Skills, Behaviors & Traits

by Anil Paul (Author)
Thesis 184 Pages


The author presents required leadership characteristics – 38 skills, 12 behaviors, and 9 traits – for project managers to run projects successfully. He offers a qualitative case study explaining the importance of Commitment, Communication, Knowledge, Motivation, Role Model, and Teamwork.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the author(s)/editor(s)
  • About the book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Abstract
  • Dedication
  • Acknowledgements
  • Table of Contents
  • List of Tables
  • List of Figure
  • Chapter 1: Introduction
  • Background of the Problem
  • Statement of the Problem
  • Purpose of the Study
  • Significance of the Study
  • Nature of the Study
  • Research Question
  • Central question
  • Research sub-questions
  • Theoretical Framework
  • Traits theory
  • Skills theory
  • Behavioral theory
  • Definition of Terms
  • Assumptions
  • Scope, Limitations, and Delimitations
  • Summary
  • Chapter 2: Review of Literature
  • Titles and Searches
  • Construction Industry in the UAE
  • Historical conditions of the construction industry
  • Current conditions of the construction industry
  • Implications of Project Delay
  • Time, Quality, and Cost Overrun of Projects
  • Skills and Training for Project Managers and Construction Workers
  • Skills and training for construction workers
  • Skills and training for project managers
  • Technology Changes in the Construction Industry
  • Roles and Attributes for Project Managers
  • Leadership and Management Skills, Behaviors, and Traits
  • Project management leadership skills
  • Disparity in Existing Literature
  • Conclusion
  • Summary
  • Chapter 3: Method
  • Research Method and Design Appropriateness
  • Qualitative method
  • Case study design
  • Research Questions
  • Central Question
  • Research Sub-questions
  • Population
  • Sampling Frame
  • Informed Consent
  • Confidentiality
  • Geographic Location
  • Instrumentation
  • Trustworthiness
  • Credibility
  • Transferability
  • Dependability
  • Confirmability
  • Pilot Study
  • Data Collection
  • Data Analysis
  • Summary
  • Chapter 4: Results
  • Interview Process
  • Pilot Description and Findings
  • Pilot demographic data
  • Pilot study impact on the interview guide
  • Additional learning from the pilot study
  • Data Collection Procedure
  • Data Analysis Process
  • Findings
  • Participants’ demographic data results
  • Interview results
  • Themes
  • Theme 1: Commitment to the project is an important leadership trait.
  • Theme 2: Leaders should show effective communication with staff and client
  • Theme 3: Timely decision-making is both a skill and a behavior necessary for a project manager
  • Theme 4: Applying accurate knowledge is an important leadership skill
  • Theme 5: Leaders should encourage through motivation
  • Theme 6: Leader should be a role model
  • Theme 7: Being part of the team and encouraging teamwork allowed the project to move smoothly
  • Summary
  • Chapter 5: Conclusion and Recommendations
  • Theme 1: Commitment to the Project is an Important Leadership Trait
  • Theme 2: Leaders Should Show Effective Communication with Staff and Client.
  • Theme 3: Timely Decision-making is Both a Skill and a Behavior Necessary for a Project Manager
  • Theme 4: Applying Accurate Knowledge is an Important Leadership Skill
  • Theme 5: Leaders Should Encourage Through Motivation
  • Theme 6: Leader should be a Role Model.
  • Theme 7: Being Part of the Team and Encouraging Teamwork Allowed the Project to Move Smoothly
  • Thematic Findings on Project Managers’ Leadership Skills, Behaviors, and Traits.
  • Recommendations for Project Leaders
  • Selecting team
  • Teamwork
  • Motivation
  • Decision-making
  • Action against mistakes
  • Problem-solving
  • Time and cost
  • Planning
  • Scheduling
  • Recommendations for First-Time Project Managers
  • Limitations
  • Recommendations for Future Research
  • Summary
  • References
  • Appendix A: Informed Consent Form
  • Appendix B: Preliminary Interview Guide
  • Appendix C: Actual Interview Guide
  • Appendix D: Subject Solicitations

| 17 →

List of Tables

| 19 →

List of Figure

| 21 →

Chapter 1: Introduction

The Middle East was experiencing fast development in the construction sector because of increased revenue from oil production, and more than 60% of the total oil reserves of the world are in the Middle East (Cordesman & Al-Rodhan, 2006). According to Kaul (2009), the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has the highest oil reserves recorded in the world, holding 24% of the world’s oil wealth. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) holds 9%. Revenue from oil production brought money pouring into the economies of the countries in the region. Increased revenue from oil earnings prompted the UAE to begin an ambitious infrastructure development plan to enhance economic development. The UAE has had strong economic growth, which has allowed the residents to enjoy one of the highest per capita incomes in the world (Naufal & Silva, 2010).

The construction activities initiated by the government of the UAE brought many skilled, semi-skilled, and unskilled personnel into the country. More than 70% of the population in the UAE consists of expatriates (Naufal & Silva, 2010). Regarding total immigration flow, the UAE ranks 13th in the world, with approximately 3.2 million expatriates living in the country (Naufal & Silva). The arrival of workers from neighboring countries increased demand for residential units and associated commercial and recreational centers, which has resulted in an increase in construction activity (Al Abed & Hellyer, 2001).

According to Naufal and Silva (2010), citizens of the UAE started to receive financial assistance from the government to set up their businesses and construct their houses. Financial support enabled local citizens to venture into construction activities to exploit existing opportunities and develop real estate companies to cater to the existing demand. The government also introduced new regulations that allow expatriates to own property in the UAE to further boost real estate demand.

Increased oil prices brought money into the economies of the countries in the Middle East. Governments of the Gulf States made use of this income to begin an ambitious infrastructure development plan to enhance economic development, which has resulted in an increase in construction activity in the countries of the region. Competition led to projects getting awarded to local companies on tight schedules. Delay in completion and the resulting cost overruns are a common phenomenon in construction contracts in the Middle East (Jaafar & Khalatbari, 2013).

The purpose of this qualitative case study was to explore leadership skills, behaviors, and traits of project managers for successful completion of projects within the United Arab Emirates construction industry. The study involved exploring ← 21 | 22 → leadership skills, behaviors, and traits of project managers for the successful completion of projects on time and within budget while maintaining quality. The study included appropriate leadership skills, behaviors, and traits that leaders in the construction industry can adopt. The identified leadership skills, behaviors, and traits may enable leaders in the construction industry to enhance their capability as well as that of their subordinates for better performance.

Chapter 1 contains an introduction to the economic conditions and the changes happening in the construction industry of the UAE. The chapter includes a description of the human resources conditions prevailing in the construction industry and discussion of how leadership skills, behaviors, and traits affect the performance of knowledge workers in the construction industry. The chapter also contains details on the problem of the lack of leadership skills among project managers to deliver projects on time, avoid cost overrun and employee turnover, and maintain quality and profitability for the organization. Also described in Chapter 1 are the purpose and methodology of the study as well as an explanation regarding why a qualitative research method and case study research design were preferable than other available methods and designs.

Background of the Problem

The background of the problem was the increasing number of incomplete projects and cost overruns of construction projects in the Middle East caused by poor planning, organizing, leading, and controlling of projects, by a lack of financial resources, and by insufficiently qualified personnel (Jaafar & Khalatbari, 2013). Empirical evidence was not available to examine what leadership skills, behaviors, and traits of project managers in the UAE are appropriate for the successful completion of projects on time and within cost while maintaining quality (Enshassi & Burgess, 1991). Both the government and the private sector launched several megaprojects because of increased oil revenue, which caused the construction industry of the UAE to overheat (El-Husseini, Majdalani, & Borgogna, 2009). The UAE has the highest rate of construction in the Gulf Cooperation Council, with more than US $350 billion in active projects (Emirates News Agency, 2007). Such robust construction activity has resulted in the evolution of several new companies and many international firms setting up operations in the UAE.

Financial resources alone are not enough to guarantee the success of a construction company. The company should also have sufficient human resources support to run operations locally (Andi, Santoso, & Tali, 2004). In the UAE, leaders of local and international firms adopted aggressive recruitment procedures to meet their human resources requirements. Organizational leaders adopted hire-and-fire ← 22 | 23 → policies to cater to the growing number of projects managed by these firms. By deploying effective leadership skills, behaviors, and traits in organizations and by giving more leverage at work, employers can enhance employee satisfaction. Through employee satisfaction, organizational leaders can retain knowledge workers in their existing jobs (Drucker, 2007).


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2017 (August)
Company Management Construction Industry Project Managers
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 184 pp., 10 tables, 1 graph

Biographical notes

Anil Paul (Author)

Anil Paul studied at the City University of Los Angeles and at the Intercollege Nicosia, Cyprus. He gained his PhD of Management in Organizational Leadership at the University of Phoenix, USA.


Title: Leadership
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186 pages