The Role of the Project Manager in Construction Projects in India

Abdussalam Shibani, D. Sukumar

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    In India, the construction industry plays an important role in the economy of the country. It employs a sizeable portion of the work force, contributes largely to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the country, and is seen as a key catalyst for the growth and development of the Indian economy. The industry, however, is beset with many challenges, including delivering projects within projected costs and delivery dates and at the right quality to increasingly discerning clients. It is because of this that project management has assumed so much importance with the project manager seen to be a critical resource in the project achieving its objectives. However, the role of the project manager is still ambiguous. These research hypotheses that the role the project manager ought to play is that of a leader. It is only when project managers assume leadership roles that construction projects achieve objectives measured against time, cost, quality, and customer satisfaction. A quantitative approach was followed in this using both theoretical and analytic methods. The theoretical studies revealed the qualities, skills, and competencies that a project manager ought to possess and the links between the project manager assuming a position of leadership and the project achieving its objectives. The main data collection tool in the analytic method was an online questionnaire administered to 20 project managers of construction projects in India. It was found that while the Indian construction industry does recognize the significance of project managers, their role is relegated to administrative, monitoring, and supervision tasks. There is an overwhelming focus on technical skills. In those cases, where project managers were involved in all the stages of the project and possessed a gamut of managerial, technical, human, and interpersonal skills, there were substantial differences in terms of time, cost, quality, and customer satisfaction in the projects administered by them. The importance of this research stems from its alerting the construction sector in India to the true role that project managers ought to play. If it serves in a shift in the perception of the role of the project managers, this research would have served its purpose.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)298-324
    JournalChinese Business Review
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2015

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    • India
    • managerial
    • gross domestic product (GDP)
    • technical skills


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