Exploring the role of leadership style in project success in the Australian construction industry

Chapter 1.0: Introduction

1.1 Background and significance of study

According to Scheerens (2012), the effect of the leadership is not just limited to the individual but it affects the team or even whole organisation. The role of leadership in an organisation is to align the organisational resources and achieve goal congruence to fulfil the mission of the organisation. Moreover, Kendrick (2015) stated that the project is a planned set of goals, which should be achieved in specified time and resources. The project leadership plays an important role to ensure the strategic objectives are achieved in order to achieve the scope of the project.

Therefore, the role of Project leadership style is even more important to achieve ‘triple constraint’ (cost, time and schedule) and lead team for Project success. Hence, it is important to understand how leadership style is adequate for the success of the project (MacNicol and Coleman, 2015).

1.2 Summary of previous research

In the Australian context, Turner and Muller (2012) survey the success and performance of the overall project from the manager perspective rather than examining the ‘specific leadership style’ required for the success of the project. Kidd (2009) studied the leadership style as part of the manager competencies rather examining the direct impact of the leader’s style on the project.

Likewise, the literature on leadership style over the life cycle of the project is relatively limited and few studies of Robinson et al (2015), Blewitt (2014), Davis (2014) observe the leadership style as part of managers’ capabilities rather exploring the leadership style effect on project success.

Creasy and Anantatmula (2013) evaluated the need of the leadership skills to adapt change and need of cultural context through appropriate leadership style for the project success. The study of Herrmann and Felfe (2014) examines the competencies of the leader (respect, ethics, prudence) rather the need of the leadership styles that determines the success of the project.

1.3 Identification of Research gap and importance

The literature highlighted that there are limited studies, which examine the leadership style with its importance for the success of the project. More specially, the leadership style has been limited explored for the success of the project and is relatively considered as part of the manager skills and competencies. The role of leadership style and its contribution towards the project success is not extensively researched in Australian construction projects.

Consequently, there is an opportunity to explore how leadership style contributes towards the success of the construction project. The research questions are designed to explore the relationship between the leadership style and the success factors through evaluating the literature and interviews with project leaders (Creasy and Anantatmula, 2013).

1.4 Purpose and Value of research

The value of leadership in order to manage resources, team and respond to the external environment is critical in high complex construction projects. The project milestone and challenges fail due to poor and ineffective leadership style. (Kendrick, 2015)

The objective is to identify the relationship between the leader’s style and its relation with project success factors, which helps the project leader to achieve project success. The study will help the project managers and practitioners in the Australian construction to understand the value and relation of the leadership and its impact on the success of the project. (Hamilton and Webster, 2012)

In this study, exploratory research is used to understand the role of the leadership style and its contribution towards the success of the project. Qualitative approach is used for data collection through semi-structure interviews while the research strategy is ‘case study’, which offers greater flexibility to analyse the data and present findings. (Babbie, 2015)

1.4.1 Research Objectives

  • Explore the relationship between the leadership style and project success for construction projects
  • Examine how leadership style contributes towards the success of the construction project
  • Evaluate the value of leadership style during the life cycle of construction projects
  • Provide recommendation for effective leadership style which contribute towards success of construction projects

1.5 Outline of Project

This report is based on five chapters. The first chapter of study is introduction, which is already discussed. The second chapter is orientation which enclosed literature review and organisation details to link the research question. The third and fourth chapters of the report discuss the data collection and analyses, key findings, along with implications are discussed. The fifth chapter concludes the report.

The next chapter of study enclosed the critical review of literature, rationale of project organisations section along with research problem and question.

Chapter 2.0: Orientation – Literature review

2.1 Relationship between Leadership and Project Management

Straw (2015) elaborated that leadership is an ability and skill used to motivate and inspire stakeholders who are part of the project and thus, play an important role to achieve organisational objectives. A leader acts as a mentor, negotiator, coach, team player and builder as well as the role of the leaders are to resolve problems and conduct strategic planning.

Moreover, Turner (2014) added that leadership is best defined through leader’s behaviour, style and the characteristic of the leader. The strategic role of the leadership involves resource alignment, setting future direction, strategy development, and implementation as well as process management. Project leadership is important to force to create a vision for the project to achieve desired results, allocate and align the resources as well as motivate teams to deliver successful project. (Mills, Smith and Love, 2012)

2.2 Leadership style

According to Bonnici and Cooper (2011), project Leaders are responsible for the successful completion of the project and deliver results. Leadership style is determined based on the leader’s influence, task culture, position power as well as emotional intelligence. Jackson and Bosse-Smith (2011) the leadership style depends upon the situation, which consequently affects the leader’s role towards the project.

The two important approaches to leadership, which play significant effect on leadership style, are ‘participative’ and ‘task orientated’. The four leadership styles in the light of contingency school of leadership for project management are Laissez-faire, democratic, autocratic and bureaucratic. (Hoogh et al., 2015)

Moreover, the charismatic school explains that the approaches to leadership are transactional and transformation. The transactional approach is based on the giving contingent reward and management by expectation. The transactional leaders focus on cognitive roles whereas transformational leaders emphasis on ethos. On the other hand, transformational leadership is based on influences and motivation. (Andersen, 2015)

2.3 Project life cycle and Leadership style

2.3.1 Project life cycle and planning focus

Sinha et al (2014) highlighted that the construction project is based on four phases (see diagram below) which include initiation, planning, controlling and closing stage. The initiation stage involves feasibility and team development, planning stage highlights the project plan (quality, financial and communication), execution stage involves the cost, time and quality aspect whereas closing stage embrace deliverable for customer satisfaction. The diagram below shows the different phases of the project; (Fewings, 2013)

project life cycle

Figure 1: Project Life Cycle

Source: (Pica, 2015)

2.3.2 Project Stages and leadership style

Table 1: Project life cycle and Leadership style

Source: (Jiang, 2014; Kissi, Dainty and Tuuli, 2013)

2.4 Project Success factors

According to Alzahrani and Emsley (2013) the project success factor, which plays the critical role in terms of the success of a project, includes project mission, well-defined schedules and plans, personal management, technical task and timely communication. The project success factors are categorized into three broad categories which are classified as emotional competencies (motivation, self-awareness), managerial competencies (resources management and communication) and intellectual competencies (vision and judgement). The project success factors and their relationship with organisation and project are shown in Appendix 1. (Nixon, Harrington and Parker, 2012)

2.5 Connection between Leadership style and Project success

Yang, Huang and Wu (2011) identified that leadership style has an important influence on project in terms of team motivation, resource management and communication that improve collaboration and cohesiveness among the project team. Joslin and Muller (2015) analysed that transformational leadership is appropriate for the construction project during execution and transactional behaviour is used for controlling the project.

Muller and Turner (2007) evaluated that leadership has significant influence on the performance of the project. Leadership for project management has two important components, which include direct management of the followers and communication with employees.

Turner (2016) highlighted that project success is a dependent variable whereas project type is moderating variable. However, project leadership is an independent variable which has an impact on the project success based on implementation (resources, empowerment & motivation) and project delivery (self-awareness) of the project. (Serrador and Turner, 2015)

The diagram below shows the research framework for this study. The iron triangle and project stakeholders’ description is enclosed in Appendix 2. (Shenhar, 2015)

Figure 2: Research Framework for this study

2.6 Project organisations and significance of project

For this study, three large scale Australian construction projects are selected. The large-scale construction projects include APLNG – owner ORIGIN Energy, Wheatstone LNG – owner CHEVRON and Airport Link – owner Queensland Government.

2.6.1 APLNG – (Australia Pacific LNG)

APLNG project was one of the biggest ‘Integrated liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects’ that was based on the joint venture of three companies, which were Origin (Australia’s integrated energy company), ConocoPhillips (LNG operator) and Sinopec (China largest petroleum supplier). The project was based in Queensland and involved the development of the LNG field (wells drilling and commissioning) for the upstream operations. Moreover, it involved 2 modules for 4 trains to deliver the LNG.

The project was completed in 2015 with estimated time and cost. (Queensland Government, 2015; Aplng.com.au, 2015) Interviews with two managers of Origin are conducted. The rationale for selection ‘APLNG’ is two-folded. First, it is one of largest constrcution project as well as completed on time and secondly, researcher has access to respondent for interviews.

2.6.2 Wheatstone LNG – Chevron

Wheatstone LNG project was based in Ashburton north and was completed by three companies that were Bechtel Oil and Gas (design & construct), Intecsea Pvt Ltd and Worley Parsons (infrastructure). The objective of the project was to develop the LNG site to export 4.3 million LNG gas each year. The project had included developing the large subsea system as well as a state of art infrastructure in Western Australia. (Bechtel Corporation, 2015)

A single interview with a Project Manager (PM) is conducted. The rationale for selection of Wheatstone is to evaluate delay which offers the opportunity to understand leadership perspective on construction delay.

2.6.3 Airport Link

Airport link (M7) was tunnel project based in Brisbane (motorway grade) to connect the local areas with the airport. The project involved building twin tunnels of 15 kilometres and is one of the largest road tunnels in Australia. The project was completed on time in mid-2012 within projected cost of $4.8 billion as well as the link was opened for public in July 2012. The project was based on the integrated solution of design and construction within densely populated area, which proved to be more challenging for the project completion (BrisConnections, 2011).

Interviews of two Project Managers (PM) are conducted. The rationale for selecting project is completion of proejct before time as well as access to the conduct the interview for primary data.

2.7 Research problem

The researcher aims to analyse and evalute the leadership style contribution towards in constrcution project success in Austrlain context. The purpose is to undersand how leadership style relates to success of project. The three large scale construction projects were selected with different time scales and researcher interest is to evalute the role of leadership style affected on outcome of projects.

Therfore, the aim is to idneitfy and understand the relationship between the leader’s style and its relation with completion in Australian construction project. The specific research is

“How leadership style affect and contribute towards the success of project in Austrlian constrcution indutry?

The next chapter of study enclosed the review of research design and selection of methodology to answer the research question.

Chapter 3.0: Research methodology and Data collection

3.1 Research methodology

This chapter of the report encloses the research design and approach used for this study to explore the role of leadership style in the project success. The success of the research is based on the design of the research. The research strategy used in the study is ‘Case study approach’ and research design is based on a ‘Qualitative approach’ that offers greater flexibility to analyse the data (Teddlie and Tashakkori, 2009).

Yin (2009) stated that the case study approach allows analysing the previous scenarios and consequently building into a single case. The case study approach is the most effective way to analyse the events through direct observation. (Wrenn, Stevens and Loudon, 2013).

3.2 Research Approach – Exploratory research

According to Creswell (2013) the research design can be explanatory, exploratory and descriptive. Exploratory research is useful to analyse the situation and it enables the researcher understand the situation when limited previous information exist. Moreover, descriptive research allows to answer the question based on ‘what and when’ scenario. In addition, explanatory research is useful to evaluate the situation based on the ‘how ‘context.

In this study, exploratory research is valuable to understand and explore the role of the leadership style and its contribution towards the success of the project. Exploratory research is useful in this context as there is not much data existing on the scenario (Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill, 2012).

3.3 Research Design – Qualitative approach

Denzin and Lincoln (2011) elaborated that qualitative research is useful to analyse and evaluate the social scenario, as it is useful to analyse the relationship between the variables. Qualitative approach deploys non-numerical approach and helps to answer the research question through participative approach. On the other hand, quantitative approach allows analysing the research problem and answering the research question based on the quantitative data. It analyse the variable relationship and confirms the hypothesis (Neelankavil, 2015).

For this study, qualitative approach is selected. The purpose of the qualitative research is the degree of the flexibility to study the phenomena. It is useful to study and understand the human actions, which are inherent in the situation. Qualitative research is much more flexible because of the information it provides about scenarios and it takes less time to analyse as well as interpret the results. Qualitative approach will be deployed to investigate leadership styles and relationship with the success factors in the large construction projects (Miller & Holstein, 2009).

3.4 Data Collection for this study

The two important sources of data are primary and secondary data. Secondary data is which already exists whereas primary data is collected for specific problem. The secondary data for this study is collected through academic journals, textbooks and websites. The primary data for this study is gathered through conducting semi-structured interviews of the Project managers at three projects. The relationship between the leadership style and the success is evaluated using literature and semi-structure interviews.

3.4.1 Sampling and study population

Sampling is known as method of sample selection from whole population. The sampling technique used for this study involves non-probability sampling which allows the researcher to select the study population rather than random section. Moreover, purposive sampling is used which is useful to achieve the purpose in researcher mind. (Ray, 2012) The sample selection for this study is enclosed in the table below

Table 2: Sampling and study population

3.5 Interview Question and administration

Interview is a direct conversation between researcher and respondent and its objective is to understand the participant’s experiences. The three types of interviews are unstructured, semi-structured and structured interviews based on the control and need of researcher (diagram below).

In unstructured interviews, an informal conversation is held without any predefined boundaries whereas in structured interview closed-end questions are used. For this study, semi-structured interviews are used as they define the boundaries for the respondent as well as give flexibility to response. (Galletta, 2013)

Kind of interviews - Qualitative research

Figure 3: Types of Interviews

Source: (Galletta, 2013)

Videoconferencing as method of data collection is useful when due to time and geographical distance, it is difficult to conduct face-to-face interview. The advantage of conducting the interview over the Skype (videoconferencing) is that it speeds up the interview process. (Hai-Jew, 2014)

3.5.1 Structure of interview questions

Table 3: Structure of interview questions

3.6 Ethical consideration and limitation of research

Confidentiality and privacy of the selected sample is maintained as well as written consent is obtained to publish the information. Copies of all consent forms are included in Item 8.4 of Appendix 8. The interviews conducted do not store any personal information or project secrets to preserve the confidentiality of persons and projects. (Gregory, 2003)

The limitation factors are beyond the control of the researcher and affect the research progress. The limitation associated with this research is the size of the research itself. This has restricted the researcher to conduct limited interviews and examine the limited leadership style impact. (Kuiper, 2009)

The next chapter of study presents the data analysis and finding through collection of primary data and evaluation light of literature review.

Chapter 4.0: Data Analysis and Findings

This chapter of the study encloses the data analysis from interviews and presents key findings in the light of literature.

4.1 Research objective 1

Explore the relationship between the leadership style and project success for construction projects

4.1.1 Data Analysis and findings – Question no 1

The objective of the first question is to explore the manager’s perspective on the leadership style and its contribution towards the success of the project. According to Mills, Smith and Love (2012) the role of project leadership is to allocate resources whereas Jackson and Bosse-Smith (2011) added that leadership style depends on the situation. MS elaborated how leadership styles create vision and drive projects toward completion at a faster pace.

In relation to Chevron project, MS added that balance for leadership style in different situation is achieved through experiences. For example, in certain situation task orientated behaviour “it is either my way or the highway”. CB agreed with the fact that leadership style impacts on the project success and it contributes towards the success of project through stating, “The leadership of the manager is cascaded in different situation”.

BB added that leadership style is the most critical factor “contribution to project success that leadership style delivers, the recognition of which style to demonstrate is paramount to the successful delivery”. Similarly, WH agreed that the role of leadership in different situations is to achieve the desired outcome of project. JR also agrees to the importance of the linkage of leadership style based on situation and the need to allocate resources.

4.1.1.1 Findings and outcomes

The response of all managers showed that managers acknowledge the need of leadership styles based on the situation to create vision and allocate the resources. All Managers acknowledged the importance of leadership style to achieve the success of a project. Therefore, findings agreed to Mills, Smith and Love (2012) perspective as well as Jackson and Bosse-Smith (2011) elaboration of leadership style and project success.

4.1.2 Data Analysis and findings – Question no 2

The objective of the second question is to explore the linkage of leadership style and project stages from the Project Manager’s perspective. According to Turner (2014), leadership is best defined through leaders’ behaviour and style. MS responded with understanding of different project stages and leadership styles. MS elaborated that at initial stage democratic approach is used, at mid-cycle autocratic approach.

Moreover, CB added that design stage involves autocratic style whereas execution is managed though bureaucratic style to ensure outcomes was heading to successes. CB stated that autocratic and bureaucratic styles were implemented through “periodic audits verifying performance, quality, and operational deliverables”. BB added that at initial stage and planning stage is transformational stage “ensuring that Design concepts, acceptance of the final design and the Scope of Works to be delivered”.

WH responded through adding that project life cycle is managed through two leadership styles, which are democratic and autocratic. The initial stage was managed through democratic and transformation approach, which allows the innovation and suggestions. JR added that during the “mobilization period the leadership styles were Paternalistic and Transactional style”.

4.1.2.1 Findings and outcomes

Project managers added that they adopt different leadership style at various stages of the project life cycle whereas on similar project stages CB and BB have used different leadership approach. Nevertheless, managers for Airport link have adopted autocratic and bureaucratic style. Wheatstone project was delayed by six months where managers have used transactional style at the beginning and democrartic style at later project stages. Project life cycle requires transformational style planning at initiating and designing stages whereas autocratic / bureaucratic at later stages to ensure the success of the project.

4.2 Research objective 2

Examine how the leadership style contributes towards the success of the construction project

4.2.1 Data Analysis and findings – Question no 3

The question was designed to understand how change in leadership style at different stages of the project life cycle contributes towards the project’s and stakeholders’ need. According to Bonnici and Cooper (2011) project Leaders are responsible for the successful completion and Fewings (2013) elaborates the project leader’s role and activities at various stages of the project.

Nixon, Harrington and Parker (2012) explanation of project success factors was examined to understand how leadership styles in different context achieve project success. MS agreed to the fact that different leadership styles are important to achieve the project success. MS added, “I tend to be more consultative, taking feedback from key stakeholders and analyse input from designers”.

CB emphasis on change in leadership style to meet the need of stakeholders and leadership style are important in managing different situations arising and response to external environment. BB added that leadership style is changing according to stakeholders’ needs as it offers flexibility to deliver project outcome. However, WH responded differently through adding, “My leadership style is generally stagnating during the project”. The democratic style best fits with his project management style over the years and deliver results. Finally, JR agreed that changes are needed to meet constraints and requirements of different stakeholders.

4.2.1.1 Findings and outcomes

The findings highlighted that managers agreed to the need of change in leadership style to deliver the success of a project. The response of all managers added that the success of a project is achieved through changing the leadership style. The different perspective of WH has highlighted that the nature of work (project type) have implication in terms of achieving the project success. Therefore, the leadership style at different stages of the project life cycle not only depends on the needs of stakeholders but also is influenced through the type of project.

4.2.2 Data Analysis and findings – Question no 4

The goal was to examine how managers’ believe that leadership style is important to deal with various project stakeholders and give confidence for successful project completion. The question was based on the literature of Jiang (2014) as well as Serrador and Turner (2015). The question allows further understanding the managers’ perspective of changes in leadership style based on behaviour and beliefs of the leader.

MS stated, “Project leaders who have an adaptive style will normally succeed in meeting project schedule deadlines and staying within forecasted budget”. CB stress on that leadership ability is important to manage the crisis, which increases stakeholders’ confidence. For example, leadership style allows to “protecting your team from external negative outcomes building their confidence for success”.

BB added that project implementation and delivery is effectively managed through adaptive leadership style. The adaptive leadership style at various project stages allows the managers to be focused on synergizing the team and achieve outcomes. WH stated that match between leadership style, project is critical to implement and project delivery, and wrong style leads to no confidence in project.

4.2.2.1 Findings and outcomes

The question allows understanding the managers’ perspective and behaviour in adapting leadership style and deliver project success. Project Managers believe that selecting appropriate leadership will increase the stakeholders’ confidence in the project and right leadership style will achieve synergies and timely delivery of the project. Different leadership styles are useful to manage different situations in a timely manner building the confidence in your capability to drive the project to success.

Research objective 3

Evaluate the value of leadership style towards the life cycle of construction projects

4.3.1 Data Analysis and findings – Question no 5

The objective of the question was to understand the effect of the leadership style on each project stage. The question asked to be evaluated the value of leadership style on project team at different project stages. The question was based on the literature of Sinha et al (2014); Kissi, Dainty and Tuuli, (2013); Joslin and Muller (2015) and Nixon, Harrington and Parker (2012).

MS added that at initiation stage autocratic style ensures schedules and budget along with team members with desired skills. CB added that individual requirement and team building is important to achieve the success of a project. BB added “self- aware of the competencies required to successfully kick off the project. Individuals are assessed as to how they would add value”.

WH valued that transactional style pulls different individual together and JR quoted “paternalistic and democratic style depending of individuals and right leadership to gain the client confidence”.

BB explained that autocratic style helped budgeting, planning, and KPI reporting for APLNG and Airport link, managed through rewards and involvement. The Laissez-faire style helps to “practical completion as per plan and timetable with identification of any issues/conflicts unresolved at completion time”. WH added that transactional style allows effective planning and autocratic style offers control to achieve milestones. JR elaborated the need of transformational leadership to plan and autocratic style to deliver the desired results through team empowerment and control.

4.3.1.1 Findings and outcomes

The findings highlight the value of the different leadership styles at initiation stage democratic/transactional style to ensure the team motivation and desired skills, at planning stage transformational leadership helps to empower the team and build stronger relation with contractors.

The controlling stage is managed through autocratic style and communication ensures an effective project team by setting the standards and team members motivation. The findings contradict with Joslin and Muller (2015) and highlight that PM deployed transformational style for planning and autocratic style for execution of the project.

4.3.2 Data Analysis and findings – Question no 6

The final question was designed to understand how the leadership style manages the stakeholders’ expectations at the different stages of project life cycle. The question was based on the literature of Yang, Huang and Wu (2011) and Shenhar (2015). MS explained that democratic style at initiation and planning stage allows integrating stakeholders’ feedback and effective resource management.

CB added that different leadership style utilised in each of the above stages should deliver to the stakeholders’ satisfaction and provide guidance for project feasibility. “The leadership style adopted with each stakeholder defines further relationship between the parties”. BB added that stakeholders’ satisfaction is based on outcomes in the form of a detailed feasibility study which identifies the risks and critical Milestones for both, Project deliverables and Budget Costs. APLNG slippage was managed through autocratic leadership, which allowed reducing cost through collaboration and deliver key milestones.

WH added that democratic leadership ensures the involvement and integration of internal and external stakeholders ensuring the stakeholders’ expectations and the direction for the project. Autocratic style enables control over the project team and resource management. JR added that democratic style allows setting common goals, clearly defining budget, KPIs, and autocratic style at execution stage ensures time, cost and quality constraints are met.

4.3.2.1 Findings and outcomes

The choice of the leadership style depends on the degree of difficulty, complexity and stakeholders’ involvement in the project. The data analysis highlighted that democratic style offers effective project feasibility whereas autocratic style is useful for planning and resource management. Transformational style helps to create vision and empowers employees but autocratic style is crucial for project control and achieves the triple constraints of the project. Autocratic leadership style allows the protecting of customer satisfaction and KPI delivery.

The next chapter of study present key finding, implication and recommendation for managers to adapt effective leadership style and achieve project success.

Chapter 5.0: Key implications and Recommendations

The exploration of linkage between leadership style and project success has coincided with literature by Mills, Smith and Love (2012) perspective as well as Jackson and Bosse-Smith (2011). The findings highlight that leadership style is contingent to situation and need of stakeholders. Managers have added that the success of construction projects is managed throughout the Project life cycle and requires transformational style at planning, initiating and design stages whereas autocratic / bureaucratic styles at later stage ensures the success of the project. The important implication highlighted is that the leadership style at different stages of the project life cycle not only depends on the needs of stakeholders but also is influenced through the type of project.

Managers have emphasized that execution and control stages of the project require adaptive style for succeed in meeting project schedule deadlines and budget. Project managers believe that selecting appropriate leadership will increase the stakeholders’ confidence in the project and right leadership style allows achieving synergies and triple constraints.

Transformational leadership and communication at planning stage motivate the team and create team empowerment. Nevertheless, the findings contradict with Joslin and Muller (2015) and highlighted that PMs deployed transformational style for planning and autocratic style for project execution. The table below summarise the selection of leadership style by construction managers for project success.

Table 4: Key implication for Managers

The finding of study has successfully answered the ‘research question’ which is “how leadership style affect and contribute towards the success of project in Austrlian constrcution indutry”. The understanding of leadership style at the different stage of the project has provided in-depth of managers’ perspective to portrait a holistic perspective of leadership style contribution and value at each stage of the project. Therefore, response of managers has allowed developing holistic perspective for leadership style and its contribution towards the success of project.

5.1 Recommendations for managers

The recommendations for managers to manage different stages of the construction projects in Australian context are:

Initiation stage: Managers should adapt democratic leadership style to acquire and evaluate the resources needed for the project. The adaptive approach should be taken to integrate the feedback of stakeholders and their expectations.

Planning stage: Managers should adapt transformational leadership style to set project vision and secure successful project planning. Transformational leadership helps to empower the team and spur innovative solutions.

Execution and Control stage: Managers should adopt Autocratic leadership style for project control and KPIs delivery. Autocratic style and communication ensures successful project team by setting the standards and ensures team members motivation.

Closing stage: Managers should use transactional and autocratic styles as less feedback is required and focus towards the completion of the project.

5.1.1 Justification of recommendation

The finding has highlighted leadership style at various stages contradicts with empirical literature. Research strategy used for this study is case study which has allowed generalising data and present holistic perspective. The finding is based on interviews of five managers who were directly involved in three construction projects. The three selected projects had difficult nature and context and response of managers has allowed understanding the leadership style and affecting from wider perspective.

The findings highlight that managers agreed to need of specific leadership style at different project stage. The response of five key managers who directly involved in the project and three projects with different construction has increased reliability and validity of finding. The recommendation presented is directly summarised from the manager’s response which validate the recommendation and manager consensus.

The next of chapter of study presents the conclusion of research.

 Chapter 6.0: Conclusion

The objectives of the study were exploration and examination of the relationship between leadership style and project success in the Australian construction industry. The findings of the study highlighted that project managers acknowledge the importance of leadership style to achieve the success of construction projects as an independent variable. Leadership is best defined through the leader’s behaviour and style and findings highlight that the project life cycle requires democratic planning at initiating and designing stages whereas transactional / bureaucratic styles at later stage ensure the success of the project.

The examination of the leadership style as an independent variable has highlighted that manager’s perspective of leadership style highlighted that at different stage of the project life cycle and relevance of success factors. The study has highlighted that project managers used the democratic style for team building and feasibility, a transformational style for planning and autocratic style for project control.

The study has highlighted that managers tends to use autocratic/transactional style for project execution. Managers practice autocratic style to enable control over the project team and resource management for its proven success as in the case of APLNG. Project Managers believe that leadership styles are important and leadership excelled in these conditions and through necessity adapted in style.

The findings highlighted that the leadership style is useful to manage different situations in a timely manner building the confidence in your capability to drive the project to success.  The important implication highlighted that the leadership style at the different stages of the project life cycle not only depends on the needs of stakeholders but also is influenced through the nature of work and type of project. The understanding of leadership style at the different stage of the project is explored in-depth.

However, issues remained unresolved in this study are a lack of in-depth analysis of activities performed by managers to highlight the value of the leadership style and its contribution towards project success. The manager’s elaboration of the task performed using each style is cover in lesser detail because of the size of the report. However, the primary purpose is satisfied the research question which elaborates the leadership style value for each stage of the project.

 

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Appendix

Project Success Model

Project Success Model and Organisation

Iron Triangle and stakeholders

project stakeholders

Iron Triangle and project success

Interview Questions

Questions no. 1

Are you fully aware of different leadership styles and their contribution toward the project success?

Questions no. 2

Are you familiar with different leadership styles such as transformational, transaction, autocratic and democratic leadership approach at different stages of the project life cycle?

Questions no. 3

Do you change your leadership style at different stage of the project life cycle depending on the need of the project and stakeholders?

Question no. 4

Do you believer project leadership style is important to deal with various project stakeholders and give confidence for successful project completion.

Question no. 5

How you define the effect of leadership style on the project team during different stages of the project life cycle.

1.0 Initiation phase (Team development)

2.0 Planning stage (Budgeting, Planning and Communication)

3.0 Executing and controlling stage (Motivation, change, relationship, conflict resolution)

4.0 Closing stage

Question no. 6

How do you think leadership style manage the expectations of stakeholders at different stages of the project life cycle

1.0 Initiation phase (Project feasibility study)

2.0 Planning stage (Project plan and resource management)

3.0 Executing (Employees, Supplier and Customers) and Controlling (Time, cost and quality) stage

4.0 Closing stage (Deliverable for customer satisfaction)


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