“Exploring the construction workers’ perspective of appropriate leadership style for the Ghanaian construction industry and its relationship to their attitudinal and behavioural pattern”

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November, 2016
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The construction industry plays a key role in advancing Ghana’s economic and developmental progress. It is also true that projects in the industry involve different individuals who work together to achieve a specific task at a particular time period. Such situations make leadership a necessary resource in any construction organization that aims at the achievement of individual and organizational professional goals. This study explores leadership styles of project managers viewed as most appropriate for higher performance by workers/ employees in the Ghanaian construction industry. The focus is on the managerial grid developed by Robert Blake and Jane Mouton. The study further investigates project managers’ views on construction workers attitude and maturity levels in the industry. Data from primary and secondary sources were used for the research. A detail review of related literature provided the secondary data while the primary data was obtained through a structured questionnaire targeted at construction employees and project managers in two foreign and two local construction firms in the Kumasi metropolis. The data was analysed through the use of descriptive statistics, mean score ranking and Relative Importance Index. The study showed that project managers in the construction industry exhibit team leadership, followed by Authority-Compliance and Middle-of-the-road Management. It was also revealed that employees preferred team management leadership as the appropriate style. However, their preference was comparatively found to be unsuitable for the kind of work attitude and maturity levels exhibited by the workers. Project managers indicated that employee9s do not work hard unless they are strictly supervised; absent themselves from work without seeking due permission from authority and like to attend social functions like “one-week” celebrations of deceased friends/relatives during working hours. An appropriate leadership style for them has therefore been proposed and called Philiasternic leadership style. This style of leadership strives for the achievement of high productivity by consciously provoking in workers the sense of discipline while showing average concern for the development of interpersonal relationship. The study proposes ways to promote leadership development in the industry. One recommendation it makes is that, Ghanaian construction firms should invest more in leadership development programs. This study adds on to knowledge on leadership in the industry. The worth of the study is to iv comprehend different leadership style practices in the construction industry and hence figure out the appropriate one needed for project success. Thus it gives information on how to improve leadership in the Ghanaian construction industry.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Building Technology, College of Art and Built Environment in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Philosophy.
leadership styles, Leadership, industry, construction