Leadership style, organisational culture and disputes in public construction
Alkhamali, Khaled Salem H.
MetadataShow full item record
The increasing occurrence of construction disputes has compounded the fragmentation, complexity and adversarial nature of the construction industry. Disputes are associated with high cost, delays, low quality and even the destruction of important relationships among project parties that have taken long years to build and disputes have become ‘the rule rather than the exception’. Despite considerable attempts in literature towards dispute minimization in construction projects, very few studies have addressed the roots behind the occurrence of disputes. Leadership and organisational culture are key influential factors in the construction industry. Effective project leaders should, not only achieve the goals and objectives of the organisations they lead, but also, minimize conflicts and disputes. Also by instilling strong organisational culture, construction organisations can control dispute to minimum levels. Therefore, this study aims to draw research attention toward the core of disputes by providing theoretical insight and empirical investigation concerning the roots of this problem. A framework is presented to minimize disputes in public organisations of construction. The mixed methodology adopted includes a survey conducted to investigate the current practice and semi-structured interviews to explore best practice that combined to form a foundation for the framework that assess leaders and organisations to minimize construction disputes. The findings revealed that among the most significant dispute causes are: delay by the contractor, lack of team spirit, slow contractor response, poor communication, unrealistic tendering, inadequate contractor selection, unforeseen site conditions and inadequate site supervision. Significant correlations were noted between transformational leadership and the most significant dispute causes. Also significant association was indicated between clan culture and disputes. Emerging from the study is that transformational leadership and clan culture appear to be the most suitable leadership style and organisational culture, respectively, in public construction organisations (owner organisations) that help minimize disputes with contractors.