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Barriers to effective monitoring and evaluation leadership

The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) (2008), according to Adair (1973), describes the function of leadership in construction as achieving the task, building a team and developing individuals. These functions, however, have been described as the project implementation barriers confronting leadership in the

Malaysian construction industry, according to Nasaruddin and Rahman (2017), and need to be addressed urgently. These features summarize the role of leadership in the M&E of construction projects. The actions of leadership in planning, coordination and execution beget project success. Undertaking these roles effectively however has received challenges resulting in ineffective leadership in the M&E process in achieving project success. This section therefore discusses some barriers that have caused leadership to be ineffective in ensuring effective M&.E.

Owing to the complexity and multidisciplinary nature of the construction industry, project managers face various challenges in their daily activities. Ofori and Toor (2012) argue for considerable attention towards leadership in the construction industry due to the feature and processes of projects in the construction industry. It can also be said that as a result of the multiplicity of stakeholders with varying interests, skilled and unskilled personnel involved in project delivery, leadership in the M&.E process is more essential to guarantee project success. CIOB (2008) in a study on leadership in the construction industry identified two main challenges that prevent leaders from reaching their full potential in delivering their leadership mandate in project delivery. These challenges observed are the lack of opportunity for project managers to improve their leadership skills and, secondly, a poor organizational culture towards leadership and the overconcentration on the technical competence (Archer, Verster & Zulch, 2010). Archer et al. (2010) revealed the lack of experience and skill as reasons for the poor leadership of project managers. This they attribute to insufficient education and lack of training which requires immediate attention.

The male dominance of the construction industry poses a challenge for women in leadership. For instance, in 1996, the chairperson of the CIOB, Prof. Michael Romans threatened to resign if the institute’s attitude towards women is not changed (Thurairajah, Amaratunga &. Haigh, 2007). However, Hall-Taylor, (1997) informed that the negative perception, personality and self-motivation of women leaders is self-inflicted and poses as a barrier to women leaders in a male-dominated environment - even though studies have shown that gender makes no difference to effective leadership in the construction industry. Lack of confidence and assertiveness to aspire to managerial and leadership positions (Omar &. Ogenyi, 2004), failure to undertake training and develop managerial skills (Thurairajah et al., 2007), choice of field of education and multiple commitments (Fielden, Davidson, Gale & Davey, 2000), challenge the leadership of women in the M&.E of construction project delivery. In a related study which discussed barriers to female leadership, it is reported that the gender of women greatly affected their leadership potential in organizations (Titrek, Bayrakci &. Gunes, 2014). According to Titrek et al. (2014), this adverse effect of the female gender towards leadership is influenced by their low educational levels and traditional responsibilities such as caring for children and housework.

According to Bikitsha, Mamafha and Ngomane (2014), poor relationships and ineffective communication significantly contribute to the ineffectiveness of the leadership process in construction project M&.E, indicating that projects are likely to fail as a result of the weak relationship between leader and other project stakeholders or project participants (Meng, 2011). It is reported that effective leadership is effective communication (Luthra &. Dahiya, 2015). Hence, a leader’s failure to communicate and coordinate the M&.E process effectively negatively affects project performance (Loosemore &. Lee, 2002). Similarly, the inevitable conflict in construction (Kumaraswamy, 1997; Yiu &. Cheung, 2006) due to the varied interests of stakeholders and the project team and its effect on leadership has been widely reported and therefore requires effective communication by project leaders (Mitkus &. Mitkus, 2014).

Exercising a democratic leadership style where extensive consultation among stakeholders and the project team is required in an emergency situation may result in project failure; thus, the project may be delayed for some decisions to be taken collectively which has a consequential impact on other components of the project. For leadership to be efficient and surmount situational challenges and vice versa, a multi-adaptive leadership style is essential. Thus, an effective leader is one who can adjust his or her leadership method to achieve the desired objective in a difficult situation (Luthra &. Dahiya, 2015). The company culture of organizations comprises the norms, values, beliefs and assumptions of the organization and may differ from one organization to the other. Hence, ignorance of project managers and leaders about such cultures may cause leaders to be ineffective. However, leaders’ understanding of the organizational culture will inform their leadership approach and will ensure high performance of team members. Cultural backgrounds and unique understanding levels of team members make leadership communication a challenge (Luthra & Dahiya, 2015).

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