In this study, we explore the effect of project leader status in new product development projects. We predict that status enhances both project performance and performance extremeness. Further, we hypothesize that status is most effective for improving novel project performance in conservative firms, while it can be particularly detrimental to the performance of novel projects in innovative firms. In order to test our hypothesis, we analyzed social network data retrieved from an extensive online database of videogames. We found weak support for a positive relationship between status and project performance, but strong support for the positive relationship between status and performance extremeness. Our results suggest that project leader status leads to extreme performance both in the very positive and very negative direction. Contrary to our expectations, our findings show that high-status project leaders are more likely to be associated with exceptional successes when they implement novel projects in conservative firms and incremental projects in innovative firms. Our study offers important insights for both practice and theory into the role of project leaders and how they affect performance.

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Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.5465/AMBPP.2014.200, hdl.handle.net/1765/101236
Conference 74th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2014
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Citation
Szatmari, B. (Balazs), Deichmann, D, & van den Ende, J.C.M. (2014). Irrational resistance or irrational support? Performance effects of project leader status. In 74th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2014 (pp. 1697–1702). doi:10.5465/AMBPP.2014.200