American Society of Civil Engineers

Leadership Development and Succession Planning

by Charles O. Skipper, (Vice Chairman, Finance and Administration, Storm Eye Institute, Medical University of South Carolina.Hehas published several technical papers related to leadership development and construction management, E-mail: and Lansford C. Bell, (Professor of construction engineering, Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University. He has published technical papers related to construction materials management, electronic data management technologies, contracting strategies, and project management systems. E-mail:

Leadership and Management in Engineering, Vol. 8, No. 2, April 2008, pp. 77-84, (doi:

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Document type: Feature Article
Abstract: The construction industry is recognizing the need for leadership development and succession planning. Industry has typically responded to this need by enacting succession planning programs that identify a handful of high-potential personnel at an early stage in their careers, and expose these candidates to specialized leadership development and mentoring programs not available to their peers. Recent research at Clemson University by the authors compared the leadership behaviors of two groups of construction project managers within a major international, U.S.-based construction company. The top performers were also the best leaders, as proven by a 360-degree leadership analysis. The analysis also identified specific causal influences for achieving top performer status. This article provides justification for the .all-hands. approach to leadership development programs as a way of producing sufficient highly qualified professionals in the quest for succession planning in the construction industry.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Professional development