Leadership construction industry, and specifically the building sector of

Leadership competence of sustainable construction project


Background and Literature Review:

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the past decade, international and local communities realised the importance of
a sustainable construction industry, and specifically the building sector of
the construction industry. it is believed to be beneficial for encouraging
societal change towards sustainable construction in a global context. In this
regard, project managers and construction leaders of sustainable projects are
convinced to transform the subordinates and influence them to achieve better
sustainable performance.

This study is an extension of the
previous study done about the leadership competencies
and transformational qualities as hierarchal, reflective construct,
incorporating ten related components used for the assessment of leadership
behaviour in a sustainable project. The model is used to observe a direct
impact of project managers/leaders on the success criteria for sustainable
buildings. Generally, this study encompasses some of the important components of
leadership assessment in the context of construction project managers in
sustainable building projects. This study has generated a new model to
facilitate the process of sustainability in the construction industry.

With the advancement of
technologies and standardization in architecture, engineering, construction and
operation industries, the idea of sustainable development is getting more and
more important day by day. Leadership plays a key role in maintaining sustainability
in a construction project. This study was chosen because it provides a good
analysis of how leadership competencies
of project managers are related to the
success criteria of organizations in the development of sustainable construction projects. As a student of project
management, this study renders useful insights about how leadership can affect
the sustainability of construction projects.


The researchers have reviewed a
study carried out about “Leadership Behaviour of Project Managers in Sustainable
Construction Projects” was carried out by Amin
Akhavan Tabassi, Maria Argyropoulou, Kamand M. Roufechaei, Rachel Argyropoulou
in October 2016. In this study, the
impact of managerial competence and
intellectual competence on project managers were
studied. Eight major components from intellectual and managerial competence
were studied, and the outcomes suggest that the intellectual competence of
project managers represents the most considerable factor on sustainable
building accomplishments


It can be said undoubtedly that
sustainability achieved in the construction industry is not adequate, and developing
countries like Malaysia have just begun to meet the challenge of sustainable
development in the construction industry. A research on sustainable project
development and leadership behaviour in the construction industry will have a
positive influence on the development of the project and drive forward a future
for better performance in the building industry in countries like Malaysia.
Most of the research done in the construction industry is done on the design
concepts for sustainability and therefore not enough research has been done in
leadership skills of the leaders in the sustainable
development of construction projects. This research has been done to build a
model to study the most effective leadership competence in sustainable building
construction to answer the question below:

Does the Leadership style of leaders Influence the success criteria for
green building projects?

 Relation between sustainable
construction and Leadership

            Although leadership has been outlined as a
success factor for the effective performance of an organization, there is still
limited research on the relationship between leadership behaviour of project
managers and especially managers in the construction industry. These leaders
should have the skills set to endorse a positive culture towards sustainable
development. In a recent study (Hwang and Ng 2013) explored the challenges in green construction projects and
they identified in the study the knowledge areas and the skills that a project manager
should have to meet the challenges of sustainable development. However,
leadership style and competencies of sustainable project managers need to be
further explored for their statistical relationship with project success


Leadership competencies and success criteria for sustainable Building

Malaysian Institute of Architects formed a Sustainability Committee which was created
primarily to develop the Green Building Index (GBI) and the corresponding
section for authorisation and certification of green-rated buildings in August
2008. The GBI Building rating tools assess the sustainability of buildings
based on six main criteria as demonstrated in Fig 1 below. Consequently, these
specific set of guidelines were employed to measure the success criteria that
project managers attained in their green building projects.


Figure 1: Key criteria for evaluating success sustainable building
construction used for this study

The above criteria may motivate
developers and building users to consider the environmental quality of
buildings and associated residents by improving site selection, access to
public transport, improving community services and improving the quality of





Hypothesis Tested

               Leaders in the
organization tend to be the key driving
force to endorse sustainability in the industry. Therefore, in view of the
analysis, the current study targets to explore the impact of intellectual and
managerial capabilities of the leader on the success of a sustainable building
project. Therefore:

Hypothesis 1: Leader intellectual competence is positively related to
the success criteria of the projects.

Hypothesis 2: Leader managerial competence is positively related to the
success criteria of the projects.

The application of
transformational leadership in sustainable societies is a critical area for
professionals and researchers to come up with the local and global changes
needed for sustainable growth.

Hypothesis 3: The transformational leadership behaviour of the project
manager is positively related to the success criteria of the projects.

This study assessed the
leadership behaviour and effectiveness of the transformational leadership of
project leaders in sustainable construction projects based on work of Dulewicz
and Higgs (2005) and Daft and Pirola-Merlo (2009).



         Figure 2: Ten leadership competencies
and qualities assessed by the research










participants include 70 project managers from those projects which were
certified by the GBI assessment of Malaysia. Three research officers were sent
to companies in various locations in major cities in Malaysia such as Kuala
Lumpur, Penang and Johor Bahru to hand over the questionnaires to the relevant
respondents 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, and
64.3% had more than 11 years of experience in the field.  Regarding the level
of education, 88.6% had a bachelors
degree or higher and 11.4 percent had attained
a diploma from junior college. 

For this study, the sample size is 70 project managers which were chosen
from the GBI certified project managers in Malaysia. The sample is representative,
of the study population which are the project managers of sustainable
construction projects.

Data Collection

For data
collection, a survey of questionnaires was distributed among the construction
project managers in sustainable building projects. The questionnaires were essentially
based on the Scale of five measures from one (1) to five (5) depending on the
level of importance.

The researchers have not
justified their choice of data collection tool in the study. There is no
evidence found of a pilot study in this study, though the researchers have
extended a previously done study on “leadership competence in sustainable
construction projects” during this study.

In my opinion, one of the weaknesses
of the data collection method is that the results of the study cannot be
generalized. The study was only carried out within the sustainable building
projects in Malaysia in a specific context.

The strength of the study data
collection is that it provides numerical and descriptive data which can be
analysed to understand the effect of
leadership capabilities and transformational leadership qualities on the
development of sustainable construction projects.


Data Analysis

The study applies partial least
square (PLS) method to evaluate the hierarchal hypothetical model in
sustainable building projects.  To assess
the hypothesised model, Smart PLS was applied to determine the parameters of
the model. Afterwards, nonparametric bootstrapping was applied with 200
replications to obtain the standard estimate errors.

The results are presented
quantitively in terms of tables and diagrams. The study results are easy to
interpret, and they are explained in the next section of this report.







Managerial Competence

               In the study, the prior research done has been
extended by conceptualising the managerial competence as a hierarchical and thoughtful
construct, and its relationship with the success criteria of project managers
in their sustainable projects. The aim was to discover how the five managerial
competence factors identified by Dulewicz and Higgs (2005) affect the criteria
for the success of a sustainable project. These factors include resource
management, engaging communication, empowering, developing and achieving.
Although each of the factor identified in managerial competence shows a
different belief, the whole constitutes a solid basis for the modelling of the
hierarchical managerial competence in a nomological network. The degree of
explained 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 of
progression of the managerial competence to its components were significant at