Leadership Strategies for Global Supply Chain Management: The Case of UAE's Construction Sector

Leadership Strategies for Global Supply Chain Management: The Case of UAE's Construction Sector

Sreejith Balasubramanian (Middlesex University Dubai, UAE) and Vinaya Shukla (Middlesex University, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-7998-2867-9.ch003


This chapter explores the leadership strategies for global supply chain management in the construction sector. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) construction sector, which played a pivotal role in transforming UAE to a modern economy from a nomadic one is used as an exemplary case in this study to understand the leadership strategies required for developing ‘globalness' in their construction supply chain. Using secondary research and interviews with stakeholders in the construction supply chain, the study proposes leadership strategies in four key areas: 1) policymaking, 2) technology and innovation, 3) environmental supply chain management, and 4) international collaboration/partnerships. The findings are useful for practitioners and policymakers in improving the global competitiveness of their construction sector and its supply chain.
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The Construction Supply Chain

In contrast to the unilateral, long-term transaction relations representative of the manufacturing supply chain, the construction supply chain is highly complex, diverse and fragmented that involves a multitude of stakeholders participating in dyadic relationships (Rezgui and Miles, 2009). The key stakeholders in the construction supply chain are Developers, Architects/Consultants, Main Contractors, Subcontractors and Suppliers. In a large construction project, the number of organizations involved in the supply chain could run into hundreds, if not thousands. Also, the sector is characterized by one-off contracts and a failure to develop longer-term relationships between stakeholders (Dubois and Gadde, 2000; Briscoe et al., 2001). Moreover, the construction supply chain has a reputation for low-trust and adversarial trading relations between supply chain stakeholders (Korczynski, 1996; Akintoye et al., 2000). For instance, Latham (1994) highlighted the adversarial attitudes that commonly exist between main contractors and their suppliers.

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