Case Study 1 Competence Analysis

CaseStudy 1: Competence Analysis

Projectmanagers are charged with the mandate to oversee the delivery of aphysical development by an owner. They must do this within theconstraints brought by cost, quality, schedule and safetyrequirements. Therefore, they play a critical role in the operationalactivities of architecture and engineering and the infrastructuraldevelopment in a country. This raises the question of the areas ofknowledge and skills that project managers must possess. This paperseeks to identify the set of skills and competencies necessary forproject managers to be able to fulfill their duties. Identificationof those skills, competencies, and ways through which managers cangain them can avail options for addressing the training needs offuture project managers.


Competencies link the knowledge, experience, and attitude ofindividuals. They are the fundamental characteristics that enableindividuals to exhibit remarkable performance at work. For projectmanagers, competencies help them manage projects professionallythrough the application of best practices concerning the design ofthe process and the implementation of project management methods(Galvinet la., 2014).The key competencies for a project manager include knowledge,functional competence, behavioral competence, ethical competence andadministrative competence.

  1. Knowledge/Cognitive competence

Thiscompetence entails possession of relevant knowledge and the abilityto use it effectively. It emphasizes the ability of a project managerto apply knowledge possessed in different ways. Knowledge enablesproject managers to respond in an adaptable and flexible manner tothe dynamic environments of their work using the principles ofproject management (Bredin&amp Söderlund, 2013).As such, the selection criteria for this competency may involve one’sawareness and understanding of concepts, understanding theoreticalfoundations of project management and their level of expertise, whichcan be evaluated from their experience based on results. Sampleperformance statements for this competence include outstanding, needsimprovement, exceeds expectations, experienced and inexperiencedamong others.

  1. Functional competence

This is the ability of a manager to perform an assortment ofwork-based tasks efficiently to produce desirable results. Projectmanagers must be able to perform tasks such as estimation, costcontrol, scheduling and planning among others. These tasks requireone to have a background knowledge in a mathematical or statisticalfield. As such, the selection criteria may entail one’s academicbackground and experience as shown by past projects. The performancestatements for this competence may include poor, average, good andexcellent among others.

  1. Behavioral competence

Thiscompetence defines the ability of an individual to adopt suitable andevident behavior at work. This competence allows a project manager toconduct himself in a way that portrays professionalism at work(Bredin&amp Söderlund, 2013).The selection criteria for behavioral competence may be based on anindividual`s language, posture, dressing, and grooming. Etiquettesays a lot about someone and so, it should be enough to judge thepotential candidates. Performance statements for this competenceinclude smart, well groomed, courteous, and poorly dressed, andunprofessional among others.

  1. Ethical competence

Thisa vital component for any project manager. It embraces appropriatepersonal and professional values that help one to make informeddecisions in working environments. Through this competence, a projectmanager can make sound judgments in different situations throughcritical evaluations of alternatives and possible outcomes. Theselection criteria for this competence entails one’s performance onaptitude tests, critical and creative thinking skills. Theperformance evaluation statements for this competence include exceedsor meets expectations, and below expectations (Bredin&amp Söderlund, 2013).

  1. Administrative competence

Thiscompetence is an invaluable tool for any project manager. It entailsone’s understanding of fundamental procedures such as budgeting,interviewing, economics of the project, and employee remunerationamong others. This can help a project manager in best managementpractices in the sense that he can manage the people as well as otheraspects of the project without any hitches (Galvinet la., 2014).The selection criteria for this competence may entail academicqualifications, as well as the level of one’s experience in similarroles. Sample performance assessment statements include poor, meetsrequirements, exceeds requirements, outstanding and needs improvementamong others.

Howtheories of leadership influenced the competencies selected for theposition presented

Leadershiptheories provided the basis for assessing the behavioralcharacteristics of a successful project manager. Effective projectmanagers should possess impressive leadership skills and soundjudgment. Moreover, the leadership theories help us to consider therole of followers and the contextual nature of the leadership skillsrequired from candidates. The leadership theories take dispersed andindividualistic perspectives in helping select the best candidatesfor a position (Schyns, 2011). The following are the leadershiptheories that influenced the competencies chosen for the projectmanager position:

  1. Trait Theories of Leadership

Thistheory originates from the “Great Man” theory. Project managersneed to be competent leaders. The theory identifies the desiredcharacteristics of a good leader. The trait approach isolatescandidates based on predetermined qualities. In this case, the rightcandidate for the project manager position should have administrativeskills that are critical in the implementation of projects. Traitssuch as assertiveness, decisiveness, domineering, dependability,tolerance, self-confidence and adaptability determine the functionalcapabilities of the candidates interviewed for the position (, 2011).

  1. Behavioral Leadership Theories

Behavioraltheories emphasize the importance of human relationships and outputperformance. A project manager relies heavily on his/her team toimplement projects in good time. Additionally, a project managershould deliver tangible results. For example, McGregor’sTheory X recognizes that a majority of people must be directed,coerced, threatened or controlled to enable the achievement oforganizational goals (Schyns&amp Schilling, 2012).Through this theory, it is possible to identify the functionalcompetence of candidates. Candidates should be self-driven andself-motivating to contrast the arguments of McGregor’s Theory X.Another behavioral theory the Blake and Mouton`s Managerial Gridhelps selection panels to predetermine the orientations of tasks andemployees. It primarily focusses on the candidate’s team managementability, which is critical for a project manager (Schyns&amp Schilling, 2012).

  1. Situational Leadership Theories

Situationalleadership theories helped determine the individual competencies inspecific situations. Candidates for the project manager position needto differentiate the situations that require participative approachesand those that require autocratic approaches to leadership. Throughthis theory, we can determine the interdependency role of thecandidates (Schyns&amp Schilling, 2012).Aspects such as servant leadership determine the administrativeability of project managers. Under the administrative competencies,situational theories of leadership help the hiring manager todetermine how candidates integrate individual, team andorganizational performance.

  1. Transactional leadership theory

Candidatesneed to be efficient team leaders to carry out their roles. The TeamRole theory provided the foundation for evaluating the requiredleadership competencies of candidates. Moreover, the right candidateshould have the ability to transform his/her team to achieve thegoals of the organization. Transactional leadership theory alsoemphasizes the importance of the relationship between the leader andthe follower (Schyns&amp Schilling, 2012).The theory helped identify the criteria for assessing themotivational abilities of candidates. The final theory used is thetransformational theory of leadership. Under this theory, a leadershould spearhead departmental and organizational transformation. Theright candidate needs to be ethical and instill pride in the peoplethat work under him/her. Additionally, the functional competencies ofcandidates should help team members to develop their selves and learnfrom their mistakes. The descriptions provided by the theories offera foundation for designing anticipated skills in the position. Theposition needs an objective judgment in defining the best candidate.Therefore, the leadership theories inform us on the behavioral,functional, ethical and administrative requirements for candidates(, 2011).


Bredin,K., &amp Söderlund, J. (2013). Project managers and career models:An exploratory comparative study.&nbspInternationaljournal of project management,31(6),889-902.

Galvin,T., Gibbs, M., Sullivan, J., &amp Williams, C. (2014). Leadershipcompetencies of project managers: An empirical study of emotional,intellectual, and managerial dimensions.&nbspJournalof Economic Development, Management, IT, Finance, andMarketing,&nbsp6(1),35.

Schyns,B., &amp Schilling, J. (2012). Implicit leadership theories: Thinkleader, think effective?.&nbspJournalof Management Inquiry,&nbsp20(2),141-150.

Schyns,B., Kiefer, T., Kerschreiter, R., &amp Tymon, A. (2011). Teachingimplicit leadership theories to develop leaders and leadership: Howand why it can make a difference.&nbspAcademyof Management Learning &amp Education,10(3),397-408.