Soft skills of construction project management professionals and project success factors

Jian Zuo (School of Architecture and Built Environment, Entrepreneurship, Commercialisation and Innovation Centre (ECIC), The University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia)
Xianbo Zhao (School of Engineering and Technology, Central Queensland University, Sydney, Australia)
Quan Bui Minh Nguyen (University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Tony Ma (University of South Australia, Adelaide, Australia)
Shang Gao (The University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Publication date: 16 April 2018



The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to identify the soft skills of construction project management; and second, to investigate the influence of these soft skills on project success factors in the Vietnamese construction industry.


A questionnaire survey was conducted with 108 project management professionals from the Vietnamese construction industry. Partial least square structural equation modelling was employed in data analysis.


Four-dimensional structure of project success factors was confirmed in this study. Results also showed that soft skills of project managers significantly contributed to project success factors and hence the project success.

Research limitations/implications

There may be geographical limitation on the conclusions drawn from the findings. Similarly, the sample size was still small, despite a relatively high response rate. In addition, the majority of the respondents were contractors and clients as other project players were reluctant to respond to the survey.

Practical implications

This study provides an understanding of the relationship between soft skills and project success factors.


Although there have been studies focused on soft skills of project management and project success factors, few have attempted to analyse the effects of these soft skills on critical success factors. Thus, this study adds significantly to the existing research on both project management skills and project success factors.



Zuo, J., Zhao, X., Nguyen, Q., Ma, T. and Gao, S. (2018), "Soft skills of construction project management professionals and project success factors", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 25 No. 3, pp. 425-442.

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