Dr Christine Unterhitzenberger

Dr Christine Unterhitzenberger

Profile

Dr Christine Unterhitzenberger (BEng, MEng, ChPP, MAPM, SFHEA) is an Associate Professor in Project Management at the School of Civil Engineering at University of Leeds and a Chartered Project Professional. Furthermore, she is the Chair of the Research Advisory Group for the Association for Project Management (APM), a Department Editor for the Project Management Journal (PMJ), a Member of the Professional Standards and Knowledge Committee for the Association for Project Management (APM) and the Communications Officer for the Project Organising SIG at the European Academy of Management (EURAM). 

Her research is focused on relational and psycho-social aspects in projects and temporary multi organisations. She is particularly interested in how a better understanding and an increased awareness of psycho-social relationships can enhance project performance. This includes topics such as organisational justice and dealing as well as coping with difficult stakeholders. Recently, she was awarded funding by the APM to investigate characteristics and impact of organisational justice in projects (£25,000) as PI and she is a Co-I on a World University Network grant to investigate how we can help the construction sector to recover from COVID-19 and build resilience to future shocks. In the past she has successfully secured a funding in this area from the EU in the context of the Marie Sklodowska Curie Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Staff Exchange (RISE; €325,000) as well as from the APM (£5,000) in the UK. For her research on fair project governance undertaken in collaboration with Merck KGaA, Darmstad, Germany, she has been awared a £8,000 ESRC Impact Acceleration Account grant in July 2019 to make use of the full potential of the research and create a pathway to impact. 

For her PhD research she won the 2016 Highly Commended Emerald/EFMD Outstanding Doctoral Research Award as well as a Best Paper Award at the Britisch University in Dubai Doctoral Research Conference. More recently she won the DSI/PMI Instructional Case Writing Competition for a teaching case on “Resolving agency issues in client-contractor relationships: The Merck Innovation Centre” which will be published on the PMI website soon. 

Prior to her academic career she has worked for almost ten years as a project manager in the construction industry. She was responsible for the project management of various large scale construction projects with a total value of more than £500 million. During her professional career she covered the whole life cycle of projects from the initial feasibility study to the final handover and implementation. Her clients were public bodies and private organisations.

She is interested in PhD research projects in the area of project management in general and more specifically in the psycho-social and relational aspects of project management. Please get in touch if you would like to discuss an idea.

Responsibilities

  • Deputy Leader of the Project Management Group

Research interests

  • Psycho-social aspects of project management – understanding how individuals work together in projects with a particular focus on human behaviour in projects and the interface between human behaviour and projects.
  • Project organisation and governance – developing effective strategies to create appropriate organisational structures for projects to be managed successfully with a particular focus on governance arrangements.
  • Digitisation of project communication – investigating the impact of digitisation of project communication on project managers, team members and the project itself. 
<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>

Qualifications

  • BEng in Industrial Engineering
  • MEng in International Project Management
  • PhD in Management

Professional memberships

  • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)
  • Member of the Association for Project Management (MAPM)
  • Member of the Project Management Institute (PMI)
  • Member of the British Academy of Management (BAM)
  • Member of the European Academy of Management (EURAM)

Student education

Christine has taught on different under- and postgraduate programmes various project management modules as well as research methods. Currently she is teaching on the MSc in Engineering Project Management and the the MSc in International Construction Management and Engineering.

Furthermore, she has an expertise in developing professionals through executive education and MBA programmes. She has extensive experience in teaching on doctoral programmes having been the programme leader for a DBA programme and director of a PhD programme. She also engages in supervision on MSc and doctoral level. 

Research groups and institutes

  • Cities, Infrastructure and Energy

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>