Title: Superintendent's leadership: a key factor in project success

Authors: William W. Badger; Avi Wiezel; Daniel M. Adams; Peter Bopp

Addresses: Del E. Webb School of Construction, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 870204, Tempe, AZ, 85287-0204, USA. ' Del E. Webb School of Construction, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 870204, Tempe, AZ, 85287-0204, USA. ' Del E. Webb School of Construction, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 870204, Tempe, AZ, 85287-0204, USA. ' Del E. Webb School of Construction, Arizona State University, P.O. Box 870204, Tempe, AZ, 85287-0204, USA

Abstract: This research was undertaken to explore: 1) the link between leadership competency at a construction site, project success and profitability; 2) the possibility of identifying a 'great superintendent'. The conclusions of this effort indicate that the quality and level of on-site leadership (as compared to management) is, and will remain, a key element for the success of construction projects. Two separate but complementary tools were developed: a self-evaluating 'field construction superintendent (FCS) questionnaire' and a 'project manager questionnaire' that solicits an independent performance evaluation from the FCS's superior. These tools profile the leadership skills and capabilities of a FCS and induce an awareness of the scope and importance of leadership. The tools can be used to profile the leadership competencies or lack thereof of anyone with construction site responsibilities. The collected data confirms a significant correlation between a FCS's leadership competency and job performance. Not surprisingly, it is the effectiveness of management skills that dominates the job performance. However, it is the degree of applied leadership that distinguishes the great performers (great superintendents) from the unexceptional ones. Interviews conducted with the participants' company executives found a 90% congruency in the studys and the corporate rankings.

Keywords: project leadership; project management; construction superintendents; skills profiling; leadership competency; construction industry, project success; profitability; on-site leadership; construction sites; site responsibilities; job performance.

DOI: 10.1504/IJPOM.2012.050333

International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 2012 Vol.4 No.4, pp.414 - 424

Published online: 15 Nov 2012 *

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