Project manager-project (PM-P) fit and project success

Ayala Malach-Pines, Dov Dvir, Arik Sadeh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate the importance of a fit between project managers' (PMs) personalities and the " personalities" of their projects, for project success; taking a psychological rather than a project management perspective. Design/methodology/ approach - In total, 289 Israeli PMs responded to a specially designed questionnaire that classified projects along three dimensions: Novelty, Complexity and Technological Uncertainty, analyses PM's personality traits that were identified as relevant to these dimensions and assessed the projects' success. It was hypothesized that the greater the PM-P fit, the greater the projects' success. Findings - Results supported the hypothesis: PMs whose personality profile was close to the ideal PM profile for a particular project type were more successful in impact on the customers, benefit to the organization and overall success. Research limitations/implications - A cross-sectional design and a self report measure. Practical implications - The findings can be translated into recommendations for improving the fit between PMs and the projects assigned to them to increase project success. Originality/value - The study extends Person-Organization (P-O) fit theory to the case of projects, viewing projects as temporary organizations. It also introduces to project management the psychological perspective on PM-P fit and demonstrates its relevance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)268-291
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Operations and Production Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - 9 Feb 2009


  • Managers
  • Personality
  • Project management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Decision Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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