A proposed model for construction project management communication in the South African construction industry
Ineffective communication and the poor application of communication skills in construction project management lead to project outcomes that do not meet project objectives. The lack of a proper communication skills model for project management may contribute to ineffective project communication. This article reports the results of a study done to identify the most important project management communication skills and applications of communication that effective project managers should possess. A literature review on project management communication, project communication skills, applications of project communication and project management and leadership communication was done to develop a quantitative questionnaire for testing the importance of project management communication skills and applications of communication as perceived by a total of 97 construction-related professionals employed in construction project management, architecture, construction management, engineering and quantity surveying. Based on the findings, the communication skills and applications of communication expected from project managers were grouped into core (decision-making, problem-solving, listening, verbal competency, motivation, persuasion, meetings, writing competency, presentation, team-building and development, conflict management) and important skills (negotiation, trust, explaining, questioning, reinforcement, reflecting, public communication, humour and laughter, self-disclosure) which, together with managerial and leadership communication, form the main basis of the proposed model. The proposed model may assist construction project managers in developing their communication abilities, and through improved communication, improve their management and leadership abilities, ensuring the successful execution of projects in the South African construction industry.
Keywords: Communication skills and leadership model, construction project management, leadership, South African construction industry