Project Manager's Role in Safety Performance of Saudi Construction Firms: A Correlational Study

Project Manager's Role in Safety Performance of Saudi Construction Firms: A Correlational Study

Author: 
Abdullah A. Khawam
Program of study: 
D.B.A.
Abstract: 
Leaders in developed countries have been able to reduce accident rates at building construction sites because of intensive commitment to implementing safety regulations and improving health and safety processes. Such commitment is lacking in developing countries and construction accident rates are a continuing problem. Injuries and fatalities in the construction industry are higher in Saudi Arabia than the other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The purpose of this quantitative correlational study was reflected in the primary research question, which was what is the relationship between the project manager’s possession of the PMP certification and the level of the safety culture present in the construction project the PM manages. In the purposive sample, 109 engineers and first-line supervisors worked in 23 construction projects of which 10 were led by PMP-certified PMs and 13 were led by PMs lacking PMP certification. Each PM completed a demographic questionnaire for the predictor variables of PMP certification controlled for age and experience. For the criterion variable of safety culture total score, engineers and first-line supervisors working in the same project completed the Questionnaire of Safety Culture Values and Practices. Multiple regression and multiple correlation analysis indicated a significant relationship existed between PMP certification and total safety culture survey score after controlling manager’s age, total years of experience, and years as a PMP manager. A leader’s decision to promote an engineer to PM should be conditional upon ensuring the candidate engineer possesses an MBA, PMP, or equivalent certification.
Dedication: 
Words are not enough to explain the experiences, thoughts, and feelings that accompanied me during this challenging and long journey. The hard work required was not possible without the efforts of the people around me. Firstly, I would like to thank God for providing me with the strength and patience to finish my doctorate. Secondly, I would like to offer my sincere thanks to my lovely wife, Zeina Antabi, for her continued support and sacrifices she provided to help me achieve my goals. Huge thanks to my mother, Alia Absi, who taught me dedication and patience, and instilled in me the value of education. Thanks from the heart to my late father, Mohamed Adel Khawam, who was my source of inspiration; my possession of a doctorate was his dream. This doctoral degree is a tribute to my parents, my wife, my son Adel, and my daughters, Rama, Rana, and Dana.
Acknowledgements: 
My appreciation and thanks go to my committee chair and committee members. Thank you Dr. Nancy S. Bostain for your support; you were the committee chair, the coach, and the sister. You were always available for me with your constructive instructions, high level of motivation, and inspiration. I extend my thanks to my committee members, Dr. Lisa Cree and Dr. David Blum. They provided me with the right comments at the right time. Their instructions enriched and enhanced my dissertation. Special thanks to Dr. Tom Granoff, the statistics coach, and Sara Weber, the writing coach. Seven years ago I started my journey to earn a doctorate degree. Discussions and dialogues about related issues were a daily process that included many people around me. To all people that participated in this journey and shared with me the good and bad times, thank you. I would also like to thank my sisters, Maysa and Mayla, and my brothers, Ahmad, Ziad, and Eyad. Special thanks go to my friends, Dr. Jinan Ziade, Ammar Issa, Dr. Abdullah Ghazal, Dr. Omar Sweid, Ahmed Absi, and Bashar Al-Khatib for their belief in me and their positive support. Additional thanks go to all my friends who contributed to this study and offered their vast experiences. Finally, I would like to thank Mr. Bashir Ghebeh for his support during the data collection phase. I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to all company leaders and the study participants who agreed to be part of my study and offered me their time and efforts. My appreciation goes to all faculty instructors and staff at the University of Phoenix who worked with me throughout my doctoral journey. Thanks to everyone who made my learning journey possible; you became a part of my success.