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Abstract

This article examines the leadership practices utilized by information technology (IT) project managers that contribute to project success. Specifically, technical and nontechnical leadership practices are contrasted. The importance of nontechnical leadership practices in IT project management has been largely ignored in research until recently. The article identifies key nontechnical leadership practices that are important for the success of IT projects. The article is based on a qualitative study that gathered data from actual IT projects conducted at U.S. companies across several different industry segments. Study results are analyzed to determine the relevance and value of Heifetz's adaptive leadership framework to the area of IT project management. Study findings indicate that nontechnical leadership practices are important to the success of IT projects. Findings also indicate that Heifetz's adaptive leadership framework is consistent with the key nontechnical leadership practices that are important for the success of IT projects. A framework for the development of IT project managers is also proposed.