The Human Side of Megaprojects: Leadership Style and Traits to Face Growing Levels of Complexity and Uncertainty

Roberta Virtuani*, Barbara Barabaschi, Franca Cantoni

*Autore corrispondente per questo lavoro

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter


Megaprojects, given their complexity, have a tendency to fail or at least not to achieve the objectives initially planned. The gross error committed consists in recognizing a marginal role to the management style of human resources and specifically in not giving adequate importance to some leadership traits which in- stead prove to be fundamental. Within this research work, a leadership style based on three characteristics is proposed: widespread, aware and sustainable (WAS leadership style). 12 leadership traits are analyzed through the life stories of mega- project leaders. Storytelling and narrative are proposed as a method of analysis as they are considered most suitable for bringing out the salient features we want to highlight. The aim is to identify the leadership strategies, vision, sense-making, style and leadership traits of megaprojects managers to train new leaders and im- prove the management of new megaprojects. SUMMARY: 1.1. Introduction. – 1.2. Organization and HR in megaprojects: the Human Side of Megaprojects. – 1.3. The Six Paradoxes of Leadership Traits. – 1.4. Methodology: Applying storytelling and the narrative approach to project management research and practice. – 1.5. Stories and narratives. – 1.5.1. The Managing Director of the Mediterranean Rail Freight Corridor (Med-RFC). – 1.5.2. The Project Manager of a High-Speed Trains and Locomotives Company. – 1.6. Findings. – 1.7. Conclusions.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteSustainability and Megaprojects Development
Numero di pagine23
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2022


  • complexity
  • leadership
  • megaprojects
  • uncertainty


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