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Leadership approach to quantity surveying.

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Professional Quantity Surveyors (QSs) play a leading role in the built environment by managing cost on projects such that the client achieves best value for money. The QS has had a long history where they emerged in England and later established in South Africa and have been renowned for their good work. However as time passed QSs have not met deadlines, and if they did, the quality of work has been substandard. This has brought the reputation of professional QSs into question. Further to diminished reputation the South African economy has been in a decline with the weakening of the rand and the QS profession needs higher profits and growth for organizational success, however this cannot be achieved singlehandedly. The key decision that companies need to make is the adoption of the correct leadership approach which subordinates believe in. This would inspire subordinates to align their personal objectives with that of the organization. This study is aimed at examining leadership and more specifically the two different leadership approaches in quantity surveying: transformational approach compared to a laissez-faire approach. It follows a brief look at the various leadership approaches and then an in-depth examination of the two approaches based on the quantity surveying profession. The research design was quantitative in nature and used Google Forms surveys which was distributed by email to 300 QS professionals in KwaZulu-Natal, with the aid of the South African Council for the Quantity Surveying Profession (SACQSP). The response rate was 65% which was deemed fair to proceed with analysis of the data. A key finding was that the transformational leadership approach strengths in terms of project stages outweighed the laissez-faire approach and that there is a need for QS leaders to adopt this approach moving forward. Keywords: Leadership, transformational, laissez-faire, quantity surveyor.


Masters Degree. University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban.