School of Management & Languages, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
The paper reports a qualitative, exploratory study of the experiences of a small sample of architects in terms of
leading and managing projects. Specifically, the paper considers issues specific to architecture as creative industry and the
balance architects have to achieve between the creative and business objectives of their projects. Leadership in projects is
examined in the context of projects most often being understood as task-centred and the paper explores the tension
between this and modern leadership theory and practice in organisations, both of which tend largely to be based on a focus
on people. In particular, the paper reports findings that relate to managing and leading projects whilst maintaining
conditions that are stimulating and motivating for creative workers. The study finds that there is indeed a tension between
creative and business objectives in the sampled architecture firms. It finds also that modern person-centred techniques are
used by architects when leading and managing projects. These can mitigate negative effects business and creative
objectives might have on one another, and are observed to prompt value in projects as the autonomy and scope afforded
by these techniques encourages creativity.
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