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Linking humble leadership and project success: the moderating role of top management support with mediation of team-building



Purpose This paper aims to examine the impact of humble leadership on project success. The authors propose that such an effect is mediated by team-building, and top management support moderates the direct relationship (humble leadership and project success) as well as an indirect relationship through team-building. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected from 337 individuals employed in the information technology sector of Pakistan. A two-step approach consisting confirmatory factor analysis and structural equation modeling was used for analysis. To examine conditional direct and indirect effects, the authors utilized model 8 in PROCESS. Findings The results showed that humble leadership is positively related to project success. Furthermore, team-building partially mediates the relationship between humble leadership and project success. Moreover, top management support was anticipated to have a moderating effect on the direct and indirect link (via team-building) between humble leadership and project success. Originality/value Drawing on the conservation of resources theory, this study found that how humble leadership is vital for project success, and thus, extends the utility of the concept of humble leadership to the project literature.
Linking humble leadership and
project success: the moderating
role of top management support
with mediation of team-building
Mudassar Ali, Zhang Li and Salim Khan
School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China
Syed Jamal Shah
Antai College of Economics and Management, Shanghai Jiao Tong University,
Shanghai, China, and
Rizwan Ullah
School of Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China
Purpose This paper aims to examine the impact of humble leadership on project success. The authors
propose that such an effect is mediated by team-building, and top management support moderates the direct
relationship (humble leadership and project success) as well as an indirect relationship throughteam-building.
Design/methodology/approach Data were collected from 337 individuals employed in the information
technology sector of Pakistan. A two-step approach consisting confirmatory factor analysis and structural
equation modeling was used for analysis. To examine conditional direct and indirect effects, the authors
utilized model 8 in PROCESS.
Findings The results showed that humble leadership is positively related to project success. Furthermore,
team-building partially mediates the relationship between humble leadership and project success. Moreover,
top management support was anticipated to have a moderating effect on the direct and indirect link (via team-
building) between humble leadership and project success.
Originality/value Drawing on the conservation of resources theory, this study found that how humble
leadership is vital for project success, and thus, extends the utility of the concept of humble leadership to the
project literature.
Keywords Leadership behavior, Project success, Top management, Project team effectiveness
Paper type Research paper
Over a few decades, project success has been the main focus of project management literature
(Ika et al., 2012). Among the dimension of the research that has increased our understanding
of the factors critically influencing project success is leadership style (Ahmed et al., 2013;
Hassan et al., 2017;Podg
orska and Pichlak, 2019;Turner and M
uller, 2005). However, several
aspects of the leadership styles influencing project success have yet to be explored, as
researchers suggest that scholars should focus the role of all aspects of leadership with
project success, instead of just focusing a few (Tyssen et al., 2014;Yu et al., 2018). Among the
leadership styles, humble leadership has been defined in terms of three main characteristics:
(1) willing to view oneself accurately, (2) an appreciation of othersstrengths and (3) openness
to new ideas and feedback (Owens et al., 2013). Although scholars have emphasized that
leadership and
project success
Funding: This research is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (71772052)
Conflict of interest statement and authorsdeclaration: On behalf of all authors, I am declaring that all
authors have seen and approved the final version of the manuscript. They warrant that the article is
original work.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available on Emerald Insight at:
Received 30 January 2020
Revised 6 May 2020
Accepted 19 June 2020
International Journal of Managing
Projects in Business
© Emerald Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/IJMPB-01-2020-0032
humility is obligatory excellence for project managers (Bri
ere et al., 2015), yet up to our
knowledge, no research is conducted previously to empirically examine the positive impact of
humble leadership on project success. Although, previous research provides some evidence
about the role of humble leadership in project success. For instance, humble leadership
fosters the adaptive strengths within the team they lead, which ultimately enhances project
team performance (Owens and Hekman, 2016) toward the successful completion of the
project. Therefore, this research aims to examine that humble leadership has a positive
impact on project success.
In building a model linking humble leadership and project success, we propose
team-building as a mediating mechanism that potentially explains the relationship between
leader humility and project success. Team-building has been defined as a set of four
cognitions possessed by the individual members of a team, which include goal-setting, role
clarifications, interpersonal relations and problem-solving (Klein et al., 2009). Aga et al. (2016)
stressed the need for empirical research to highlight the role of team-building practices in a
project environment. Besides, it has also pointed out that the way team-building helps
employees to perform effectively has received little attention in the team-building literature
(Shuffler et al., 2011). Ou et al. (2014) identify humble leadership as a capable command point
for enhancing team processes, including team-building. Following up on these calls, this
study assumes that behaviors of humble leaders enable team-building interventions that are
reflected in project success.
Besides, we propose the top management support as the boundary conditions across
which the effect of humble leadership on project success varies. A project manager with
humility, like leadership quality, cannot achieve the successful accomplishment of a
project until the top management of the organization supports him/her. Existing theories
and research indicate that both the leadership role of project manager and the support of
upper management are simultaneously crucial for the high performance of a project
(Kanwal et al., 2017) and team-building (Baiden et al., 2006). Although previous studies
have described that top management support is essential in different phases of projects
(Ong and Bahar, 2019), yet scholars have rarely considered the simultaneous role of project
manager and senior management support in project success (Maqbool and Sudong, 2018)
andteam-building(Ahmed et al., 2016). Top management is responsible for strategy
development, who must have explicit knowledge and expertise about the prevailing
situations of the organization. Senior management is responsible for developing
organizational strategies and has the required knowledge and expertise about the
current conditions of the organization.
Given the above discussion, the current study presents and empirically tests a
theoretical model proposing the relationship between humble leadership and project
success with team-building as mediating mechanism while the support of top management
moderating this effect. Theoretically, our model is rooted in the conservation of resources
theory (Hobfoll, 1989). The central tenet of this theory is that people strive to create,
protect, maintain and retain resources. Resources are those objects, conditions,
characteristics or energies that are valued by the people (Hobfoll, 2001), and what is
more detrimental to an individual is the loss of such resources (Hobfoll, 1989). The
conservation of resources theory suggests that leaders serve as an essential resource that
further creates and conserve resources for his/her organization by efficiently utilizing
organizational resources (employees) (Mao et al., 2019). Applying the assumptions of this
theory to the conceptual model of this study, we assume that organizational leaders,
through their humility trait, ensure the efficient utilization of resources in the form of an
effective team-building process to gain further resources by successfully accomplishing a
project. Drawing further on the assumptions of caravans passagewaysin the
conservation of resources theory (Hobfoll, 2011a), we propose that a humble leader
cannot efficiently utilize and build the organizational resource until he/she is provided
such an environment required for using his/her skills. Top management support acts as a
resource caravan passageway (i.e. a mechanism that helps to channel, funnel and supply
resources) that creates a favorable organizational environment that facilitates humble
leaders to achieve and active team-building process and project success.
Humble leadership
Humble leadership has been defined as an interpersonal quality of a leader reflected in three
main characteristics, namely, willingness to view oneself accurately, an appreciation of
othersstrengths and openness to new ideas and feedback (Owens and Hekman, 2012).
Conceived as an interpersonal trait, humble leadership is a characteristic of a leader that
followers identify during social relationships. Earlier studies have established numerous
humble leadersbehavioral characters. For instance, humble leadership demonstrates a
willingness to assess oneself without negative or positive exaggeration, indicating that the
leader has an accurate, non-defensive and rational self-view (Exline and Geyer, 2004;
Tangney, 2000). Humble leaders respect the value and efforts of followers and grant others
strengths with an open heart (Jeung and Yoon, 2016). Humble leaders are open to new ideas,
advice and information from their subordinates, showing his/her to be receptive to others,
which create an environment characterized by cooperation, confidence, creativity and
accomplishment (Rego et al., 2019). Humble leaders provide the most respectful approach in
dealing with their followers by showing a friendly attitude toward followers and looking for
guidance and encouraging followers to remove power distance (Jeung and Yoon, 2018).
Humble leaders facilitate a comfortable zone for employees who could openly discuss their
problems (Liu et al., 2017).
Humble leadership and project success
Research has found several positive workplace outcomes of humble leadership, including job
performance, team innovation, follower creativity and employeesvoice behavior (Lin et al.,
2019;Liu et al., 2017;Rego et al., 2017;Wang et al., 2018a). Humble leaders are critical in
enabling the team members to perform to their full potential both at the individual and the
group level (Argandona, 2015). Humble leaders identify the needs of the team members at an
individual level and address their concerns (Kesebir, 2014). This may not only remove hurdles
every member of a team is facing in his/her work but also encourage the team members
regarding their work and create confidence that their leader is there to help (Liu et al., 2017).
At the group level, a vital job of humble leadership is to provide a cooperative environment to
the team members where they can collaborate, share knowledge and come up with solutions
to problems that they are facing during the project execution (Owens and Hekman, 2016).
Such a collaborative environment fosters the performance of the team members and ensures
the effective implementation of the project without disrupting its normal flow (Burke et al.,
2006). Additionally, the team members naturally attached to humble leaders because of the
leaders active contribution to the project, granting freedom and autonomy to the team
members and giving importance to every team member (Chiu et al., 2016). Inspired by the
degree of freedom, the team members consider themselves as key drivers of project success
(Lin et al., 2019), who may work to their full potential to accomplish a project.
Additionally, according to Walsh et al. (2014), the leadership role can be described as a
resource that supports the organization to create and conserve the resource pool through
developing the followers. The phenomenon of creating and preserving organizational
resources is known as the conservation of resources (Hobfoll, 1989), which has recently
become vital in the field of organizational psychology. Conservation of resources suggests
that those with a reliable resource pool are the most resource securedand capable of
leadership and
project success
developing their resources reservoir (Hobfoll, 2001). We believe that humility is a crucial
personal resource of a leader who invests it in enhancing followersfaith and helping them to
create an atmosphere of cooperation and coordination that ultimately results in project
success (i.e. resource gain). Overall, this whole discussion suggests that the humility of a team
leader through his/her positive interpersonal quality may boost the performance of a working
team, which ultimately leads to the successful accomplishment of a project. Therefore we
H1. Humble leadership is positively related to project success.
Mediating role of team-building
Team-building is a management technique used for improving the efficiency and
performance of a workgroup and which mainly consists of four processes, including
goal-setting, developing interpersonal relations, clarifying roles and employing
problem-solving techniques (Klein et al., 2009;Salas et al., 1999). Goal-setting involves
defining and setting the goals and objectives of the project by defining the tasks and giving a
timeframe (Salas et al., 2004). Role clarification entails clarifying individual-role expectations,
group norms and shared responsibilities of team members (Klein et al., 2009). The
interpersonal process involves keeping positive relationships and resolving conflicts among
team members (Sen
ecal et al., 2008). Problem-solving emphasizes the identification of
significant problems in a teams tasks and subsequently enhancing the task-related skills of
the team members to resolve that problem (Misra and Srivastava, 2018).
Previous studies provide arguments to support the role of a project managers humility in
the team-building process in all of its four elements. First, leader humility reflects a shared
mental model of those who have the expertise and skills of creating a collective goal-oriented
environment for the team (Li et al., 2019), which allows team members to define and achieve
the team goals collectively. Second, a humble leader tends to enhance the meaningfulness of
work by helping an employee understands the importance of his or her contribution to
organizational (Rego et al., 2017), which gives the sense to subordinates of understanding the
role clarification and has an impact on organizational outcomes (Jeung and Yoon, 2016).
Third, a humble leader because of asking feedback from team members removes
bureaucratic constraints and enhances followersconfidence and competence (Wang et al.,
2018a), which is closely related to the interpersonal process of team-building. Fourth, humble
leaders acknowledge the contribution of subordinates and provide the sense of autonomy to
team members through power delegation (Naseer et al., 2019), which enables assistants to
make their own decisions to solve the problems and perform the tasks (Chen et al., 2018). In
addition, effective project leadership is required to enhance team commitment by cultivating
a positive attitude and climate that leads to project success (Kerzner, 2017;PMI, 2013), which
could be provided by a humble leader. Moreover, the positive interpersonal quality of a
humble leader inspires team members to achieve collective goals with visible enthusiasm and
by creating team synergy (Burke et al., 2006;Sohmen, 2013).
Previous research has also highlighted the significant impact of the efficient team-building
process on project success. According to Shuffler et al. (2018), the goal-setting component of
team-building introduces team members to a target-setting framework that requires action
planning to find ways to achieve these targets, improve problem-solving skills and motivate
the team toward achieving the objectives. Team members with predefined roles are expected
to gain a better understanding of their and othersrespective roles and duties within the group
(Salas et al., 1999), which has a significant impact on project success (Sohmen, 2013). The
interpersonal process involves enhancement in team membersinterpersonal skills, including
mutual supportiveness, communication and information sharing (LePine et al., 2008). As such,
the relationship among the team members become stronger in terms of sharing the same
vision and objectives (Cunha et al., 2018;Potnuru et al., 2019;Shah Syed et al., 2019), which
mobilizes a joint effort toward achieving the project goals. The problem-solving component of
the team-building process involves the identification of significant problems in the teams
efforts required to enhance task-related skills (Lacerenza et al., 2018). Additionally,
considering as an overall concept, team-building is the intervening process in which team
members identify the significant problems, generate relevant solution, engage in problem-
solving and action planning (implement and evaluate), making the team members acceptable
toward the challenging tasks, and come up with the novel solutions (Beebe and Masterson,
2014;Chiang et al., 2014;Locke and Latham, 2002). In turn, all of these are important for
organizational success (Hughes et al., 2018;Scott and Bruce, 1994). Project team members
often work independently and outside the organizational chain of command. This implies that
autonomous, full-time and successful team-building in terms of goal-setting, interpersonal
processes, role clarification and problem-solving can lead to project success through
developing the relevant attitudes, values, problem-solving techniques and interpersonal and
group methods required for the successful completion of the project (Aga et al., 2016).
The above discussion suggests that a humble leader leads the followers to accomplish a
project by stimulating an efficient team-building process. Therefore, team building acts as an
underlying mechanism explaining the effect of humble leadership on project success. Our
argument for the mediating effect of team building is also rooted in the resource conservation
theory (Hobfoll, 2011b), which suggests that personal or job-related resources foster the
creation and retention of more resources. Thus, making a positive resource gains approach
toward the notion of a humble leader, we argue that leaders, through their humility, ensure
the efficient utilization of organizational resources (employees) by passing them through an
effective team-building process, which, in turn, motivates them to build up additional
resources in the form of project success. Based on the above discussion, we propose the
following hypotheses:
H2a. Humble leadership is positively related to team building.
H2b. Team-building is positively related to project success.
H2c. Team-building mediates the relationship between humble leadership and project
The moderating role of top management support
Top management refers to the key decision-makers of the organization involving the chief
executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer, business unit heads and vice
president (Kor, 2003). Top management of any organization is the critical stakeholder of a
project because of its role in designing the project and providing support to a project manager
to ensure its successful implementation (Garavan, 2007;Niehoff et al., 1990). Young and Poon
(2013) asserted that top management support is the success factor for projects. Drawing on
the tenets of the conservation of resource theory (Hobfoll et al., 2018), top management
support may be categorized as resource caravan passageways in leadersworking
environment that facilitates the leaders to utilize and build up the organizational resources
efficiently. By fulfilling the needs for esteem, goals, deciding budgets, providing human,
material and technical resources (Ahmed et al., 2016;Islam et al., 2009), top management
support may increase leaderscomfort within the organization (Santos-Vijande et al., 2018).
Top management influences a project in several ways, such as the appointment of project
managers, creating a supportive culture, allocation of project resources, strategic planning
and implementing the project procedures (Zwikael, 2008). Top management interacts with
the project manager and team members to discuss different issues related to a project (Chen
and Popovich, 2003). Besides, the top management support has a significant role in
leadership and
project success
team-building (Lee et al., 2018). Top management activities such as sharing the organizations
vision, communicating policies and team-building are considered to be closely related to
project manager (Boonstra, 2013). Therefore, we propose that the humility of a leader is not
enough to build a team or successfully accomplish a project unless/she is supported by the
top management of an organization.
Top management delegates the authority to project managers and value their feedbacks,
which creates the synergetic effects in the working environment (Slevin and Pinto, 1986).
Such collaborative working practices improve the performance of the humble project
manager and team members (Owens and Hekman, 2016), which is an essential requirement
for accomplishing a project. This suggests to reason that humble leaders will only exercise
the authority of delegating power to others (core characteristics of humble leadership) if he/
she has enough power delegated to him/her by the top management of an organization.
Similarly, asking performance-related feedback from the subordinates is another essential
core characteristic of humble leadership, which has been to be significant for team-building
and project success. A humble leader can only be able to implement this quality if the culture
of the whole organization is friendly, less bureaucratic and cooperative. This is mainly the top
management of an organization that mostly designs the organizational culture. This is
consistent with the previous studies that the barriers removed by senior management to
make project management more effective and enhance the speed of project delivery (Baiden
et al., 2006). Top management is responsible for helping to create a stimulating and nurturing
the fast-learning environment (Guns, 1996). The perception of a safe climate encourages the
project manager, as humble leader who admits the limitations, mistakes and shows
teachability toward uncertainty (Owens and Hekman, 2012), allows followers feel
psychologically safe to voice and express new ideas on a trial-and-error approach (Mall
et al., 2019;Yang et al., 2019). Such encouragement was focused on improving the efficiency of
the team members with innovative skills and finding opportunities for growth and providing
an innovative solution to challenges facing the workplace by allowing the organization to
success in the competitive business environment (De Jong and Hartog, 2010;Scott and Bruce,
1994;West and Farr, 1990). Standing with our arguments, senior management support has
been found positively to influence the project manager and team, any obstacles associated
with development process will be more easily overcome, because any delays due to internal
causes will be rapidly solved and take project toward successful accomplishment.
Consistent with the conservation of resources theory and particularly the concept of
resource caravan passageways(Hobfoll et al.,2018), the ability of individuals to build and
maintain their poolof resources (or conversely to lose their resources) is mostly
dependent on circumstances outside their control (Hobfoll and De Jong, 2014). Caravan
passageways are the environmental situations that support, foster, enrich and protect the
resources of individuals, sections or segments of workers and organizations as a whole or
strengthen individuals or groups resource reservoirs (Hobfoll, 2011a). Indeed, top
management support in terms of reconciling work can be viewed as resource
passagewaysthat can provide human resources, team decision-making, resolving
conflicts and functional organizational resources. Humble leadership and team members
feel that top management support is attentive to the issue of resources, perceive having
more resources (team building and project success) at the workplace. Given these
arguments, we propose that top management support positively moderates the relation
between humble leadership and project success and humble leadership and team-building
as well indirectly to project success.
H3a. Top management support moderates the relationship between humble leadership
and project success such that higher management support strengthens the
H3b. Top management support moderates the relationship between humble leadership
and team-building such that higher management support strengthens the
H4. The indirect effect of humble leadership through team-building on project success is
expected to be significant for those with high top management support and
nonsignificant for those with low top management support.
Data and methods
The target population for this study is Pakistan-based information technology (IT)
industry. The reason for choosing this sector is because the IT industry is project-oriented,
where a particular project is provided to a firm for a fixed period. The culture within the IT
industry is more casual than the formal culture commonly found in the manufacturing
sector (Kanwal et al., 2017), which makes it an appropriate population in this study.
Sample and procedure
Questionnaires were randomly distributed among the employees working in four large IT
companies for data collection. We assessed the head of work units and asked permission from
the employees working in their department to collect data. After their consent, employees
were informed about the purpose of data collection and assured that their information would
be kept confidential and be used only for the research purpose. They were given
questionnaires after showing their agreement and asked them to return in a sealed envelope.
The respondents were asked to consider their experience of a project recently completed
while giving answers to survey questions. Of 500 distributed questionnaires, 393
questionnaires were returned, representing a response rate of 78.6%. Of the returned
questionnaires, 56 were dropped either due to incompleteness or careless responses. This
reduced the number to 337 questionnaires to be used for analysis. The demographics of the
study respondents are given in Table 1.
The tools for focal constructs were adopted from previous literature. All variables in
studies measured on a five-point Likert scale ranging from strongly disagree (1) to
strongly disagree (5). Humble leadership was measured with the nine-item scale developed
Measures Item Frequency %
Gender Male 238 70.6
Female 99 29.4
Age (years) 2030 79 23.4
3140 80 23.7
4150 96 28.5
Above 51 82 24.3
Education Bachelors 256 76.0
Master 49 14.5
Diploma 32 9.5
Work experience Less than 5years 28 8.3
510 years 112 33.2
1115 years 103 30.6
16 years and above 94 27.9
Table 1.
Demographic profile of
the respondents
leadership and
project success
by Owens et al. (2013), with an alpha reliability of 0.92. Team-building was measured with
a six-item scale developed by Potnuru et al. (2019), with an alpha reliability of 0.92. Top
management support was measured by using the six-item scale developed by Islam et al.
(2009), with an alpha reliability of 0.89, and project success was measured with the ten-item
scale developed by Turner and M
uller (2005), with an alpha reliability of 0.94. Job
experience, gender, age and educational level have been demonstrated to influence project
success, and so should be included as control variables (Aga et al., 2016).
Data analysis
Data analysis was carried out using SPSS 23 and AMOS 23. The analysis was performed in
two steps: confirmatory factor analysis (CFA) and structural model testing. CFA is a
preliminary step in the data analysis process to confirm whether the measured items underlie
the hypothesized latent variables (Kline, 2015). Then, hypothesized relationships are tested
using a structural equation model (SEM) (J
oreskog, 1993).
Confirmatory factor analysis
CFA was conducted to see whether the hypothesized four-factor model fits the data well. The
CFA results showed an excellent model fitness (
5819.09, df 5521,
/df 51.572,
p< 0.001, CFI 50.95, TLI 50.95, SRMR 50.03, RMSEA 50.04). The standardized factor
loadings were greater than 0.7. Next, the four latent variables were evaluated for composite
reliability (CR), convergent validity and discriminant validity. The CR values for all the
constructs were greater than 0.9, showing excellent internal consistency (Bagozzi, 1983;
Fornell and Larcker, 1981). Convergent validity was verified by using the values of the
average variance extracted (AVE). AVE values should be greater than 0.5 to achieve
convergent validity among the study constructs (Sarstedt et al., 2016). The AVE values for all
the constructs were greater than 0.5, verifying that there is no issue of convergent validity
among these constructs. Discriminant validity was tested following the FornellLarcker
approach (Fornell and Larcker, 1981). The criterion was fulfilled because the square root of
AVE value of all the constructs was greater than the correlation among all the constructs as
given in Table 2 (the square root of AVE is given in diagonal with italic letters).
Structural model testing
The SEM results of direct pathways for the hypothesized model are depicted in Table 3.
About the main effect, the analysis revealed a significant positive association between
humble leadership and project success (β50.17, p< 0.001), supporting H1.H2a was also
supported, as humble leadership was found to be a significant predictor of team-building
(β50.20, p< 0.001). Regarding H2b, the result showed a statistically significant link of team
building (β50.19, p< 0.001) with project success; hence, it was accepted. It should be noted
TB 0.92 3.4 0.79 0.57 0.75
PS 0.94 3.6 0.84 0.63 0.27
HL 0.92 3.6 0.79 0.58 0.19
TMS 0.89 3.5 0.77 0.58 0.19
0.063 0.764
Note(s): variances extracted are on the diagonal, correlations are off diagonal. **p< 0.01 (two-tailed).
variances extracted are on the diagonal; correlations are off diagonal. AVE 5average variance extracted;
CR 5composite reliability; HL 5humble leadership, TB 5team-building, PS 5project success, TMS 5top
management support
Table 2.
Mean, standard
deviation, validity and
that although the controls were not significantly related to project success, these results did
not influence the relationships among the study variables.
To examine the indirect effect in H2c more closely, we followed Preacher et al.s (2007)
suggestions and conducted the bootstrap analysis. According to Wang et al. (2017), the
common estimates of indirect effect usually do not follow the normal suggestion and may
result in bias, and the bootstrap approach yields the most accurate confidence intervals for
indirect effect estimation. Bootstrapping tests are influential because they detect when the
sampling distribution of the mediated effect is skewed away from 0 (Shrout and Bolger, 2002).
We calculated 95% bias-corrected bootstrapped confidence intervals (CIs) using 5,000 data
samples. The top and lower bound results exclude 0 for team-building, which suggests that
they are significant by conventional standards. The bootstrap results indicate a positively
significant mediating effect of team-building between humble leadership and project success
(β50.03, SE 50.01, p< 0.05, 95% CI [0.01, 0.08]). It should be noted the direct relationship
between humble leadership and project success was also significant, which means that
team-building partially mediates the effect of humble leadership and project success.
Moderated mediation
To test H3a,H3b and H4, we adopted Model 8 using the PROCESS approach and conducted
what is known as moderated mediation or conditional process analysis (Preacher and Hayes,
2008;Preacher et al., 2007). A moderated mediation model is characterized by the
simultaneous presence of a moderator (in this case, top management support), which
affects the strength of association between two other variables (in the present study, humble
leadership and team-building and humble leadership and project success), and a mediator
variable (team-building). As illustrated in Table 2, the main effect of humble leadership and
project success was significantly moderated by top management support (β50.15,
p< 0.001). Table 2 also indicates that top management support significantly moderates the
relationship between humble leadership and team-building (β50.13, p< 0.001). For
descriptive purposes, team-building and project success were plotted against the humble
leadership in Figure 1 and Figure 2, respectively, separately for high and low top
management support (1 SD below and 1 SD above the mean, respectively). The bias-corrected
percentile bootstrap results further showed that the conditional indirect relation between
humble leadership and project success via team-building was insignificant at 1SD below
the mean of TMS (estimate 50.04, SE 50.01, 95% CI 5[0.15, 0.15]), but was significant at
Path Coefficient SE t-value
Age Project success 0.018 0.04 0.32
Education Project success 0.035 0.09 0.83
Work experience Project success 0.13 0.04 2.43
Gender Project success 0.04 0.06 0.68
Main effects
Humble leadership Project success 0.17
0.05 2.85
Team-building Project success 0.19
0.05 3.31
Humble leadership Team-building 0.20
0.06 3.41
HL_X_TMS Project success 0.15
0.04 2.89
HL_X_TMS Team-building 0.13
0.04 2.45
Note(s):*p< 0.05; **p< 0.01; ***p< 0.001
SE: standard error, HL_X_TMS: interaction term of humble leadership and top management support
Table 3.
SEM path analysis
leadership and
project success
þ1 SD (estimate 50.007, SE 50.01, 95% CI 5[0.15, 0.43]). Given that top management
support moderated both the direct and indirect paths, H3a,H3b and H4 were supported.
In this study, we empirically tested a model to examine the role of humble leadership in
project success. A positive association between humble leadership and project success was
found. A project manager, through his/her humility, may encourage and motivate team
members toward the integrative belief of project success characterized by productivity,
effectiveness and gratification of stakeholders. The results of this study suggest that
humility should be an essential quality of the project manager to ensure the successful
execution of the project. As such, this study supports prior studies (Bri
ere et al., 2015).
Moreover, this finding has addressed the gap pointed out by previous scholars that the
literature on project management is insufficient to highlight the role of project managers
leadership styles in project success (Kissi et al., 2013;M
uller et al., 2012;Turner and M
2005;Tyssen et al., 2014).
The results of the study have also established a positive association between
team-building and project success. Our research shows that the existing four elements
involved in team-building, namely, project goal-setting, role clarification, interpersonal
relationships and problem-solving, could produce a committed and highly motivated project
Team Building
Project Success
Low HL High HL
High TMS
Linear (Low TMS)
Linear (High TMS)
Figure 1.
Theoretical framework
Figure 2.
team (Shuffler et al., 2018). This finding supports the previous claim that through an efficient
team-building process, organizations and project managers are more likely to raise
awareness among team members about the project objectives, roles and responsibilities,
interpersonal interaction and problem-solving skills, which ultimately influence a project
success (Aga et al., 2016). Moreover, it was found that the team-building partially mediates the
effect of humble leadership on project success. This means that humble leadership partially
depends on a successful team-building process while achieving project success.
This study also confirmed the moderating effect of top management support on the
relationship between humble leadership and project success. This finding supports the
previous research that senior management has a moderating effect on the relationship
between the project manager and project performance (Kanwal et al., 2017). This result also
indicates the humble project manager is putting the top management support on the highest
rank for project success. The project leader must be able to get help from the senior
management to complete the project successfully. Investigating top management support
positively moderate, the relationship between humble leadership and team-building.
Additionally, the study follows a prior call for research to explore the moderating role of
top management support between the project managers and team building (Boonstra, 2013).
Humble leadership can be established by supportive top management, where team members
feel their input is valued and appreciated. Supportive senior management reinforces the
motivation to participate and provide toward achieving common goals and common purpose.
When team members feel accepted and supported within their team and team leader, they
may be more willing to part concern, cooperate and commit toward the teams collective goals.
Practical implications
These findings may have several applied implications. First, our results point to the
importance of a humble leader for project success. Humility is a beloved quality that can be
learned and developed. Project managers should be trained with humble leadership styles, in
particular through action learning (Wang et al., 2018b), which could be a way to increase the
excellence of project-based organizations. Humility is an interpersonal and relationship-
oriented quality that can develop shared collaboration among employees through formal and
informal ways.
The second results of our research show that team-building significantly mediates the
relationship between humble leadership and project success. A leaders caring role builds the
professional team to manage their work roles, responsibilities, wisdom and activities that are
important to perform well and achieve set objectives of the project. One implication acmes the
effectiveness of traditional team-building strategies, including formal and informal group-
level involvements aimed at improving social relations and clarifying roles, as well as
Low HL High HL
High TMS
Linear (Low TMS)
Linear (High TMS)
Figure 3.
leadership and
project success
addressing tasks and interpersonal issues that affect team functioning. This implies that
there is a good probability that projects will succeed when the team-building elements are
used correctly. The existing research described that this kind of implementation by an
organization cultivates an environment where team members feel competent, which results in
team productivity (Shuffler et al., 2018).
Third, our findings suggest that support from top management in terms of providing
resources, structural arrangements, communication, expertise and powers is effective
behaviors to enhance the likelihood of project success and team-building. The results will
help the practitioners to lead the projects with more enthusiasm where senior management
could take their role seriously to make sure the availability of necessary support to the project
managers. Senior management ignites coherence and problem-solving techniques through
the learning environment (Islam et al., 2009). Especially when project implementation time is
short, humble project managers and team members to manage this dimension of learning can
trigger the implementation time. The literature indicates that such support of top
management motivates project managers and project teams to exert maximum efforts and
keep high performance that ultimately leads to achieving project objectives (Hermano and
ın-Cruz, 2016).
Limitations and future research directions
The results are limited by our studys cross-sectional design and by the use of a single method
of data collection. The fact that data collected from information technology projects only limit
their generalizability, future studies should also consider other types of project-based
organizations when studying the impact of humble leadership. We did not examine the role of
organizational culture as a moderating variable. However, we believe that cultural variation
can affect project success and team-building, and future studies should consider this aspect
as well. Another possible area of research can be to study the underlying mechanism between
humble leadership and project success, in the form of mediators.
Our study has some limitations in future research that need to be resolved. First, our
research deemed the connection between the primary constructs rather than the predictions.
Future research can use experimental design to determine the cause and effect of such
associations. Second, though the CFA suggested four distinct constructs, due to the cross-
sectional nature of the analysis, possible common method variance cannot be ignored.
However, we tried to tackle this problem to some degree by applying Harmans one-factor test
(Podsakoff et al., 2003). The results presented that the single factor accounted for only 22.9%
of the variance explained less than the threshold level of 50% (Khan, 2019), indicating that
common method bias is not a severe issue. Future researchers, however, may collect data from
multiple sources or over different times (cross-sectional) to remove potential biases associated
with cross-sectional data. The third limitation is the generalizability of the research. To collect
data, we focused on one country (Pakistan) and one sector (IT projects). Future studies in
other industries and cultural contexts may replicate the same study. More precisely, because
humble leadership is a relationship-oriented leadership style, comparative research should be
carried out between high and low relationship-oriented cultures to determine whether the
impact of humble leadership on project success differs from culture to culture.
It would be interesting to see whether humble leadership leads to adverse results (Ou et al.,
2014;Weidman et al., 2018). According to Mall
en et al. (2019), a large number of empirical
research into humility has demonstrated its positive effects. Though, it is unclear if humility
contributes to negative impacts, such as slower or less positive decisions that might interfere
with the companys responses to rapid environmental changes (Eisenhardt, 1989). Future
research will be conducted at a turning point from which the impact of humility on project
quality or other outcomes is adversely affected.
Finally, our results also demonstrate that a humble leader can play an active role in
promoting team-building. Future research may study the effect of humble leadership on
different knowledge areas of project management across team-building dimensions
(goal-setting, role clarification, interpersonal process and problem-solving).
Increased knowledge about the factors prompting project success is of considerable
significance to project-based organizations. We have demonstrated that within the context of
information technology projects, humble leadership has both direct and indirect influences on
project success. Also, we showed that team-building as a critical project success factor plays a
mediating role in the relationship between humble leadership and project success as well
moderating effect of top management support. Thus, project-oriented organizations need to
promote a humble leadership style among project managers, e.g. through selection and
leadership development programs, as indicated by previous empirical studies (Liu et al.,
2017). This would, in turn, produce a working project climate encouraging team-building
practices like project goal-setting, role clarification, interpersonal relations and problem-
solving techniques. We hope that our study will prompt future research on project team-
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About the authors
Mudassar Ali is a PhD scholar under Chinese Government Scholarship at the School of Economy and
Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, P.R. China. He completed his Masters in Project
Management from Riphah International University, Islamabad, Pakistan. His research interests are
related to leadership and applied knowledge areas of project management. His research work has been
appeared in journals such as Leadership and Organizational Development Journal (SSCI) and Asia Pacific
Journal of Marketing and Logistics (SSCI).
Zhang Li is a Professor of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management at the Harbin
Institute of technology in China. She completed PhD in the field of management from the Harbin
Engineering University. Her research interest includes organizational behavior, human resource,
leadership and workfamily balance. She has had research papers published in reputed journals such as
Journal of Business Research (SSCI),Personality and Individual Differences (SSCI),International Journal
of Stress Management (SSCI) and Current Psychology (SSCI). She has continuously been reviewing
articles for International Journal of Human Resource Management (SSCI) and Journal of Managerial
Psychology as well as AOM meeting papers. Zhang Li is the corresponding author and can be contacted
Salim Khan is a PhD Scholar of Business Administration in the School of Management at the Harbin
Institute of Technology. He received his post-graduation in the same field from the Quaid-i-Azam
University Islamabad, Pakistan. His current research areas are business ethics, human resource,
organizational behavior. His research work has appeared in journals such as Current Psychology,
Leadership and Organizational Development Journal and International Journal of Occupational Safety
and Ergonomics (SSCI).
Syed Jamal Shah is a Post-doctorate Candidate at the Shanghai Jiao Tong, Xuhui Shanghai, P.R.
China. He worked as a Marketing and Human Resource Manager in multinational and national
pharmaceutical companies. His research interests are human resource management, organizational
behavior, strategic management and marketing. His research work has appeared in journals such as
Sustainability (SSCI), International Journal of Occupational Safety and Ergonomics (SSCI), International
Journal of Conflict Management (SSCI), Leadership and Organizational Development Journal (SSCI),
Human Systems Management (ESCI) and Journal of Chinese Economic and Foreign Trade Studies
(ESCI). His target segment of research is frontline employees.
Rizwan Ullah is a PhD candidate in the Department of Management Science at the School of
Management, Harbin Institute of Technology, P.R. China. His research interests include green corporate
social responsibility and innovation performance of the firms.
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... Nuhu et al. (2016) called for further studies on the effect of top management support. Few studies have examined the moderating effect of top management support (Ali et al., 2020;Hsu et al., 2019;Islam et al., 2009). These studies were neither about PBB nor in the field of higher education. ...
... A few studies have used top management support as a moderating variable (Ali et al., 2020;Hsu et al., 2019;Islam et al., 2009), and not all of them investigated higher education. The present study examines the moderating role of top management support at higher and lower levels. ...
... In addition, this study responds to Nuhu et al.'s (2016) suggestion that the effect of top management support should be studied in the future. However, the moderating effect of top management support has largely been unexamined in the literature (Ali et al., 2020;Hsu et al., 2019;Islam et al., 2009). No previous studies have investigated PBB and higher education. ...
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The COVID-19 pandemic has raised many issues for higher education institutions, one of which is the continued decline in funding and an increased emphasis on effectiveness and efficiency. Performance-based budgeting is being adopted in organisations to allocate resources more efficiently, and Chinese public universities are no exception. The present study explicitly aimed to examine the relationship among staff capacity, performance-based budgeting, and organisational performance in Chinese public universities. It also investigated the role of top management support as a moderator. A purposive sampling method was used to select a total of 271 participants who agreed to participate in an online survey. A multimethod approach combining partial least squares-structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM), the PROCESS macro and necessary condition analysis (NCA) was adopted. The PLS-SEM results indicated that performance-based budgeting had a positive relationship with university performance and served as a mediator between staff capacity and university performance. The moderated mediation results showed that top management moderated the relationship among the selected variables. The NCA results suggested that both staff capacity and performance-based budgeting are meaningful and significant necessary conditions for university performance. The combined results indicated how researchers and practitioners can identify the factors that are critical for university performance and result in the best possible outcomes. This is possibly the first study to use this multimethod approach in accounting research. Overall, this study offers valuable insights into performance-based budgeting implementation in higher education institutions and may serve as a guideline for public universities to improve the efficiency of funding, reduce costs and increase revenues.
... The importance of humility in management has been supported by recent studies (Argandona, 2015;Cuenca et al., 2022;Frostenson, 2016). Many empirical studies (Ali et al., 2020;Davis et al., 2017;Ou et al., 2014;Owens et al., 2011;Owens & Hekman, 2016;Rego et al., 2019) provide support for considering humility as a positive and effective quality for individuals, teams and organizations (Nielsen et al., 2010). In these studies, the authors analyze the role of humble leadership in engagement and learning (Nielsen & Marrone, 2018;Owens et al., 2011), as well as in E X H I B I T 1 Practices of a humble culture innovation (Owens & Hekman, 2012;Sun et al., 2021), and in resilience (Zhu et al., 2019). ...
... The leader's humble behavior can expand via social contagion to the team (Owens & Hekman, 2016), promoting information sharing and joint decision-making (Ou et al., 2018), in addition to a more constructive organizational climate, and teamwork (Ali et al., 2020;Wang et al., 2022). The leader's manifest humility fosters humble behavior in teams, with an effect on team performance (Peng et al., 2020). ...
... The answers corroborate that the leader's humble behavior promotes a more constructive organizational climate, according to the studies by Ali et al. (2020), with an effect on the well-being of followers (Zhong et al., 2019). "Our performance evaluation systems encourage and promote a collaborative spirit, and this makes us have an extremely engaged atmosphere" (Interviewee 5) " When I came here. . . ...
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In order to analyze the role of humility in organizational culture, in this work, companies that formally declared humility as a value on their home pages were chosen, as to understand the internalization of this value in their practices and behaviors. The research adopted a descriptive‐analytical design with a qualitative approach, and in addition to secondary data referring to the organizational profile, fourteen semi‐structured interviews were analyzed with the decision‐making elite of the seven chosen organizations, based on theoretical‐deductive categories of the construct identified in the organizational literature. The study identified that the value of humility is effectively present in behaviors and practices of these organizations, which develop a culture of humility in their daily lives. The main results indicate that the internalized value of humility is associated with (i) shared behaviors; (ii) clear self‐assessment of strengths and weaknesses; (iii) culture of innovation; (iv) awareness of their own limitations; (v) support for third‐party contributions and feedback practices (vi) employee learning; (vii) culture of praise. The results reinforced the main categories and constructs for a Humble Organizational Culture (HOC) Model, opening opportunities for future research that explore the elaboration of cultural maturity diagnoses and humility measurement instruments in the organizational field.
... Also, when workers see the "value things" the employer offers, they are more likely to give "valuable things" in return, which could lead to more excellent pro-organizational behavior (Ali et al., 2020). Employees may act unethically for the organization's advantage, for instance, even when doing so would violate the organization's existing norms and moral standards; this is known as unethical pro-organizational behavior (Kehoe and Wright, 2013;Kehoe and Collins, 2017). ...
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The goal of this study was to identify the model that best match with the work ethics of public elementary school teachers as estimated by charismatic leadership, supervisory relationship and reciprocity beliefs of school heads in Region XI, Philippines. Conducted from June 2021 to November 2022 using a correlation approach and path analysis, which study employed a quantitative, non-experimental research design. A stratified sampling approach was used to determine the 432 teachers of public elementary schools. Statistics methods employed included mean, Pearson r, and path analysis. Moreover, adapted survey questionnaires were used. The result reveals that the levels of charismatic leadership, supervisory relationship and reciprocity beliefs of schools and work ethics of teachers were very high. Further, when each independent variable correlates with work ethics of teachers, results showed that charismatic leadership was significantly correlated with work ethics. There was also a significant relationship between supervisory relationship and work ethics as well as between reciprocity beliefs and work ethics. Model 3 came out as the best fit model that predicts work ethics. The model showed that charismatic leadership and reciprocity beliefs predicts work ethics among public school teachers. Article visualizations: </p
... Um aspecto relevante para a compreensão da humildade na organização está associado ao comportamento do líder junto aos seus seguidores, (Argandona, 2017). O comportamento do líder humilde contagia a equipe (Owens & Hekman, 2016), promovendo o compartilhamento de informações e a tomada de decisões em conjunto (Ou, Waldman, & Peterson, 2018), além de um clima organizacional mais construtivo, e o trabalho em equipe (Ali, Li, Khan, Shah, & Ullah, 2020). Quanto aos seguidores, no tocante à humildade nas organizações, os que expressam genuínos comportamentos humildes são considerados mais competentes e confiáveis pelos seus líderes (Yang, Zhang, & Chen, 2019). ...
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Resumo A humildade é uma qualidade pouco estudada no ambiente organizacional. O interesse pelas pesquisas acerca da humildade passou a ganhar alguma representatividade a partir deste século. Contudo, as revisões de literatura sobre a humildade na gestão são raras, tornando-se oportuna a sistematização do conhecimento relevante deste campo. Evidenciar a estrutura intelectual do domínio, as pesquisas atuais e as oportunidades de investigação associadas à humildade nas organizações é o objetivo desta pesquisa. Para tanto, foi realizado um estudo bibliométrico no período 2000-2020, e analisados indicadores de atividade e relacionais - cocitações e acoplamento bibliográfico. Os resultados mostram três grandes linhas temáticas que compõem a estrutura intelectual do campo: (i) conceitos, antecedentes e atributos organizacionais., (ii) métodos e escalas, e (iii) questões comportamentais. As pesquisas atuais estão organizadas em quatro grandes frentes: (i) humildade expressa, (ii) humildade e q, (iii) humildade e equipes, e (iv) humildade e comportamento organizacional. Ao final é apresentada uma agenda de pesquisa futura, com destaque para a análise de como a humildade expressa e os comportamentos humildes podem ser ensinados e internalizados na cultura organizacional.
... Experts and researchers have determined the crucial quality indicators that characterize a project's success [107]. Ali et al. [108] said that a modest leader is likelier to create project goals by recognizing followers' dedication, capability, and input to accomplish the project's aims. For the whole process, the leader must be able to employ skilled and efficient staff and have a clear vision and clear thinking [109]. ...
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The construction industry is considered a driver of economic growth, especially in developing countries. However, the successful completion of construction projects is a major challenge, due to the lack of competencies. The current study explores the effects of communication management practices, clarity in the scope of the construction project, and organizational culture to enhance project success. A project manager is essential in running a project smoothly and according to the schedule. Keeping in view the predominant role of the project manager, this study aims to find the moderating impact of manager competencies to improve the construction project routine and generate successful projects. A questionnaire survey was conducted to collect the data and determine how these variables influence construction project progress. The current research results show an excellent association between a construction project’s success and the discussed independent variables. Additionally, it was found that a competent project manager can play a better role in preventing the uncomfortable influences of independent variables on the dependent variable. The obtained outcomes highlight the importance of adequately handling organizational culture, communication management, and clarity to achieve project success. These outcomes are helpful for the professionals working in the construction sector to raise the project success rate and enhance their construction management capabilities.
... Nesse sentido, as instituições de ensino estão pressionadas para formar novas capacidades, habilidades e competências compatíveis com o contexto ágil e digital (Eisner et al., 2021;Fahd et al., 2021). Por exemplo, a gestão de projetos é consideravelmente impactada por essas mudanças, bem como pela necessidade de novas soft skills, como o protagonismo (Sposito & Scafuto, 2019) e a liderança (Ali et al., 2021). ...
Conference Paper
Resumo: Como auxílio à otimização do tempo para desenvolvimento tecnológico e evolução das pesquisas científicas, este artigo trata do design science research (DSR), uma abordagem metodológica promissora e com uso em expansão no meio acadêmico. O objetivo do artigo é apresentar a evolução do método DSR e a importância do ensino deste método para os mestrandos e doutorandos das áreas de administração e gestão de projetos e empreendedorismo. A abordagem qualitativa foi adotada com o uso do método de estudo de caso focando o ensino de uma disciplina de pesquisa técnico-científica aplicada, lecionada em programas de mestrado e doutorado ligados a administração e gestão de projetos. Os dados foram coletados com entrevistas semiestruturadas e consulta a documentos da disciplina. Os resultados mostram contribuições e importância do ensino da DSR para a formação e a pesquisa em ciências sociais aplicadas. Palavras-chave: Design Science Research, Ensino, Aprendizagem.
... Finally, we contribute to SIP theory by discovering the importance of leader authenticity in what information gets communicated in the interactions between leaders and team members. Previous research has shown almost exclusively positive relationships between leader humility and employee learning (Ali et al., 2021;Morris et al., 2005;Owens et al., 2013). However, our finding that perceptions of leader authenticity partially mediate this relationship suggests that, when leaders are not perceived as authentic, humble behaviors will have less impact on learning. ...
Purpose This study aims to empirically examine the relationship between the leader characteristic of humility and the informal learning of team members. It also evaluates the role of leader authenticity in mediating that relationship. Design/methodology/approach Data were collected on 518 salespeople reporting to 66 managers in a time-lagged study of a financial services firm. Generalized structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data and test a multi-hierarchical mediation model. Findings Leader humility has a significant positive direct and indirect effect on individual informal learning in team contexts, and leader authenticity partially mediates this relationship. Research limitations/implications This study advances research on how leaders can help transform learning from a risky endeavor to a daily practice. It shows the impact of the leadership characteristic of humility and explains how humble behaviors provide a model for individual learning in team contexts. It also reveals that leader authenticity is a key mechanism through which leader humility comes to influence employees’ informal learning within work teams. Originality/value This study provides empirical support for the importance of leader humility in engendering the trust required for employees to engage in everyday workplace learning. It integrates social information processing theory with social learning theory to show that humble leaders provide critical information about the value, cost and methods of individual informal learning in team contexts. Leader humility increases employees’ beliefs that they can and do learn from working in teams because employees perceive the humble leader’s behaviors as representing the leader’s true intentions.
Objectives The current study measures the differences in humble leadership and team performance in nursing based on the sample’s characteristics. Design A cross-sectional study. Setting In 2022, the current study sample was recruited from governmental and private universities and hospitals using an online survey. Participants A convenience snowball sample of 251 nursing educators, nurses and students was recruited. Results A leader’s humble leadership, a team’s humble leadership and overall humble leadership were at moderate levels. The overall mean team performance was ‘working well’. The single male humble leaders, aged more than 35 years and working full-time in an organisation with quality initiatives, have a higher leader’s humble leadership. Members of the team aged more than 35 years working full-time in organisations with quality initiatives have a higher team’s humble leadership. Team performance in organisations with quality initiatives was higher in resolving many conflicts by compromising between team members, with each one giving in a little. There was a moderate correlation (r=0.644) between the total scores of the overall humble leadership and team performance. Humble leadership correlated significantly but negatively and weakly with quality initiatives (r=−0.169) and the participant’s role (r=−0.163). There was no significant correlation between team performance and the sample’s characteristics. Conclusions Humble leadership has positive outcomes, such as team performance. The shared sample characteristic that sets the differences between a leader’s and a team’s humble leadership and team performance was the presence of quality initiatives in the organisation. The shared sample characteristics that set the differences in a leader’s and a team’s humble leadership were working full-time and the presence of quality initiatives in the organisation. Humble leaders are contagious; they will produce creative team members by ‘social contagion’, ‘behavioural similarity’, ‘team potency’ and ‘collective focus’. Thus, leadership protocols and interventions are mandated to fuel humble leadership and team performance.
The study aims to look into the mechanism by which perceived HRM practices impact nurses' engagement, by specifically looking into the role of psychological availability and psychological safety. A cross-sectional questionnaire survey was conducted among nurses (n =465). Data was collected from nurses of NABH accredited hospitals by employing two stage sampling. Results indicate significant positive association between HRM practices and employee engagement. Role of psychological safety and psychological availability as mediators was also confirmed. The study supported the proposition that HRM practices affected employee engagement through psychological safety and then psychological availability thus approving serial mediation. This research also contributes to a more comprehensive understanding of the ways to achieve employees' psychological safety, availability, and thus nurse engagement.
While there are numerous studies on factors affecting the project and business performance in the literature, no research published on the concurrent roles played by formal (FPM) and informal (IPM) project management on project success. The study’s three main objectives are: first, give a conceptual framework for evaluating the individual and concurrent contributions of FPM and IPM to project success. Second, the project management methods’ mediation effects on the link between senior management support and project success are evaluated. Third, the effects of using multiple environmental control variables are investigated. A sample of 103 small to medium-sized enterprises was used to collect managerial and business operational data. Using structural equation modelling and correlational relationships, ten different models are examined. The findings revealed that IPM has a partial mediation effect, whereas FPM has no effect. Furthermore, the analysis revealed that IPM has the greatest impact on project success. Integration of FPM and IPM with environmental factors is considered. These findings are explained in terms of business, economic, and commercial diversities.
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Abstract Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of team building and employee empowerment on employee competencies and examine the moderating role of organizational learning culture in between these relationships. Design/methodology/approach – An integrated research model is developed by combining resource based view, signalling theory and experiential learning theory. The validity of the model is tested by applying moderated structural equation modelling (MSEM) approach to the data collected from 653 employees working in cement manufacturing companies. The reliability and validity of the dimensions are established through confirmatory factor analysis and the related hypotheses are tested by using MSEM. Findings – The findings suggest that organizational learning culture significantly strengthens the relationships of team building and employee empowerment on employee competencies. Research limitations/implications – The research is undertaken in Indian cement manufacturing companies which cannot be generalized across a broader range of sectors and international environment. Practical implications – The findings of the study have potential to help decision makers of manufacturing companies to develop strategies which will enable them to improve employee competency, to formulate effective human resource development interventions and to enhance the capability of the employees to achieve desired goals and objectives of the organization. Originality/value: The research is unique in its attempt to combine three frameworks to build a new theoretical model explaining the importance organizational learning culture along with team building and employee empowerment.
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The leadership literature has provided growing evidence regarding the power of leadership in facilitating follower creativity. Despite these advances, a noticeable omission in this body of research is humble leadership. The study extends previous research by developing a cross-level moderated mediation model and examining the roles that psychological safety and knowledge sharing may play in the relationship between humble leadership and follower creativity. Using a time-lagged data of 328 team members nested within 106 teams, the results show that: (a) psychological safety mediates the relationship between humble leadership and follower creativity; (b) knowledge sharing moderates the relationship between psychological safety and follower creativity; and (c) the indirect influence of humble leadership on follower creativity through psychological safety is stronger when knowledge sharing is high.
Aim: This study aims to investigate the effect of humble leadership on innovative behavior among Chinese nurses, and to examine the mediating role of work engagement in this relationship. Background: Nurses' innovative behavior and work engagement are critical to the quality of healthcare services. Although research has established that leadership is beneficial for individuals, teams and organizations, it's less clear whether humble leadership could promote innovative behavior and work engagement among nurses. Methods: The data were collected in China. A sample of 377 nurses completed measures of humble leadership, innovative behavior and the Utrecht Work Engagement Scale. Structural Equation Model was adopted to verify the research hypotheses. Results: Humble leadership was significantly and positively related to nurses' innovative behavior and work engagement (p < 0.01). And work engagement partially mediated the association between humble leadership and innovative behavior. Conclusion: Humble leaders are critical to enhancing nurses' innovative behavior, and work engagement plays an intervening mechanism explaining how humble leaders promote innovative behavior among nurses. Implications for nursing management: Hospital managers should pay attention to improve head nurses' humble leadership, which could lead to a higher level of innovative behavior and work engagement among nurse.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between the three dimensions of leadership competencies, which refer to the competency school by Dulewicz and Higgs (2003) and impact on project success as well as the moderating influence of project type. Design/methodology/approach The mixed method was used and supported by survey questionnaire and semi-structured interview questionnaire. In total, 102 project managers as well as 11 senior project managers and people supervising project managers assigned to the projects participated in the study. Correlation analysis and regression analysis were performed to understand the relationship between leadership and project success. Findings The results provided empirical support for the influence of project manager’s leadership competencies, as well as their emotional and managerial skills on project success. What is more, the analysis of the results also pointed out that, depending on the type of the project, its success is influenced by other competencies. Research limitations/implications The research results are restricted by several limitations, i.e., the research model does not include the influence of other variables on the project success as well as operationalization methods of leadership and project success are not exhaustive. These limitations create possibilities for further analyses in this area. Practical implications The paper presented guidelines for the project management community concerning the proposals in terms of present management system modifications being about basing them on competencies and their development, as well as self-improvement of project managers. Originality/value The paper refers to the relationship between the leadership of the project manager and the success of the project in different types of projects and highlights how these relationships are formed in transitional economies.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to analyze the effect of leader humility in firm innovativeness. The study highlights the importance of promoting altruism within organizations as a mechanism that may explain why leader humility fosters innovation. Design/methodology/approach The study was conducted in a sample frame of 11,594 Spanish companies. In total, 568 valid questionnaires were obtained and 284 different companies participated in the study. Structural equations were used to validate the proposed hypotheses. Findings All the hypotheses proposed in the conceptual model were confirmed. Results provide empirical evidence of the positive relationship between leader humility and firm innovativeness, as well as the mediating role played by altruism. In other words, leader humility promotes altruism and, in turn, firm innovativeness. Research limitations/implications The sample of companies is heterogeneous in terms of firm turnover, size, export ratio and age. The study is focused on firm innovativeness and only studies altruism as a mediating variable in the relationship between leader humility and firm innovativeness. Practical implications The present study provides some guidelines which may help companies to improve their competitiveness, enhancing workplace conditions. Originality/value There are few empirical studies that analyze the effect of humble leaders or leader humility on innovation. The main value of the present research is to further the current knowledge of this relationship by disentangling the mediating effect of altruism within organizations.
We propose a meditational model that explains why and how leaders’ humility manifests into followers’ empathy, gratitude, and ethical behaviors. Building on social information-processing theory (SIP), we hypothesize that, when a leader has a high level of humility, his or her followers receive signals that increase perceptions of workplace spirituality, which fosters an environment of ethical behavior, empathy, and gratitude. We collected time-lagged survey data (three time intervals, each a month apart) from employees and their colleagues (n = 286) in nine organizations in Pakistan’s telecom, education, and industrial sectors. Using structural equation modeling (SEM), we show that a leader’s humility predicts his or her employees’ ethical behaviors, empathy, and gratitude. Moreover, perceptions of workplace spirituality mediated the time-lagged effects of a leader’s humility on his or her followers’ ethical behaviors, empathy, and gratitude. Our findings largely support our theoretical foundations that indicate that a leader’s humility has important implications for his or her followers’ positive emotions and behaviors through a unique process involving workplace spirituality.
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the relationship between top management support, project mission (PM), synergy and project management effectiveness (PME) in the Malaysian local councils. It also attempts to analyze the relative importance and performance of the predictor constructs on the target construct for managerial actions. Design/methodology/approach Primary data based on 169 respondents were collected and analyzed using PLS-SEM to assess validity, reliability, hypothesis testing and importance-performance matrix analysis (IPMA) of the study constructs. Findings PM and synergy were found to be significantly and positively associated with PME. However, top management support was not related to PME. Synergy has the highest relative importance level in influencing PME and it is regarded as the most relevant construct for managerial actions. Research limitations/implications This study examines the significant factors that contribute to the effectiveness of project management in the local councils. It forms a basis for other state local councils to emulate the research model and compare the findings among different project teams in different locations. Practical implications The IPMA identifies synergy as a primary important construct for project management activities. It explains PME is linked with extensive collaboration, inter-departmental relations, interpersonal coordination and close liaisons. Originality/value This study is among the few that examines factors influencing PME in the Malaysian local councils. Inclusion of synergy as one of the predictor constructs will definitely help to improve the well-functioning and coordination of the project.
The Project Management Institute has commissioned the authors to conduct research into whether the project manager's leadership style is a success factor on projects, and whether its impact is different on different types of projects. In this paper, we review the literature on the topic. Surprisingly, the literature on project success factors does not typically mention the project manager and his or her leadership style or competence as a success factor on projects. This is in direct contrast to the general management literature, which views effective leadership as a critical success factor in the management of organizations, and has shown that an appropriate leadership style can lead to better performance. Since, unlike most literature on project success factors, project management literature does consider the role of the project manager, we also review what it says about his or her leadership style and competence.
Leadership in projects can shift between the project manager (a.k.a. vertical leadership) and one or more team members (a.k.a. horizontal leadership). Our study examines the processes, dimensions, and conditions for empowerment of project team members to temporarily assume leadership of project processes. Twenty interviews were conducted in 10 organizations in China. Results show that empowerment for horizontal leadership is a 3-stage process, wherein the project manager takes justification perception and demand factors as essential conditions for his/her empowerment orientation, which in turn frames the announcement, acceptance, control, autonomy and future of horizontal leaders. Four categories of horizontal leaders were revealed, namely Deputies, Future Stars, Bench Players and Oysters. Managerial and theoretical implications are discussed. © 2018 Elsevier Ltd and Association for Project Management and the International Project Management Association
In this paper, we explored the interplay of leader competence and leader self-serving behavior on followers’ perceptions of psychological safety and its downstream implication on team performance. Using a time-lagged study of 166 leaders and 514 followers from six firms in central China, we found that leader self-serving behavior was an important contingent factor for how subordinates perceive their leader. Specifically, when competent leaders were perceived as being non-self-serving, team psychological safety as well as team performance were enhanced. In contrast, such positive influences were non-existent when leaders were seen as self-serving. Practical implications and important insights to future research were also discussed.