The Role of Prosody and Personality Type on Effective Team Formation

Eamonn Colbert, Emmanuel Aboagye-Nimo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNConference contribution with ISSN or ISBNpeer-review


Effective communication has always remained one of the most crucial features of every successful project. Misinterpretation of instructions within a large-scale infrastructure project can cost millions of pounds, not just in reworks, but also through compounded unnecessary delays in re-communicating messages among all teams in the supply chain. Poor team formation has been noted to have a strong correlation with unsuccessful project communication. Miscommunication is not tolerated in the fields of medicine, aviation or throughout the military, however poor team formation within linear construction projects can cause significant delays over the lifetime of the scheme. The majority of literature focuses on communication within vertical construction projects rather than linear infrastructure delivery. A mixed methods methodology is adopted in this study. Interviews with senior project and construction managers were conducted to test the importance of correct team formation. Utilising the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and the role prosody must play in interpretation of communication, data from this pilot study highlights the need to understand the personalities behind the teams in advance to deliver a successful project. Additionally, it seeks to outline a ‘magic formula’ for successful team creation and how prosody, personality type and project hierarchy all influence the success of communication. Preliminary data analysis has shown the majority of those surveyed within the engineering discipline have Extraversion (E – 77%) and Judging (J – 77%) characteristics. With initial established links between Marxism and the ‘Us and Them’ culture on construction sites, the research offers initial recommendations on finding unity between team formation and successful project communication.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 37th Annual ARCOM Conference
EditorsLloyd Scott, Chris Neilson
PublisherAssociation of Researchers in Construction Management
ISBN (Print)9780995546356
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021


  • Communication
  • Myers-Briggs
  • Prosody
  • team formation


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