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Non-verbal Cues: Improving Communication in Construction Projects

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

Global and Cultural Issues in Construction

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

25.979.1 - 25.979.8



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Paper Authors


Suat Gunhan University of Texas, San Antonio

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Suat Gunhan received both his bachelor's of architecture and master's of science in architecture degrees from Dokuz Eylul University, and a Ph.D. degree in civil engineering from Illinois Institute of Technology. He is currently an Assistant Professor at the Construction Science and Management program at the University of Texas, San Antonio.

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Gulsen Senol Gediz University İzmır Institute of Technology

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Gulsen Senol is a Ph.D. student at the İzmır Institute of Technology in the area of construction management. She currently works as a Research Assistant in the Architecture Department of Gediz University in İzmir.

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Sevgi Zeynep Dogan Gediz University İzmır Institute of Technology

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Sevgi Zeynep Dogan received her Ph.D. degree in 2005 from the İzmir Institute of Technology in the area of construction management. She worked as a Research Associate in the Illinois Institute of Technology at the Department of Construction Engineering and Management and in the University of Nebraska at the Department of Architectural Engineering. She is currently a faculty member in the Construction Management program at the Department of Architecture in İzmir Institute of Technology.

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TEACHING BODY LANGUAGE: EFECTIVE COMMUNICATION IN CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRYDue to its fragmented, dynamic and project based characteristics, the construction industryforms a very complex communication environment, where most problems in construction arereferred to as communication problems. As it is proven that effective communication andconflict resolution abilities have a strong correlation between them, communication in theconstruction industry should constantly be improved. Unfortunately, the existing constructioncurriculums do not offer enough courses which would help students to communicateeffectively. Embedding technical communication into curricula and introducing courses suchas Construction Communication aiming on producing construction management (CM)graduates with good writing and speaking skills. However, written and verbal languages arenot the sole means by which individuals exchange information. Body language plays asignificant role in the communication. Therefore it is necessary for CM graduates to masterthe skills of using and reading a body language.The literature study for the subject of communication in the education shows that bodylanguage and nonverbal communication were not really taken into consideration yet. Theyare primarily the subject areas of anthropologists, linguists, and social psychologists.This paper aims to understand the role of body language and its interpretation at disputeresolution in the construction industry. It is an attempt to point out the importance ofunderstanding nonverbal cues of individuals in the construction industry and developsuggestions about the enriched content of the communication courses in constructioncurricula.  1  

Gunhan, S., & Senol, G., & Dogan, S. Z. (2012, June), Non-verbal Cues: Improving Communication in Construction Projects Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21736

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