Title: Executive sponsor attributes and megaproject success

Authors: Willem Louw; Herman Steyn; Jan A. Wium; Wim Gevers

Addresses: Business School, Stellenbosch University, Bellville, South Africa ' Department of Engineering and Technology Management, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa ' Department of Civil Engineering, Stellenbosch University, Stellenbosch, South Africa ' Business School, Stellenbosch University, Bellville, South Africa

Abstract: Megaprojects are failing at a rate that affects national economies as well as millions of people. The role of the executive project sponsor is merely one of the decisive factors in the success of these projects, but it is still much neglected in project management literature. This paper investigates attributes required by executive sponsors of megaprojects. The paper reports on the perceptions of 26 executives who played key roles in six recently completed megaprojects. The findings include essential attributes that an executive sponsor should have in order to improve the probability of a megaproject's success. The single most significant attribute is seniority and power.

Keywords: megaproject; executive sponsor; sponsor attributes; megaproject success.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPOM.2021.114727

International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 2021 Vol.13 No.1, pp.1 - 30

Received: 16 Sep 2019
Accepted: 12 Mar 2020

Published online: 04 May 2021 *

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