this study arose from the thesis that complexity is the main cause of waste and failure that results in infrastructural megaprojects being delivered over budget, behind schedule, with benefit shortfalls, over and over again; and that leadership skill is the most important for successful navigation of this complexity. The study was designed as multiple-method research, based on virtual constructionist ontology recognizing that complexity is the mid-point between order and disorder. A cross-sectional census survey of completed public infrastructural megaprojects was conducted using two interlinked questionnaires. Quantitative data analysis was conducted using both descriptive and inferential statistics, while qualitative data were analyzed using a combination of expert judgment, scenario mapping, retrospective sense-making and critical thinking. Despite the context of these projects being risky, pressured, and fast-changing, the results showed that the typical leadership style exhibited by managers of these projects is goal-oriented. The results of regression analysis showed that success of public infrastructural megaproject was enhanced as the style tended to that of complexity leadership. It was thus concluded that project leadership had a significant influence on the success of public infrastructural megaprojects. Following this conclusion, the study recommends broadening the traditional approach to leadership and decision making in order to form a new perspective based on complexity leadership theory

Keywords

Complexity leadership, leadership behavior, megaprojects, project success

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