Leadership and Employee Well-being in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction Industry

Clara Cheung, Yi-Ying Chih, Paul Bowen, Pin Chao Liao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Leadership and employee well-being are two key contributors to project and organizational performance. Although these two topics are well researched in disciplines such as psychology, management, and organizational behavior, they remain insufficiently explored in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) literature. This lack of an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of leadership and well-being has led to missed opportunities for AEC firms to develop and implement innovative, effective, and evidence-based strategies to support leadership development and employee well-being.

Extant literature has acknowledged the importance of “context” in influencing leadership behavior and employee well-being. To this end, the AEC industry is different from other business contexts due to its highly complex and labor-intensive production processes, fragmented and risk-prone business environment, and stressful and hazardous working conditions. These unique features have called for further conceptual, theoretical, and empirical investigation into whether (and to what extent) the well-developed leadership and employee well-being theories and practices in other disciplines are (or are not) applicable to the AEC industry.

This Special Collection thus aims to be a catalyst to seeking contributions that deepen and broaden the leadership and employee well-being research and practices in the AEC industry. To achieve this aim, this collection was envisaged to solicit more research in this field, including (1) constructive (or destructive) leadership behaviors, styles, skills and traits at different levels (e.g. executives, project managers, or on-site supervisors) for managing AEC teams with various employment conditions (e.g., trades, union/ non-union, and temporary employment); (2) the underlying conditions and consequences of constructive or destructive leadership; (3) the definitions, constituent, antecedents, and consequences of employee well-being; (4) The influence of constructive (or destructive) leadership on employee well-being and their boundary conditions; (5) the educational and industry practices and technologies that support leadership development at different management levels and employee well-being; (6) The interactive effect of leadership and employee well-being on individual, project and/or organizational performance; (7) The influence of contexts (e.g., project types, project complexity, and organizational culture) on leadership behavior, employee well-being, and the leadership-employee well-being relationship; and (8) evidence-based research (e.g., cyber, physiological, or psychological-driven studies) in the contexts of leadership and employee well-being in the AEC industry.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Well-being
  • Leadership


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