Career Success for Construction Project Managers:A Qualitative Study of Construction Project Managers Coping with Stress to Complete Successful Projects Thesis uri icon



  • Thesis (Ph.D., Curriculum & Instruction) -- University of Idaho, 2016 | Construction project managers (CPMs) are responsible for the successful completion of projects and implementation of organizational requirements as well as innovation within their project team. Their workload is large and they are held accountable for the timely completion, financial success and customer satisfaction for the entire project. As projects are constructed in restrictive time frames, have tight budgets and must meet high quality standards, CPMs often experience a great deal of pressure from construction owners, construction organizations, communities, subcontractors, suppliers and the workforce. These pressures can create a stressful environment for the construction project manager. The construction project manager needs to develop skills and strategies to build a successful project within this stressful environment. This study was conducted to examine the perspectives of current construction project managers in the U.S. about how they execute their responsibilities in a stressful environment. The study involved interviewing successful construction project managers to learn about skills and strategies they have developed to help them with project-related stress and the emotions produced by this stress, so they are able to successfully complete construction projects and progress in their careers. Identifying these skills and strategies can provide educators and human resource managers with information that will help them better prepare and guide individuals pursuing the construction project manager career path., Successful construction project managers were interviewed in this qualitative case study. They described their responsibilities and their work environment. They also described the skills and strategies they have developed to persevere and be successful in their projects and their careers. The list of skills described was comprehensive and extensive, but could be consolidated into two categories: soft skills, or people skills, and hard skills, or technical skills. Strong emotional intelligence, team leadership and professional technical skills provide construction project managers with the tools to be successful. Through academic education, professional development and experience, construction project managers are able to develop the skills and strategies to be successful in their careers.

publication date

  • June 1, 2016