Digital Technology to Enhance Project Leadership Practice: The Case of Civil Construction

Palgrave Macmillan
Publication Type:
Digital Transformation in Business and Society Theory and Cases, 2019, pp. 247 - 272
Issue Date:
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Digital transformation is fundamentally influencing all aspects of business and society. It can enable individuals and organizations to transcend from one way of working to another. In construction, emphasis is shifting from project management to project leadership, as professionals need assisting tools to not only aid in managing tasks and activities, but aid in leading people. As such, the adoption of digital technologies may hold the key in taking project leadership practice into the future. To date, there have been few attempts to explore the potential of digital technology as an aid for project leadership development and practice. This research therefore aims to investigate this potential in the context of the Australian civil construction industry. We review the existing body of knowledge on both industry-specific leadership demands and relevant digital technology capabilities to identify areas of improvement and to guide interviews with construction project managers. So far, literature has focused on endorsing particular leadership behaviors and/or styles, while ignoring the difficulties faced by professionals in practicing these behaviors. We find that project managers of civil contractors within Sydney understand the significance of leadership but are often overwhelmed by its complexity.
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