Balanced Leadership

Making the Best Use of Personal and Team Leadership in Projects

Ralf Müller, Nathalie Drouin, and Shankar Sankaran

Balanced Leadership: Making the Best Use of Personal and Team Leadership in Projects. Book cover and description.

A new theory of balanced leadership in projects

Leadership is not static. Instead, authority in projects shifts dynamically between project managers, individual team members, and sub-teams, depending on the situation. Leadership may be exercised through a vertical, horizontal, shared, or distributed leadership approach. However, balanced leadership ensures the best suitable approach is used in any given situation.

In Balanced Leadership the authors, Ralf Müller, Nathalie Drouin, and Shankar Sankaran present a project-specific leadership approach as well as a theory of balanced leadership, and the situations in which different strategies are required. They also outline the building blocks that enable balanced leadership: nomination of team members, identification of potential leaders, selection and empowerment of leaders, empowered leadership and its governance, and leadership transition. The book explains the coordination of these building blocks through the socio-cognitive space shared by project manager and team. Using real-life case studies and clear examples, Balanced Leadership offers a new way of considering and utilizing dynamic leadership in project settings. This groundbreaking book on leadership:

  • Provides a complete leadership theory, with models, explanations, and real-life examples for leadership that is specific for projects
  • Outlines the five building blocks of balanced leadership 
  • Identifies project-specific leadership approaches, such as horizontal leadership and balanced leadership 
  • Takes the timeliness of different leadership approaches into account, to select the best suitable leader at any point in time in the project

Balanced Leadership is available to buy from your local bookseller and online internationally from Amazon.

Ralf Müller, DBA, MBA, PMP, is Professor of Project Management at BI Norwegian Business School, and Adjunct Professor at University of Technology Sydney, and Dalian University of Technology in China. He is Editor-in-Chief of the Project Management Journal and a Fellow of both the Project Management Institute (PMI®) and the Centre for Excellence in Project Management. Before joining academia, he spent 30 years in the industry consulting with large enterprises and governments in more than 50 different countries for better project management and governance. He also held related line management positions, such as the Worldwide Director of Project Management at NCR Corporation.

Nathalie Drouin, PhD, MBA, LL.B. is the Executive Director of KHEOPS, an International Research Consortium on the Governance of Large Infrastructure Projects, the Editor-in-Chief of the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, a full professor at the Department of Management, École des Sciences de la gestion, Université du Québec à Montréal (ESG UQAM), Adjunct Professor at University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia, and Associate Researcher at École nationale d'administration publique (ENAP), Canada. She teaches initiation and strategic management of projects in the Graduate Project Management Programs at ESG UQAM.

Shankar Sankaran, PhD, M., Eng., BSc, DMIT PMP®, MIEAust, CPEng., is Professor of Organizational Project Management in the School of the Built Environment at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia where he is also a core researcher of the Centre of for Informatics Research and Innovation (CiRi). Shankar worked in industry for several years starting as an instrument engineer and moving on to become a project manager, operations manager, and director at Yokogawa Electric Asia in Singapore before entering academia. Shankar is the current Chair of the Global Accreditation Centre of the Project Management Institute, Past President of the International Society for the Systems Sciences, and committee member of the College of Leadership and Management at Engineers Australia.

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