Critical Traits for Effective Leadership Style in the South African Construction Industry
Proceedings of the Creative Construction Conference 2019
Leadership is associated with certain traits or set behaviours that characterised the leader and which to some extent is essential for influencing others for maximum cooperation and productivity. In some cases, actions may speak better than words. People follow a leader not only because of what he/she says, but what he/she does or is made of. In other words certain qualities are responsible for effective leadership. However, researchers are still oblivious of which trait would always guarantee
... d always guarantee leadership success. Hence, the search for better leadership traits has continued to this day. Leaders may find themselves in demanding circumstances characterised with complexity, pressure, and uncertainties such as construction and its industry. In such situation, certain leadership traits may be critical more than others for a leader to make headway, as well as influence his/her subordinates towards salvaging the situation to a great extent. The main objective of this paper is to investigate the critical traits for effective leadership among construction professionals in the South African construction industry. The primary research data were collected through a structure questionnaire while the secondary data were collected from a detailed literature review. The survey was conducted in the Gauteng Province of South Africa. Respondents were construction professionals especially project managers. Respondents were selected using heterogeneity and convenience sampling techniques. Data from the questionnaire were analyzed using Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) version 23.0 software. Values were represented with descriptive statistics (mean) and standard deviation and were ranked according in descending order. Findings from the study revealed that ability to communicate well is of the optimum importance for effective leadership. Other findings include organised, integrity, self-discipline, experience, courage, visioning, empathy, honesty, problem solving ability, passion, creative, self-confidence, flexible/open to change, ability to inspire/motivate, composure, decisiveness, action oriented, risk taking, foresight, teachable and charisma. The study contributes to the body of knowledge on the effects of effective leadership for optimum performance in the South African construction industry.