Capitalising teamwork for enhancing project delivery and management in construction: empirical study in Malaysia

Jeffrey Boon Hui Yap*, Wen Jie Leong, Martin Skitmore

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)
72 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: Teamwork in the construction industry has attracted much attention from both academic and industrial circles. Most importantly, improving team effectiveness will increase the likelihood of successful project delivery. Recognising the factors influencing team dynamics is important for enhanced team performance. 

Design/methodology/approach: Based on a detailed literature review, a survey questionnaire containing 10 aspects and 25 attributes of teamwork relevant to construction is used to collect feedback from Malaysian construction practitioners from client, consultant and contractor organisations to prioritise these hypothesised variables. The data are then subjected to reliability analysis, descriptive statistics (means, standard deviations, and frequencies), a one-sample t-test, the Kruskal–Wallis ANOVA and exploratory factor analysis. 

Findings: The significance of these aspects and attributes is then presented. The three most crucial aspects are “project performance”, “decision-making capability” and “problem-solving ability”. The most influential attributes are “effective communication between project team members”, “efficient team leadership”, “well-defined team responsibilities and roles”, “clear team goals and objectives” and “good collaboration between all project leaders”. The Kruskal–Wallis ANOVA reveals five attributes having statistically significant differences with respect to company size, namely “clear team goals and objectives”, “commitment to the project”, “adequate resources”, “team or task processes” and “creativity and innovation”. Six underlying dimensions are found, comprising (1) participative engagement and task commitment; (2) team responsibility structure and accountability; (3) culture of trust and respect; (4) leader's skills and abilities; (5) top management support; and (6) synergic working environment.

Practical implications: The identification of these dimensions for team effectiveness provides rigorous basis for formulating useful team-building strategies for integrating a collaborative environment among project stakeholders and consequently improving project performance. 

Originality/value: This paper bridges the identified knowledge gap concerning the dimensionality of teamwork attributes in construction-based setting and adds to existing knowledge of how team effectiveness can be leveraged to improve project performance in the construction management literature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1479-1503
Number of pages25
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jul 2020
Externally publishedYes


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