Date of Conferral

2016

Degree

Ph.D.

School

Management

Advisor

Robert Levasseur

Abstract

Project leadership requires a diverse blend of technical and behavioral skills. Researchers have focused on the technical aspects of project management, leaving a void in understanding the behavioral skills of project leadership. The purpose of this correlational study was to gain insights into the behavioral aspects of projects by understanding the social capital and knowledge integration abilities of project leaders. Nahapiet and Ghoshal's social capital definition and its structural, relational, and cognitive attributes form the basis for the social capital theory constructs used in this study. The focus of the research questions was on the relationship of social capital to knowledge integration and project success. A self-designed survey (α = .925) was used to measure the latent variables of a project leader's social capital and knowledge integration abilities on the observed variable of project success. Survey research, conducted using a sample of project management professionals (N = 108), elicited project members' perceptions on the behavioral aspects of project leaders. Structural equation modeling validated that knowledge integration assists in achieving project success and that 2 types of social capital, structural and relational, have a significant influence on knowledge integration. Structural social capital has a positive effect, and relational social capital has a negative effect. The findings indicated that project management professionals need not only technical skills, but also behavioral skills. Having project leaders with the right blend of competencies will improve project success rates, affecting social change by enabling organizations to achieve greater economic benefits from better understanding the behavioral aspects of project teams.