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Project management in the Irish funds industry: Matching the leadership competencies to project types

Biggar, Mark (2017) Project management in the Irish funds industry: Matching the leadership competencies to project types. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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In this paper, the competencies suggested by Dulewicz and Higgs (1999, 2000, 2005) and expanded upon by Muller and Turner (2007, 2010a, 2010b, 2010c) were examined with relation to project managers in the Irish funds industry. 6 hypotheses were suggested to determine if there was any statistically significant differences in the competencies required. This included examining the competencies of male and female project managers (H1), the complexity (H2), contract type (H3), and strategic importance (H5) of the project, as well as the fund services segment (H4) where the project is taking place. An additional hypotheses (H6) was tested to identify the competencies required of project managers, where the importance of meeting the project’s overall objectives was the definition of project success.

The identification of the of competencies of a success project manager can aid companies to appoint the correct person to the position. This type of research has never been conducted in Ireland, or the one fund services industry. The sectors chosen within the Irish funds industry were the custodian, fund accounting, transfer agency, and trustee segments. With the increased focus on the sector, due to increased regulation, and the looming exodus from the UK in the light of Brexit, there is an added need to determine the what competencies a project manager should have for different project combinations. Additionally, there has been no examination of Irish leaderships styles as a whole, using this approach.

The original methodology was to conduct a survey using the Leadership Dimensions’ Questionnaire (LDQ) as devised by Dulewicz and Higgs (2005). However, this tool has been retired by the authors. As such, a survey tool was devised using the definitions of the competencies as the criteria to identify competency strengths. These were then examined against the 6 hypotheses to determine the which competencies were ranked higher for each test.

At p < 0.05 the results show that there are statistically significant differences in three competencies when gender is being tested, one when complexity is being tested, no differences for contract type, fund services segment, and strategic importance, and five differences in competencies when the project’s objectives being met was tested. Of the statistically significant differences in competencies, only strategic perspective (an intelligence competency) appeared more than once (in H1, and H6), while the other competencies to appear were achieving, conscientiousness, emotional resilience, interpersonal sensitivity (all emotional intelligence competencies), developing and empowering (both managerial competencies).

At p < 0.1 the results showed slightly more statistically significant differences. As before, both fund services segment and strategic importance showed no statistical significant differences in competencies. For gender, an additional five competencies showed differences, including all three intelligence competencies; contract type and complexity showed an additional difference in competencies, while the project’s objective being met showed an additional two. Developing (managerial competency) appeared thrice (in H!, H2, and H3), while critical analysis and judgement, vision and imagination, strategic perspective (all intelligence competencies), and conscientiousness appeared twice each. Motivation and influencing (both emotional intelligence competencies) appeared once each.

The research suggests that there are clear differences in competencies required of project managers working in the Irish funds sector. These differences occur both in the gender of the project manager, as well as the contract type and complexity of the project. However, the competencies of project managers, where meeting the project’s overall objectives is considered a key criteria for project success, shows the most number of statistically significant differences in competencies.

A number of further research projects are suggested based on this initial work. These include a larger, and more encompassing survey of project managers in Ireland, a determination if there is an Irish leadership style, and how multiculturalism might affect it, and the development of a new tool to analyse the competencies in more detail.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance > Investment > Investment Companies. Investment Trusts. Mutual Funds.
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology > Leadership
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Leadership
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Business Administration
Depositing User: Caoimhe Ní Mhaicín
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2017 10:31
Last Modified: 21 Nov 2017 10:31

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