Who are the effective construction site managers and what skills do they bring to their work?

  • Falah Hassan Mustapha

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


This research observes and analyses the behaviour of construction site managers at their actual settings and attempts to connect the concluded behaviour pattern with their level of effectiveness. The aim is to get a better understanding of the actual skills required to run projects effectively and what composes (makes) an effective site manager. A research model was developed from systems theory and contingency theory. Effectiveness is defined, in the model, as the difference between the preset objectives and the actually achieved ones and was measured using both quantitative and qualitative techniques.

The major propositions of the model are that: (a) Personal variables have an impact on effectiveness level, (b) Job variables have an impact on effectiveness level, (c) Organisational variables have an impact on effectiveness level, (d) Project variables have an impact on effectiveness level, (e) Site managers behave differently to other managers, (f) Behaviour of site managers is shaped by effectiveness and variables mentioned in (a), (b), (c) and (d).

The model was tested against 30 site managers, running 30 projects and working for 15 construction companies. Data was collected through interviews, questionnaire, site records and most importantly 685 hours of direct observation in 81 site visits, all of which was administered personally by the author. The outcome emphasized most of the above propositions and gives important guidelines to construction companies in areas of; recruitment and selecting policy of site managers, training policy of site managers, assessment policy of site managers, roles and responsibilities of site managers. Finally, the research provides implications for those considering possible directions for further research.

Date of Award1990
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • University of Bath

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