|Ph.D Thesis||Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering|
|Supervisors:||Prof. Laufer Alexander|
|Assoc. Prof. Shapira Aviad|
This study, conducted in Israel among ten excellent on-site construction project managers, examined the ways in which project managers cope with the dynamic project environment (complex, uncertain and fast). The data were gathered by means of direct observation of the managers at work and resulted in a very detailed, in-depth descriptive of the manager’s work.
Research data were then further examined in relation to the “principles of managing projects in a dynamic environment” (Laufer 2004) - the formal theoretical basis of this study on the management of projects in dynamic conditions. Whereas the original principles were developed with a client orientation, i.e. focusing mainly on the initiation and planning phases of the project, and with no specific orientation toward the construction industry, the present study focused on the construction industry, on the production phase and from the contractor's point of view.
By examining Laufer’s principles, the study unveiled the unique practices and typical work habits of the construction project managers, which hold some of the keys to their excellent job performance.
Central among these practices and habits are the ways in which managers practice planning and control in the presence of time pressure and uncertainty; maintain their own focus and the focus of their team members; handle problems; constantly exhibit a result-oriented work style; and gather relevant and reliable information in a minimum of time. Moreover, this study supports certain aspects in management that are considered “soft”, such as the importance of the “fighting spirit” in the manager's work and the creating of open and trust-based teamwork.
In light of these findings, we suggest there is a need to reexamine trends of developing training programs and tools for manager working under dynamic conditions.