Leadership competence of sustainable construction projectmanagers(Amin Akhavan Tabassi*,Kamand M. Roufechaei, Mahyuddin Ramli, Abu Hassan Abu Bakar, Radzi Ismail, A.Hamid Kadir Pakir) Background and Literature Review: Overthe past decade, international and local communities realised the importance ofa sustainable construction industry, and specifically the building sector ofthe construction industry.
it is believed to be beneficial for encouragingsocietal change towards sustainable construction in a global context. In thisregard, project managers and construction leaders of sustainable projects areconvinced to transform the subordinates and influence them to achieve bettersustainable performance. This study is an extension of theprevious study done about the leadership competenciesand transformational qualities as hierarchal, reflective construct,incorporating ten related components used for the assessment of leadershipbehaviour in a sustainable project. The model is used to observe a directimpact of project managers/leaders on the success criteria for sustainablebuildings. Generally, this study encompasses some of the important components ofleadership assessment in the context of construction project managers insustainable building projects. This study has generated a new model tofacilitate the process of sustainability in the construction industry.With the advancement oftechnologies and standardization in architecture, engineering, construction andoperation industries, the idea of sustainable development is getting more andmore important day by day.
Leadership plays a key role in maintaining sustainabilityin a construction project. This study was chosen because it provides a goodanalysis of how leadership competenciesof project managers are related to thesuccess criteria of organizations in the development of sustainable construction projects. As a student of projectmanagement, this study renders useful insights about how leadership can affectthe sustainability of construction projects.
The researchers have reviewed astudy carried out about “Leadership Behaviour of Project Managers in SustainableConstruction Projects” was carried out by AminAkhavan Tabassi, Maria Argyropoulou, Kamand M. Roufechaei, Rachel Argyropoulouin October 2016. In this study, theimpact of managerial competence andintellectual competence on project managers werestudied. Eight major components from intellectual and managerial competencewere studied, and the outcomes suggest that the intellectual competence ofproject managers represents the most considerable factor on sustainablebuilding accomplishments It can be said undoubtedly thatsustainability achieved in the construction industry is not adequate, and developingcountries like Malaysia have just begun to meet the challenge of sustainabledevelopment in the construction industry. A research on sustainable projectdevelopment and leadership behaviour in the construction industry will have apositive influence on the development of the project and drive forward a futurefor better performance in the building industry in countries like Malaysia.Most of the research done in the construction industry is done on the designconcepts for sustainability and therefore not enough research has been done inleadership skills of the leaders in the sustainabledevelopment of construction projects.
This research has been done to build amodel to study the most effective leadership competence in sustainable buildingconstruction to answer the question below: Does the Leadership style of leaders Influence the success criteria forgreen building projects? Relation between sustainableconstruction and Leadership Although leadership has been outlined as asuccess factor for the effective performance of an organization, there is stilllimited research on the relationship between leadership behaviour of projectmanagers and especially managers in the construction industry. These leadersshould have the skills set to endorse a positive culture towards sustainabledevelopment. In a recent study (Hwang and Ng 2013) explored the challenges in green construction projects andthey identified in the study the knowledge areas and the skills that a project managershould have to meet the challenges of sustainable development. However,leadership style and competencies of sustainable project managers need to befurther explored for their statistical relationship with project successcriteria. Leadership competencies and success criteria for sustainable Buildingprojects TheMalaysian Institute of Architects formed a Sustainability Committee which was createdprimarily to develop the Green Building Index (GBI) and the correspondingsection for authorisation and certification of green-rated buildings in August2008. The GBI Building rating tools assess the sustainability of buildingsbased on six main criteria as demonstrated in Fig 1 below.
Consequently, thesespecific set of guidelines were employed to measure the success criteria thatproject managers attained in their green building projects. Figure 1: Key criteria for evaluating success sustainable buildingconstruction used for this studyThe above criteria may motivatedevelopers and building users to consider the environmental quality ofbuildings and associated residents by improving site selection, access topublic transport, improving community services and improving the quality oflife. Hypothesis Tested Leaders in theorganization tend to be the key drivingforce to endorse sustainability in the industry. Therefore, in view of theanalysis, the current study targets to explore the impact of intellectual andmanagerial capabilities of the leader on the success of a sustainable buildingproject. Therefore: HypothesisT1:TleaderTintellectualTcompetenceTisTpositivelyTrelatedTtoTtheTsuccessTcriteriaTof theTprojects.
HypothesisT2:TleaderTmanagerialTcompetenceTisTpositivelyTrelatedTtoTtheTsuccessTcriteriaTofT theTprojects.The application oftransformational leadership in sustainable societies is a critical area forprofessionals and researchers to come up with the local and global changesneeded for sustainable growth.HypothesisT3:TtheTtransformationalTleadershipTbehaviourTofTtheTprojectTmanagerTistpositively trelatedTtoTtheTsuccessTcriteriaTofTtheTprojects.
This study assessed theleadership behaviour and effectiveness of the transformational leadership ofproject leaders in sustainable construction projects based on work of Dulewiczand Higgs (2005) and Daft and Pirola-Merlo (2009). Figure 2: Ten leadership competenciesand qualities assessed by the research Sampling Theparticipants include 70 project managers from those projects which werecertified by the GBI assessment of Malaysia. Three research officers were sentto companies in various locations in major cities in Malaysia such as KualaLumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru to hand over the questionnaires to the relevantrespondents and to collect them for data analysis. Out of all the managers, 65.7 percent were male and 34.3 %were women.
The percentage of different races were, Malay 28.6%, Chinese 64.3%,Indian 4.
3% and other races 2.9%. Additionally, on the experience level of project managers,20% has 1 to 5 years of experience, 15.7% has 6 to 10 years of experience, and64.
3% had more than 11 years of experience in the field. Regarding the levelof education, 88.6% had a bachelorsdegree or higher and 11.4 percent had attaineda diploma from junior college. For this study, the sample size is 70 project managers which were chosenfrom the GBI certified project managers in Malaysia. The sample is representative,of the study population which are the project managers of sustainableconstruction projects. Data CollectionFor datacollection, a survey of questionnaires was distributed among the constructionproject managers in sustainable building projects.
The questionnaires were essentiallybased on the Scale of five measures from one (1) to five (5) depending on thelevel of importance. The researchers have notjustified their choice of data collection tool in the study. There is noevidence found of a pilot study in this study, though the researchers haveextended a previously done study on “leadership competence in sustainableconstruction projects” during this study. In my opinion, one of the weaknessesof the data collection method is that the results of the study cannot begeneralized. The study was only carried out within the sustainable buildingprojects in Malaysia in a specific context. The strength of the study datacollection is that it provides numerical and descriptive data which can beanalysed to understand the effect ofleadership capabilities and transformational leadership qualities on thedevelopment of sustainable construction projects. Data Analysis The study applies partial leastsquare (PLS) method to evaluate the hierarchal hypothetical model insustainable building projects. To assessthe hypothesised model, Smart PLS was applied to determine the parameters ofthe model.
Afterwards, nonparametric bootstrapping was applied with 200replications to obtain the standard estimate errors. The results are presentedquantitively in terms of tables and diagrams. The study results are easy tointerpret, and they are explained in the next section of this report. STUDY RESULTS: Managerial CompetenceAssessment In the study, the prior research done has beenextended by conceptualising the managerial competence as a hierarchical and thoughtfulconstruct, and its relationship with the success criteria of project managersin their sustainable projects.
The aim was to discover how the five managerialcompetence factors identified by Dulewicz and Higgs (2005) affect the criteriafor the success of a sustainable project. These factors include resourcemanagement, engaging communication, empowering, developing and achieving.Although each of the factor identified in managerial competence shows adifferent belief, the whole constitutes a solid basis for the modelling of thehierarchical managerial competence in a nomological network. The degree ofexplained variance in this hierarchal construct was reflected in its components:resource management (76.9%), engaging communication (88.3%), empowering(19.7%), developing (82.2%) and achieving (83%).
All the coefficients ofprogression of the managerial competence to its components were significant atP<0.01. Here, for the construction of the managerial skill, CR (compositereliability) and AVE (mean-varianceextracted) values ??were 0.941 and 0.536, respectively, which are greater thanthe threshold values. The Fig below shows results achieved from the study.
Figure 3:2nd Order Managerial Competence relationship with the 1stOrder ComponentsIntellectual competenceassessment Similarly, thestudy extends intellectual competence as a hierarchical and thoughtful conceptand assesses its relation to the criteria of success of the sustainableproject. Intellectual competence was also assessed using three attributesidentified by Dulewicz and Higgs (2005). These three factors include criticalanalysis, strategic foresight, vision and imagination, which positivelyinfluence the success criteria of a sustainable project. Each factor ofintellectual competence also reflects a unique insight, while the specifiedcomponents provide a solid basis for modelling hierarchical intellectualcompetence in a nomological network. The degree of variance explained in ahierarchal order was reflected in its components: a critical analysis (87.
2%), strategic perspective (87.6%), andvision and imagination (65.3%). All the coefficients of progression ofintellectual competence to its components were also significant at P <0.
01.For intellectual competence, the CR (composite reliability) and AVE (mean-variance extracted) values ??were 0.926and 0.514, respectively, which are greater than the threshold values.
Figure 4: 2nd Order Intellectual Competence relationship withthe 1st Order Components Transformationalleadership qualities As mentionedearlier in the report, Daft and Pirola-Merlo (2009) identified twofactors of transformational leadership: develop followers into leaders andinspire followers to go beyond their personal interests. From the same book, this research also adoptedquestionnaire to measure transformational leadership qualities of projectmanagers. The data on transformational leadership qualities was attained at theteam leader level, scores were taken based on the measures defined in the book.When developing follower’s transformational leaders Daft and Pirola-Merlo(2009) suggested that the score of 24 or higher in this dimension should beconsidered higher, the score of 18 is considered average and the score 12 or loweris considered on the lower side. The results of the study show that average fordeveloping followers into leaders was 23.98.
which is on the higher side of thescale. Followers had more freedom to control their own behaviour. These typesof transformational leaders kept their followers together and around theproject and set clear boundaries in which the disciples will be able to usetheir freedom to perform organizational tasks.In terms of inspiring followersto go beyond their personal interests, a score of 24 was high-level transformational leadershipqualities. The results obtained from the surveys show that average of questions associated with inspiring followersto go beyond their personal interests for the benefit of the group was 23.94.
these results show that a good consideration of inspired individuals to gobeyond their own interests.The degree of variance explainedin this hierarchal concept was also echoed in its components: developingfollowers into leaders is 97.5%. Inspiring followers to go beyond theirinterests is 96.7%. All the path coefficients from transformational leadershipto its components were also significant at p < 0.01.
The compositereliability (CR) and Average variance extracted(AVE) of this second order conceptwere 0.945 and 0.611, respectively, which are both greater than the thresholdvalues.
Figure 5: 2nd order transformational leadership competenceand its association with the 1st order components Discussion and ConclusionThe result ofthe study shows that amongst all the attributes of leadership competencies, strategic perspective (? =0.945) is the most important factor, followed by criticalanalysis (? =0.936), engaging communication (? =0.918), achieving (? =0.
906), developing (? =0.896), resource management (? =0.848),vision and imagination (? =0.796) and empowering (? =0.658) in project managers. These are validated by Dulewiczand Higgs (2005) and Muller and turner 2010.
The study indicatesthat the project managers in a sustainable project show quality of transformational leadership, these attributesreally have a small effect on the success criteria of a sustainable project.Literature suggests that transformationalleadership qualities can be significant in a non-project organization where theemployees are permanent, in a last lasting environment with no time limitation.Thus, they can engage with managers for a long period of time.Theresearchers in the study did not compare their findings with other researchstudies. However, it can be concluded from the study that the intellectual andmanagerial skills, in addition to the transformational leadership qualities ofthe project leaders, accounted for 68.5% variance in the achievement of GBIsustainable success criteria for these projects. In addition, IQ shows thehighest ? = 0.
596 in the model that is followed by MQ ? = 0.239 which showsthat intellectual competence can play a greater role in achieving a sustainableproject. From this, it can be concluded that the intellectual competence of aleader is more important than the managerial and transformational qualities ofproject leaders in terms of sustainable achievements. Resultsfor Hypothesis: The researchers have concluded the results of the hypothesis made in the study in thebeginning. The results give a standardised beta of 0.
596 from intellectualcompetence to the success standards. 0.293 from the managerial competence and0.
0953 from the transformational leadership to the success criteria. Thus, support could be found only forHypothesis 1 and Hypothesis 2. However, for Hypothesis 3 the results show that p-value was above 0.05, and therefore,transformational leadership qualities did not have a direct positiveassociation with the success criteria in this model. However, the total secondorder R for this model was 0.
685. Figures below shows the results of the study.Figure 6:Total effects of the factors associated withthe success criteria of a sustainable project.
Figure 7: shows the Results ofmodel testing. And how these factorseffect on success criteria of a project. Limitations: The study hassome limitation which can a good perspectivefor the future studies. The main limitation was that the study was performedamong project managers in green building project s in Malaysia in a specificcontext. Adding to that the study is not a generalised study, as the findingsare only based on small samples of data. Further studies can strengthen thismodel in green projects in different countries.
By further research, it is probable that leadershipbehaviour could be further improved by integrating other additional constructs,such as situational behaviour, the emotionaland social dimension in the leaders. ReferencesTabassi, A., Argyropoulou, M., Roufechaei, K. and Argyropoulou, R.
(2016). Leadership Behaviour of Project Managers in Sustainable ConstructionProjects. Procedia Computer Science, 100, pp.724-730. Tabassi, A., Roufechaei, K., Ramli, M.
, Bakar, A., Ismail, R. andPakir, A.
(2016). Leadership competencesof sustainable construction project managers. Journal of Cleaner Production,124, pp.339-349.