Sustainability and Green Project Management Skills: An Exploratory Study in the Construction Industry in Dubai

  • Hala Al-Qassab
  • Alberto Paucar-CaceresEmail author
  • Gillian Wright
  • Rosane Pagano
Part of the World Sustainability Series book series (WSUSE)


Organisations appreciate green project management leads to competitive advantage and expect project managers to be effective in this respect. This research emphasizes the identification and evaluation of skills that project managers require to make the activity of project management safe for the environment while also ensuring that it does not contribute negatively to natural surroundings. This should be of interest to executives and project managers working in the construction industry. This paper provides understanding of how project managers react to this requirement and evaluates their skills. The literature indicates that effective green project managers have a strong profile of schedule management skills, stakeholder communication and human resources management. The research approach is based on a survey of 33 project managers in the United Arab Emirates country of Dubai, followed by semi-structured interviews to delve further into the survey responses. Our findings indicate awareness of green project management is in its infancy, the focus is budget compliance. Stakeholder management and communications management skills are not considered as important as problem solving or schedule management. Fluctuating prices of materials and difficulty in sourcing sub-contractors hinder sustainable project management. While some organisations train and develop project managers, helping them acquire green project management skills, many do not and a dearth of industry standards further hampers green project management. Since this exploratory study dealt with a small sample (30+) the biggest limitation of the study was that the sample population was not reflective of the wider population. Though the construction industry in the United Arab Emirates country of Dubai, the location for this fieldwork is a thriving multi-billion dollar industry, the research could benefit from verification across a wider geographical area. A further area for future research is to investigate the differences between project managers in their attitudes to green project management. The initial findings should be of interest to executives and green project managers working in the construction industry wishing to become more involved in green practices and be more environmentally aware. This paper provides some empirical evidence as to how project managers react to this requirement and evaluates their skills.


Project management Green management Construction industry Dubai Developing countries 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hala Al-Qassab
    • 1
  • Alberto Paucar-Caceres
    • 1
    Email author
  • Gillian Wright
    • 1
  • Rosane Pagano
    • 1
  1. 1.Manchester Metropolitan University Business SchoolManchesterUK

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