Leadership skills and competencies for cross-cultural construction projects

S. R. Toor, Stephen O. Ogunlana

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)


    Cross-cultural projects are increasingly common in construction. Project leaders need to develop skills and competencies that can help them to effectively perform their leadership roles in such projects. In order to examine the leadership competencies and skills required to lead projects in a multicultural environment, questionnaire surveys and interviews were conducted with project leaders on a mega construction project in Thailand. A total of 78 respondents from ten different nationalities participated in the study. They belonged to various construction stakeholders such as clients, consultants, designers and contractors. Leadership competencies such as communication, teamwork, and personal and interpersonal skills were perceived to be vital for project leaders in a multicultural environment. Flexibility in decision making, persistent performance, good listening skills and problem-solving style were also highlighted among the top-rated competencies of cross-cultural leaders. In order to develop cross-cultural leadership competencies, the respondents emphasised comprehensive training and orientation as well as inclusion of cross-cultural leadership courses at graduate-level programmes in universities. © 2008, Inderscience Publishers.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)192-215
    Number of pages24
    JournalInternational Journal of Human Resources Development and Management
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


    • Construction projects
    • Cross-cultural leadership
    • International construction
    • Leadership competencies
    • Leadership skills


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