The Effect of Project Manager’s Leadership Style and Teamwork on Project Performance: the case of HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The purpose of this study was to establish the relationship between leadership style and teamwork and their effect on performance of projects in HELVETAS. The theoretical foundation of this study was guided by visionary leadership theory which involved transformational and transactional leadership styles. In this study, a mixed of both qualitative and quantitative research approaches was employed with mixed research design of descriptive and explanatory research. Using web-based Multi-Factorial Leadership Questionnaire (MLQ), complete and usable primary data were collected from 233 project managers and project team members. A test on adequacy of the sample, reliability and validity of the measurement model were found to be acceptable. Model diagnostic tests show assumptions of normality, autocorrelation, multicollinearity and homoscedasticity hold true. Step-wise multiple regression analysis shows that leadership style had a statistically significant positive effect on project performance; transformational leadership style was positively related to teamwork while transactional leadership style is negative related to project performance. Team communication aspect of teamwork was positively related to project performance while team collaboration and team cohesion were negatively related to project performance. In addition, the study found that teamwork was a partial mediator of the relationship between leadership style and project performance. This study recommends that, as project leader alone cannot successfully complete a project, project managers should select and adopt appropriate transformational and transactional leadership styles taking into account the critical role of teamwork. Based on the findings, senior management team in HELVETAS should act on leadership and team development programs (such as action learning) as well as staff retention strategies along the project life cycle. The study contributes to project management literature by integrating leadership theory and teamwork model.



leadership style, transformational leadership, transactional leadership, project performance