Superintendent’s leadership: a key factor in project success

William W. Badger, Avi Wiezel, Daniel M. Adams, Peter Bopp

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This research was undertaken to explore: 1) the link between leadership competency at a construction site, project success and profitability; 2) the possibility of identifying a ‘great superintendent’. The conclusions of this effort indicate that the quality and level of on-site leadership (as compared to management) is, and will remain, a key element for the success of construction projects. Two separate but complementary tools were developed: a self- evaluating ‘field construction superintendent (FCS) questionnaire’ and a ‘project manager questionnaire’ that solicits an independent performance evaluation from the FCS’s superior. These tools profile the leadership skills and capabilities of a FCS and induce an awareness of the scope and importance of leadership. The tools can be used to profile the leadership competencies or lack thereof of anyone with construction site responsibilities. The collected data confirms a significant correlation between a FCS’s leadership competency and job performance. Not surprisingly, it is the effectiveness of management skills that dominates the job performance. However, it is the degree of applied leadership that distinguishes the great performers (great superintendents) from the unexceptional ones. Interviews conducted with the participants’ company executives found a 90% congruency in the study’s and the corporate rankings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)414-424
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Project Organisation and Management
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012


  • construction superintendents
  • leadership
  • management
  • profiling of skills

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management


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