Research Paper on Project Managers' Leadership Style & Its Impact on Manufacturing Project Success/Failure

Paper Type:  Literature review
Pages:  5
Wordcount:  1339 Words
Date:  2023-03-27


It is agreeable by researchers that many economies depend on manufacturing activities to create goods for international and domestic commercial activities. For instance, the emergence of all the world's superior economies like the United States of America (USA), Korea, China, Germany, United Kingdom, Japan, and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) among others can be traced to the manufacturing activities that they began engaging in than the rest of the world countries. In the outlined context, manufacturing is considered as the path to development and the source of great power for the countries (Binder, 2016). Additionally, manufacturing has been linked to the creation of employment opportunities to members of a country since it opens the borders of a state to international trade - global trade depends highly on goods and tangible products as compared to services (Berg & Karlsen, 2016).

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Despite the many contributions of the manufacturing sector to the economies, statistics show the massive failure of the manufacturing kinds of projects. Records show an annual failure rate of up to 75% of the projects launched in the same year (Binder, 2016). Such a trend is worrying and needs to be addressed amicably before things get out hand. Therefore, the research aims at addressing the gap by adding to the body of knowledge already available concerning this subject. By taking a qualitative approach, the study seeks to match the relevant leadership skills and their application to particular areas of manufacturing project management to guarantee success as is always desired (Binder, 2016). As such, the results of the study can be applied in the training of managers or the selection processes so that candidates with relevant managerial skills are recruited for manufacturing jobs.

The performance of an organization or particular manufacturing projects has a great reliance on the project management styles that are being applied by particular managers (Berg & Karlsen, 2016). Research has shown that if the many available leadership styles are applied consistently and appropriately to various manufacturing projects, almost similar and desirable outcomes can be guaranteed for such projects (Aga, Noorderhaven, & Vallejo, 2016). A key consideration is that the project managers have the greatest responsibilities in ensuring proper application of their leadership skills to select styles that resonate well with their workplace, workforce, and line of the manufacturing activities that they take part in (Anantatmula, 2010). According to earlier conducted research, many managers with no limitation to the field of manufacturing find it easier to select management styles that can guarantee success while at the same time, giving them a chance to implement their perspectives (Berg & Karlsen, 2016). Therefore, it must be ensured that the project managers are skilled due to relevant training, and can identify appropriate leadership styles to apply.

Despite being the most crucial part of an organization since it directs most of the activities undertaken, the quality of management greatly determined by the skillset of those occupying the managerial positions. A question arises at this point whether the available information in this area is available to enlighten such critical choices (Berg & Karlsen, 2016). Is there a proper guide to predicting success or failure of given kinds of manufacturing projects based on the leadership styles chosen for them by the managers, as informed by their skills? Research shows that the majority of the areas have been covered in management, but this area has not been adequately explored (Camilleri, 2016). This research seeks to link particular leadership styles with the manager's skills to accompany them to guarantee the success of the manufacturing projects using qualitative means. In essence, this research creates a clear guide on the leadership qualities that the recruitment teams need to look for when hiring them to guarantee the success of their projects or organization (Binder, 2016).

The research will seek to study the correlation between the leadership style, the accompanying manager's skills, and the success or failure of the manufacturing projects (Camilleri, 2016). In so doing, qualitative methods such as in-depth examination of the already available information concerning the subject and the leadership case studies presented in them will be greatly applied (Chandrasekaran, Linderman, & Schroeder, 2015). Such methods are preferred over the quantitative ones because the study involves human behavior, that is, the skills of the managers that at times get affected by their social upbringing and other social issues (Cunningham, Salomone, & Wielgus, 2015). Although predicting human behavior is sometimes difficult, this research hopes to create highly accurate models that can be used to link leadership styles with the individual leader's skills and the chances of success or failure if such combinations were to be applied accurately as well as consistently (Davis, 2016). Such efforts will not only boost the level of knowledge that is available in the field of management concerning leadership styles but will also create a move towards ensuring that most projects succeed.

Finally, as per the traditional models, people have regarded the success or failure of the projects as a matter beyond the control of the concerned parties from the point of inception of the project idea. However, as it stands with the widespread use of the agile project management platforms in manufacturing activities, there needs to be a strong connection between the top managers and their subordinates if the organization wishes to achieve its goals (DuBois, Koch, Hanlon, Nyatuga, & Kerr, 2015). Besides, the project managers are the ones to push for this association by the use of their interpersonal skills. Therefore, it is most likely that if a project manager uses his or her leadership skills to implement leadership styles that are appropriate to their manufacturing projects and at the same time go well with their juniors; the chances of success for the projects can be greatly enhanced (Famakin & Abisuga, 2016). Such efforts can then allow for predictability of the performance of any manufacturing project given that the leadership skills of the manager can be determined in processes such as recruitment interviews.


The definitions of some commonly applied terms include:

  1. Leadership styles - This refers to the characteristic behavior of an individual in the top management that defines how they direct, motivate, and guide the juniors working under them.
  2. Leadership skills - Refers to particular strengths and abilities that enable an individual occupying top role to guide their juniors while overseeing the projects to their accomplishment.3. Project - Refers to a collaborative or individual effort directed towards the achievement of some stipulated goals.
  3. Project Success - Refers to the accomplishment of the set objectives of a project within the stipulated timeframe and budget.
  4. Project Failure - Is the opposite of success. This means that the project does not deliver the set goals at all, or runs into financial crisis and time strains before completion.
  5. Manufacturing - Same as industrial production. It is defined as the art of making many articles or products using machining, casting and molding, shearing and forming, and joining techniques on a large scale and mostly involves the use of heavy machinery to enjoy the economies of scale that come with it.

Problem Statement and Justification

There are several project management styles applicable to different kinds of projects, and so do manufacturing projects. Regardless of the project management style put into practice by the manager and the field of concern, how the method is applied remains very crucial to the end-results. Factors that contribute to the success or failure of particular styles include their suitability and relevancy, and the consistency of their application to the projects of a given nature (DuBois et al., 2015). As suggested by many research works, the way of application of given project management styles is greatly influenced by the manager's skills. Managers also find ways of bringing additional strength and energy into the projects or end up slowing the overall productivity depending on the styles and the skills set that they choose to implement (Aga et al., 2016).

There is a variety of leadership styles applicable to various manufacturing projects. Based on the effect of the application of given leadership styles, there are two major classifications of leadership styles. These include the transformational and transactional leadership style classifications (Bind...

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Research Paper on Project Managers' Leadership Style & Its Impact on Manufacturing Project Success/Failure. (2023, Mar 27). Retrieved from

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