The aim of the research was to evaluate the operational effectiveness and impact of joint leadership in construction projects in Abu Dhabi (AD). The research started with a thorough and critical review of literature on leadership and culture. The research took a quantitative approach and used a questionnaire to collect data. 145 questionnaires were sent to project managers in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and 90 responses (62%) were obtained. The data was analysed by descriptive and inferential statistics and used Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. The results of the research indicated that the majority of participants were leaders, and had different styles. Irrespective of leadership style, most expressed satisfaction with joint leadership of projects and stated that it does improve project success. The study also showed that culture has a significant impact on the types of leaders in UAE construction as well as the operations, durations, costs, and quality of construction projects. Moreover, participants stated that culture has an influence on the design of construction buildings and other facilities. It was however opined that the use of joint leadership in construction projects requires clear clauses in project contracts in respect of roles and responsibilities, as well as providing training for cultural awareness which can improve project efficiency. Most participants agreed that project success in UAE construction is a direct function of the leadership style used. The outcome of the research was used to improve the construction project process framework of Abu Dhabi Police taking into the consideration the findings from the questionnaire. The next step was to test the framework through a focus group. 12 professionals were involved from the original questionnaire survey. The focus group discussion generated additional qualitative descriptions concerning the reasons behind the study participants‘ perceptions on (a) the likelihood of joint leadership of projects in UAE, (b) the impact of the concept of the project managers in UAE construction, and (c) the influences of UAE culture on construction projects. The improved framework developed was validated by a survey which had 12 questions. This was distributed to 10 project managers and leaders. The results showed that the improved framework will: reduce communication time; improve the choice of joint leaders (two project managers) for the same project; help UAE culture to be communicated better in project designs; help project managers with no engineering background through training; increase internal stakeholders‘ understanding of joint leadership in AD police projects; increase the understanding of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) contract in AD police projects; assist AD police project managers‘ training to address effective and efficient leadership.
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