Project management turnover: causes and effects on project performance

Parker, Stephen K. & Skitmore, Martin (2005) Project management turnover: causes and effects on project performance. International Journal of Project Management, 23(3), pp. 205-214.

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Changes in management personnel - variously termed displacement, succession or just turnover- have been found by many to have significant negative effects on project performance. However, researchers have often ignored the organizational context of succession, the timing of succession relative to the organizational life cycle, and the type of transfer undertaken in control surfaces. It has also been suggested that the idea of specifically choosing a project manager to see the project completely through its life cycle needs to be discarded in favour of selecting at each phase point, a new project manager best suited to the anticipated project environment.

To examine this further, a web-based survey was designed and developed from a detailed literature review, with 67 completed surveys collected, equating to a 45% response rate. This aimed to: find the reasons for project management turnover; examine the extent to which project management turnover is associated with a particular phase of the project life cycle; and investigate the effects of project management turnover on project performance.

The most significant findings are that project management turnover occurs predominantly in the execution phase of the project life cycle and that the main reasons for the turnover event are career motives, including the need for personal development, and dissatisfaction with the organisational culture and project management role. The results confirm that the turnover event disrupts and negatively affects the performance of the project team, the project, and potentially negates the competitive advantage of organisations in which it occurs.

Impact and interest:

47 citations in Scopus
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ID Code: 3263
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Management Turnover, Management Succession, Project Life Cycle, Performance Measurement, Project Management
DOI: 10.1016/j.ijproman.2004.10.004
ISSN: 0263-7863
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > BUILDING (120200) > Building Construction Management and Project Planning (120201)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2005 Elsevier and International Project Management Association (IPMA)
Copyright Statement: Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Deposited On: 20 Jul 2006 00:00
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2017 14:38

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