The Current State of Project Management Communication Research: From a Functional Communication Model toward Complex Communication Models

Abstract: The research question of this presentation is simple: what is the current state of communication research in project management? After analyzing 273 peer-reviewed articles in business management journals and in communication journals, the authors found that 85% of the project management communication articles offered nothing new in terms of analysis beyond the well-established functional model of communication (the classic Shannon-Weaver model or Sender-Message-Receiver model). Twelve percent of the articles did introduce new types of analysis such as social networks but, the theoretical basis for the analysis was still rooted in the functional model of communication. Only four percent of the articles introduced a new model of project management communication that went beyond the functional model of communication. The authors will describe the practical aspects of their research and offer communication strategies for practitioners.

Facilitative Leader and Leadership Development of a Project Team During Implementation Phase – A Case Study

Organisations are turning to project managers to deliver one-of-a-kind or complex initiatives required to remain competitive. Despite the formalisation of the project management profession up to 65% of industrial capital projects fail to meet business objectives. Research literature suggests that project managers require leader and leadership skills to contribute to the successful completion of projects, meeting business objectives and ensuring customer satisfaction throughout the project life cycle. Fortunately leader and leadership skills can be developed, but due to the uniqueness and temporary nature of projects different methodologies are required to develop these skills.

This study utilised a case study research approach and evaluated the benefits of facilitative leader and leadership development of the project management team on a mega project over a two year period. Facilitative development combined the benefits of on-the-job training linked to a strategic business goal, action learning, coaching and the development of the emotional intelligence of the project management team.

This research shows that the development of the emotional intelligence of the project management team during the project contributed to both the personal development of each team member and enhanced the efficacy of the management team. The two year development process entrenched the learning and development of the leader and leadership skills of the project team members. This development contributed to the successful completion and ramp up of the project.
The model developed from this research can contribute to the continuous development of project managers and project teams to enhance the success rate of especially capital projects.