The Implications of P-O Fit Theory to Project Management

By Arik Sadeh, Dov Dvir and Ayala M. Pines.

Published by The Technology Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

The fit between project mangers' personality and the types of projects they manage is crucial for projects’ success. The current interdisciplinary study focused on the relationships among projects’ characteristics, project managers’ personality and projects’ success. Based on Person-Organization Fit theory it was hypothesized that a project with a particular profile needs a project manger (PM) with fitting personality traits in order to achieve better performance and success.
A questionnaire, consisting of three parts: one classified projects along four dimensions (Novelty, Complexity, Technology and Pace - NCTP); the second focused on project managers' personality traits relevant to these project dimensions; and the third assessed the projects' success from several perspectives, was used. Data on 289 projects and project managers was collected during 2005-2006 in Israel. The projects were classified into five types using the NCT dimensions of the NCTP model. For each type, an ideal PM profile comprising eight distinct personality traits was portrayed and the distance between this ideal type and the profile of the actual PM was calculated. The samples of a specific project type were divided into two sub-samples; projects in the first sub-sample were managed by PMs with profiles close to the ideal type, whereas projects in the second sub-sample were managed by PMs with profiles that were far from the ideal type. Then, using t-tests, the success levels (benefit to the customers, project efficiency and overall success) of the two sub-groups were compared.
The results supported the study’s hypothesis. When comparing the benefits to the customers of the five types of projects, significant differences were found between the performance levels of PMs with profiles closer to the hypothesized ideal types and those of PMs far from the ideal types. In all cases, PMs with personal profiles close to the ideal type performed better than PMs with personal profiles far from the ideal profile. When an overall success criterion was used, the results were similar.

Keywords: Person-Organization Fit Theory, Project Management, Project Classification

The International Journal of Technology, Knowledge and Society, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp.125-136. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 628.823KB).

Dr. Arik Sadeh

Senior Lecturer, Department of Technology Management, H.I.T. Holon Institute of Technology, Israel

Dr. Arik Sadeh earned his Ph.D. degree at Texas A&M University in 1986. He worked for an American-Israeli high tech company in financial and business planning of huge scale projects. He held a research position in the department of statistics and operations research of Agricultural Research Organization ARO. Since 1995, Dr. Sadeh is a senior member in the academic staff of Management of Technology Department at Holon Institute of Technology. He conducts research projects in the disciplines of project management, operations management, economics, finance and decision-making. Dr. Sadeh is a visiting faculty member in Management Department at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Prof. Dov Dvir

Prof., School of Business, Management Department, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel

Prof. Dov Dvir is the Head of the Management Department at the Ben-Gurion University in Beer Sheba, Israel. Previously he was the head of the Management of Technology (MOT) department at the Holon Center for Technological Education. He holds a B.Sc. in electrical engineering from the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, M.Sc. in operations research and an MBA from Tel Aviv University; and Ph.D. in management (specialization in MOT) from Tel Aviv University. Prof. Dvir has accumulated over 25 years in management of large-scale projects and consulting in the government and private sectors. He has published more than 70 papers in the areas of ,project management, technology management and technological entrepreneurship, in refereed journals and scientific conferences.

Prof. Ayala M. Pines

Prof., School of Management, MBA Department, Ben Gurion University, Beer Sheva, Israel

Professor Ayala Malach-Pines, PhD is a clinical, social and organizational psychologist and Head of the Department of Business Administration at the Ben-Gurion University School of Management in Israel. Professor Pines is one of the pioneers in the study of burnout and has published extensively on the subject including numerous research articles, book chapters and a book entitled Career Burnout: Causes and Cures coauthored with Elliot Aronson. She published ten books, twenty book chapters and well over eighty research articles. Among her books: Experiencing Social Psychology coauthored with Christina Maslach, Couple Burnout: Causes and Cures, Working Women: Problems and Solutions and The Psychology of gender (the last two were published in Hebrew)., Romantic Jealousy, and Falling in Love. Her books were translated into many languages including Hebrew, French, German, Spanish, Hungarian, Greek, Turkish, Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

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