The main study objective was to assess the influence of the influence of the project manager’s technical skills on research and development project outputs in Kenya industrial research and development institute. The research design adopted was both quantitative and qualitative with an explorative, descriptive and explanatory approach. The target population was 133 and stratified random sampling method applied to get to a 105 sample size. A response rate of 70% was realized. Data was collected from R&D staff of KIRDI through administration of structured questionnaires and personal interviews. Collected data was analyzed using content analysis. The analyzed data was presented as frequencies, mean, standard deviation in text, table, bar chart, graph and pie chart formats. The study used multiple linear regression analysis. With a p value of less than 0.05, the regression analysis showed that an increase in technical skills by one unit increased project output in R&D institutions by 1.122. The study recommends that institutions take cognizance of the importance of the three aspects of leadership when evaluating or building capacity of their staff. When recruiting R&D project managers, R&D institutions should not only focus on basic technical capabilities, but also consider other formal skills, human and contextual skills which include competence and/or training in leadership and project management.
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