Leading Change an Exploratory Study of Transformational Leadership in the Irish Construction Industry

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    Technological University Dublin
    Professions and applied sciences
    First Stage Researcher (R1) (Up to the point of PhD)


Project Description

The scholarship will provide the opportunity for one researcher to undertake a fully funded structured PhD Programme in Irelands first Technological University under the supervision of experienced supervisors to address the following question:

What are the characteristics of construction sector leaders, and what level education, training and development is required to ensure effective leadership to drive the transformational change required within the sector to achieve national policy objectives?

The construction sector is vital to the sustainable growth of the Irish economy in the provision of the built environment within which we live, work, socialise and learn. The construction sector is cyclical, complex, highly fragmented, and produces a heterogeneous output which exacerbates the challenges for firms operating within it. These characteristics provide an environment of uncertainty, which continues to hamper innovation, competitiveness and digital adoption resulting in low productivity across the sector.

Strong leadership is essential to drive the transformational and cultural change required to modernise the sector. Failure to do so puts the attainment of ambitious strategic outcomes specified as part of the National Planning Framework and National Development Plan 2018 -2027(Government of Ireland, 2018) in jeopardy.

Effective leadership is a critical requirement for developing and fostering a culture of innovation and digital adoption, therefore an understanding of existing strategic leadership capabilities across the sector is required prior to the determination of leadership development requirements necessary to deliver the transformational change required.

The aim of the research is to examine the characteristics of construction sector leaders prior to the determination of capacity and capability gaps for the purposes of the development of a suite of resources for leadership development of construction sector stakeholders in Ireland.

The research will address the perceptible gap in existing knowledge pertaining to leading change across the Architect, Engineering and Construction (AEC) sector in Ireland.

Student requirements for this project


Level 8 (Hons) Degree in a relevant discipline. (e.g. Architecture, Engineering, Surveying, Construction Management, Strategic Management, Business Studies) or transfer from the Research Master’s Degree (level 9)

For international applicants whose native language is not English, the minimum level required for research programmes is International English Language Testing System (IELTS) 6.0 or equivalent for the overall average score and a score not lower than 5.5 in each category.


The ideal candidate will be a motivated, self-started with some prior research experience. A good understanding of the construction sector (Ireland and/or abroad) is also advantageous.



This is a full time project funded for a maximum for four years. Minimum 2.1 in level 8 qualification and IELTS 6.0 for non native English speakers.

Successful candidate must be fully  registered by 1st December 2021.


leading_change_rmurphy.pdf (683.46 KB)

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