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Developing Leadership Skills for a Dynamic Construction Industry

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

ConstDiv Technical Session 3 - Social & Leadership

Tagged Division

Construction Engineering

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Paper Authors


Suat Gunhan University of Texas, San Antonio

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Dr. Gunhan is currently an Associate Professor and Associate Dean for Research at The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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Today’s construction industry is highly dynamic not only at the national but also international level. Technological advancements and sustainability requirements are transforming architecture-engineering-construction (AEC) industry. They are also transforming the way the building projects are delivered. In addition to changing dynamics at the national level, U.S. construction companies are also facing changing dynamics in international markets. The U.S. contractors have a successful track record in those markets, and they led the international scene for many years due to their expertise in complex technical projects and their efficient project management skills. However, their leadership is in decline since early 2000s for various reasons, and Chinese contractors have led the international projects during the last decade. The international project owners favor emerging delivery methods such as design-build-finance-operate-maintain (DBFOM), capabilities like forming joint ventures that can overcome cultural barriers for foreign market entry, and people skills that help performing in multi-cultural environments. The paper investigates on the factors impacting construction projects delivery in the national and international markets and explores the appropriate leadership skills required to manage dynamically transforming construction project delivery process. Therefore, the paper discusses the methods of incorporating the appropriate leadership skills development addressing today’s construction industry needs into construction curriculum. The recent leadership studies in construction management indicate that the authentic leadership style includes applicable skills to today’s dynamic construction industry. The author includes his own methods, the way he brings leadership skills development into classroom. In addition to having building information modeling (BIM) and sustainability courses in the curriculum, the methods include having collaborative projects with design students, incorporation of financial/engineering economics problems into project management course, and practicing verbal and non-verbal communication through presentations.

Gunhan, S. (2019, June), Developing Leadership Skills for a Dynamic Construction Industry Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32641

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