A Study on the impact of leadership traits on projects success and cost overrun: the case of project based construction organisations in the UAE

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
The aim of the study was to assess the effectiveness of leadership traits in mitigating project risks such as project failure and cost overrun. Additionally, the study also aimed at showing the most common leadership traits in the construction industry and the challenges faced by leaders in the construction firms. In order to meet the deliverables of the study, the following were the objectives of the study; - To outline and compare the level of effectiveness of leadership traits on project success. - To show the most common leadership traits among the managers of UAE construction organisations - To assess the challenges experienced by managers in UAE construction organisations. Findings The first research objective depicted that the proximal and distal attributes were positively correlated with project success but had no association with cost overrun. Additionally, proximal attributes were more effective in enhancing project success than distal attributes. The second research objective showed that proximal leadership traits were common to the Dubai leaders who had an experience of 1 to 5 years while those with 6 to 10 years’ experience mostly used distal attributes. The third research objective showed that there were challenges linked to delays in design approvals, lack of dedication among the stakeholders and abrupt change of specifications after tender award as organisational factors while technical challenges included; lack of the required human resource capacity. The tested hypothesis manifested that distal and proximal leadership traits had impact on project success but not to cost overrun. Recommendations Construction organisations should target to employ leaders with proximal attributes Construction organisations should employ cost engineering principles to mitigate the occurrence of cost overruns. Limitation The sample size was very small for such a large geographical area
leadership traits, projects success, United Arab Emirates (UAE), construction organisations, cost overrun, project failure, project risks, construction industry