Sina Moradi: Most of the competency requirements for project managers in traditional construction projects seem to be no longer effective in collaborative construction projects
The delivery models of construction projects have been subjects of striking changes during the recent three decades. These changes, in the big picture, comprise shifting from traditional delivery models, (e.g. design-bid- build, design-build) toward the collaborative ones (e.g., partnering, alliance, integrated project delivery and traditional construction deliveries equipped with collaborative work practices). The limited research-based knowledge concerning the competencies required for the project managers of collaborative construction projects provided no clear evidence whether the project managers of these projects needs different types of competencies, compared to traditional construction projects. Sina Moradi’s dissertation is based on a study aimed to understand the changes in the spectrum of the required competencies for the project managers of traditional and collaborative construction projects.
Moradi’s research led to the development of a matrix model of competencies for the project managers of collaborative construction, structured based on the contribution to the project managers’ successful performance and the difficulty of improvement. This matrix presents four groups of key, supportive, hybrid, and threshold competencies.
“The profile of the presented competencies, in the big picture, represents individual efficiency and effectiveness combined with teamwork, mutual understanding and trust, collaborative cooperation, and no-blame-related behaviour,” Sina Moradi says.
The findings also suggest that characteristics of collaborative construction projects can affect the required competencies for the successful performance of the project managers. The common characteristics, such as trust-based relationships and shared risk-reward system, require certain core competencies, whereas the unique characteristics, such as culture or contracting parties, require certain context-oriented competencies.
The findings not only fill the existing knowledge gap concerning the subject of the interest but also provide practical and cost-effective ways for employers on how to select the right project manager for a collaborative construction project and how to improve the performance of the existing ones.
“It became clear that the majority of competency requirements in traditional construction projects seem to be no longer effective in collaborative construction projects. This means that the required competencies for project managers of traditional construction projects are mainly related to skills and knowledge and therefore focused on systems and methods. Conversely, project managers’ important competencies in collaborative construction projects are focused on understanding relationships and value creation, as they are mainly related to motive, trait, and self-image. It can be argued that project managers in collaborative construction projects are managers of people and relationships rather than managers of systems and technology,” Moradi concludes.
These findings can be of importance in industry as well, where project managers’ competencies can directly contribute to project success up to 44%. Since 2011, only in Finland, nearly 100 collaborative construction projects with total value of 5.5–6 billion EUR have been launched. One of these is the Tampere Tramway project.
“Managers and developers of such projects can be highly benefited from my results through successful selection of the project managers and helping the existing ones to improve their performance. This can, in turn, increase the likelihood of success in collaborative construction projects,” Sina Moradi says.
The doctoral dissertation of MSc (Tech) Sina Moradi in the field of Construction Management titled Project Managers’ Competencies in Collaborative Construction Projects will be publicly examined in the Faculty of Built Environment at Tampere University at 12 o’clock on Friday 2 July 2021 on Hervanta campus in Rakennustalo building’s auditorium RG202. The Opponent will be Professor Chris Harty from University of Reading of United Kingdom. The Custos will be Professor Kalle Kähkönen from the Faculty of Built Environment.
The event can be followed via Zoom remote connection.
The dissertation is available online at the http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-952-03-2002-7
Photo: Masoumeh Mohammadi