The construction industry is a fundamental, integral part of economic
development. It is organised around individual projects. The effectiveness of
the industry is largely determined by the collective performance of projects
and the effectiveness of the project manager.
This thesis investigates the following issues: the major characteristics of construction projects and the variables
affecting the construction industry; the education, training and experience of construction project
managers; major skills and knowledge required for the construction project
managers; comparisons of the general education policies in other countries; performance in construction and the factors affecting the successful completion of construction projects. The investigation of the education, training and experience of project
managers, plus the major skills and knowledge required for the project
managers was carried out by mailed questionnaires, followed by face to face
interviews. This was organised with the co-operation of the European
Construction Institute, which represents major international contractors. The
number of completed questionnaires received was 120 out of 170 mailed
questionnaires. This is a response rate of 70.5%.
The responding project managers were clearly successful and working for
successful companies. The majority of these project managers are engineering graduates. They are
of very strong technical background, but of shallow or very shallow
managerial background. The top priority of the required knowledge and
skills was given to management related subjects. The importance of technical
knowledge is not diminished by the attendant need for management, legal and
other personal skills. projects in order to identify the factors affecting the successful completion of
construction projects and achieving a clearer picture of the required skills and
knowledge for effective project managers. This thesis identifies the following:
the education background of project managers;
the effectiveness of the major sources of knowledge in contributing to
skills and knowledge of the project managers;
the top 20 skills required for the job of the project manager; the required actions by all the parties concerned to enhance the
effectiveness of construction project managers; the link between the required skills and the factors affecting the
successful completion of projects.
In general this thesis contributes to the policies for developing effective
construction project managers.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.