Ambidextrous Project Management: The Influences of Leadership Styles, Project Management Practices, and Team Characteristics on Creativity and Innovation


Author/Creator ORCID




George B. Delaplaine Jr. School of Business


Organizational Leadership

Citation of Original Publication


Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States


Ambidextrous project management, the ability of project leaders to adapt behaviors and environmental factors to the prevailing project needs, enhances the performance of project teams and project outcomes. Producing unique and novel project deliverables in support of business objectives requires a careful balance of creative problem solving and disciplined implementation. However, individuals are rarely adept at both divergent creative behaviors and convergent implementation behaviors. To address limited research in this area, this study explores how project leaders can leverage ambidextrous project management to enhance project team creativity and project performance. Through surveys administered to 202 project leaders and project team members across a variety of organizations and industries, this study considers the influences of transactional versus transformational leadership, the benefits of plan-driven versus agile project management practices, and the impacts of team size and team experience on creativity and project performance. This study also considers the mediating effects of motivation on those same relationships. Using mediated multiple regression to analyze the survey responses, the results suggest that both transformational and transactional leadership styles play an important role in influencing creativity and project performance. In addition, the findings highlight the importance of a trusting and supportive organizational environment for fostering creative outcomes. Further, the results highlight the positive effect of team experience on efficient and effective project execution. By understanding how leadership styles, project management practices, and team characteristics influence project results, project leaders can adapt these factors to improve the creativity and performance of the project teams they lead.