Management Leading Function and Activities


Series on general management functions and activities, and their relevance to the management of projects
Article 4 of 7

By Alan Stretton

Sydney, Australia


General management provides the foundation for building project management skills and is often essential for the project manager. On any given project, skill in any number of general management areas may be required. General management literature documents these skills, and their application is fundamentally the same on a project.                (PMI 2004:15)

This is the fourth in a series of seven articles which are primarily concerned with filling in some gaps in the coverage of general management in the project management literature. The widely acknowledged importance of general management to the management of projects is reflected in the lead quotation.

This series presents a broad coverage of traditional/ classical materials on general management. Its intention is to help project managers fill in gaps in their knowledge of relevant general management issues, either directly, or by guidance to sources for more detailed coverage of particular general management materials.

Another aim of this series is to look at various ways in which the functions and component activities of general management are relevant to the management of projects. I have tended to focus on materials that I have found to be most relevant and/or useful in over sixty years’ experience in both general management and project management.

The first article of the series (Stretton 2015g) proposed a management knowledge framework, whose main functions are summarized on the right. The second article (Stretton 2015h) developed the “basic” function of management planning, and the third article (Stretton 2015i) discussed management organizing.

This fourth article discusses the function of management leading, and its component activities, management decision making, management communicating, and management motivating, and discusses their relevance to the management of projects.


To read entire article (click here)

Editor’s note: This series of articles on general management principles applied to project management is by Alan Stretton, PhD (Hon), Life Fellow of AIPM (Australia), a pioneer in the field of professional project management and one of the most widely recognized voices in the practice of program and project management.   Long retired, Alan is still accepting some of the most challenging research and writing assignments; he is a frequent contributor to the PM World Journal. See his author profile below.



About the Author


pmwj36-Jul2015-Stretton-PHOTOAlan Stretton, PhD

Faculty Corps, University of Management
and Technology, Arlington, VA (USA)
Life Fellow, AIPM (Australia)




Alan Stretton is one of the pioneers of modern project management. He is currently a member of the Faculty Corps for the University of Management & Technology (UMT), USA. In 2006 he retired from a position as Adjunct Professor of Project Management in the Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building at the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, which he joined in 1988 to develop and deliver a Master of Project Management program.   Prior to joining UTS, Mr. Stretton worked in the building and construction industries in Australia, New Zealand and the USA for some 38 years, which included the project management of construction, R&D, introduction of information and control systems, internal management education programs and organizational change projects. He has degrees in Civil Engineering (BE, Tasmania) and Mathematics (MA, Oxford), and an honorary PhD in strategy, programme and project management (ESC, Lille, France). Alan was Chairman of the Standards (PMBOK) Committee of the Project Management Institute (PMI®) from late 1989 to early 1992. He held a similar position with the Australian Institute of Project Management (AIPM), and was elected a Life Fellow of AIPM in 1996. He was a member of the Core Working Group in the development of the Australian National Competency Standards for Project Management. He has published over 150 professional articles and papers. Alan can be contacted at [email protected].

To see more works by Alan Stretton, visit his author showcase in the PM World Library at http://pmworldlibrary.net/authors/alan-stretton/.