International Journal of Project Organisation and Management (17 papers in press)
by Steven Muegge
Abstract: The product development processes of many firms include a project charter a document that formally authorizes a product development project, establishes expectations and success criteria, and provides a project manager with authority and resources. Neither the project sponsors nor the project manager have complete and perfect knowledge; thus the project charter is the outcome of negotiation, estimation, and forecasting, by stakeholders with partially aligned and partially differing incentives a situation that game theorists characterize as a mixed-motive game. This article develops a conceptual game theory model of the project manager project sponsor relationship, then draws on past research on analytic game theory, evolutionary game theory, and behavioural game theory to develop propositions about cooperation on project charters and implications for theory and practice. The model and propositions developed from the model contribute to our conceptual understanding of cooperation within product development organizations and the theoretical underpinnings of project management.
Keywords: project management, theory, game theory, project charter, cooperation.
Project Managers' Motivation in the Jordanian Construction Industries
by Razan Al-Khaza’aleh, Ali Alahmer, Ghaleb Abbasi
Abstract: Today's organizations are concerned with motivation factors that influence the project managers' project achievement and success. In this study a questionnaire was designed and conducted within the Jordanian Construction Industry based on five Likert-scales to identify the importance of the motivational dimensions on the project managers in Jordanian Construction Industry. Six motivational dimensions were defined and analyzed, which were; interpersonal interaction, task, general working conditions, empowerment, personal development, and compensation. Results showed that project managers were more motivated with compensation and personal development rather than other dimensions. Also, the level of education for project manager was positively related with the motivation by tasks. A more experienced project manager was highly motivated by empowerment.
Keywords: Project manager, Motivation, Construction Industry, Jordan.
Risk Management Maturity in Large Complex Rail Projects: a Case Study
by Yingtao Ren, Khim Teck Yeo, Yingju Ren
Abstract: In this paper we study the risk management practices in a large complex mass rapid transit construction project undertaken by the relevant government authority in Singapore. A project risk management capability maturity model has been developed and applied in the study. The model consists of ten capability areas namely, organization culture, stakeholder coalition, leadership, organization structure and support, risk planning and identification, risk analysis, risk mitigation, process integration and improvement, project management process, and technology. The client organization has a comprehensive safety and risk management system, which includes life cycle risk management, risk register and documentation, site risk meetings, and so on. Overall, the case organization shows a high level of risk management capability maturity derived purposeful learning and practices. Specific strengths as well as areas of weaknesses are identified and ranked, and opportunities for further improvement are suggested.
Keywords: Complex Products and Systems, capability maturity model, project risk management, mass rapid transit system
Strategies to improve job outcomes of construction site supervisors
by Florence Yean Yng Ling, Lionel Jun Jie Low
Abstract: This study examined ways to boost site supervisors job outcomes through the characteristics of their jobs and how their jobs are designed. Using a structured questionnaire, data were collected from site supervisors working on construction projects in Singapore. Data were collected via face-to-face interviews. It was found that site supervisors have significantly good job outcomes, operationalized as high internal work motivation, high job satisfaction and good quality work performance. The results show some of the significant job characteristics affecting job outcomes are: given discretion to decide what to be done; allowed to offer suggestions for job improvement; regular working hours; and adequate pay. This study found that job outcomes of site supervisors would not significantly improve if their jobs are designed with characteristics which use skill variety, and provide task identity and task significance.
Keywords: site supervisors; performance management; job satisfaction; job design; job characteristics
Modeling of Trust and Working Relationship in Construction Project Management: A Case Study of Vietnam
by Nguyen Thanh Tam
Abstract: In construction industry, trust is regarded as glue that fosters cooperation among organization and different team members. It is an essential lubricant that helps to complete the project smoothly. However, few attempts to study how trust helps to improve working relationship in construction projects. The objective of this study is to explore the inter-correlations between antecedences and consequences of trust in construction project management. To quantitatively test the hypotheses, a total of 814 sets of the designed questionnaires were delivered to senior field experts working on various types of construction projects in Vietnam. Consequently, the set of 523 valid responses were collected from the survey. SPSS and SEM program were employed to perform the analysis. The result of analysis revealed that most of trust factors have considerably positive influence on working relationship. Among the three trust constructs, Relational trust arisen by continual interactions between individuals and Calculus-based trust regarding to beneﬁcial issues based on economic exchange were found to have most contribution to generating a harmony working environment in construction projects in Vietnam through facilitating Communication, Cooperation, Negotiation and problem solving as well as Relationship satisfaction. However, Institution-based trust, which is built up on legal system and professional practice, has least impact on improving working relationship. The research findings are expected to be useful for both local construction parties and others that wish to engage in construction market in Vietnam. The practitioners can simultaneously exploit different types of trust to build harmonious working environment which was found to be vital for project success.
Keywords: Trust; Construction project; Contractor-owner relationships; Project life; Trust; Vietnam.
Routine Project Scope Management in Small Construction Enterprises
by Vincenzo Corvello, Amy Javernick-Will, Anna La Ratta
Abstract: The papers purpose is to study whether Small and Medium Construction Enterprises (SMCEs), which routinely plan, monitor and control Project Scope, perform significantly better than SMCEs which have not developed Project Scope Management (PSM) routines. A questionnaire-based survey was developed and distributed to SMCEs. Responses were analyzed using regression analysis. The relation between routine PSM processes and project performance is statistically significant, that is, systematic use of PSM processes has been found to significantly and positively impact SMCEs performance. This study suggests that managers of SMCEs should implement systematic PSM systems in their organizations to improve performance. This is one of the few papers focusing on PSM in SMCEs. Given the critical role of SMCEs in this industry, results are particularly relevant.
Keywords: SMCEs; construction Industry; project scope management; project performance; project management; organizational routines.
EXPLORING COST PLANNING PRACTICES BY GHANAIAN CONSTRUCTION PROFESSIONALS
by Ernest Kissi, Theophilus Adjei-Kumi, Edward Badu
Abstract: Cost planning remains an integral part in the construction process that is from the inception to completion. Awareness of the importance of effective cost planning practices date back to the early days of modern construction activities in both developed and developing countries. However, in developing countries such as Ghana, the adoption of effective cost planning practices is lacking to the extent that construction projects are often abandoned because of poor cost planning practices leading to cost overruns that are not sustainable, or if at all, difficult to sustain. In an attempt to address this problem, this study seeks to explore cost planning practices of Ghanaian construction professionals and their extent of application. The study adopted a mixed method approach where data were collected in the form of semi-structured interviews and close-ended questionnaires. Data generated from this survey were further subjected to mean score analysis. The findings of the study revealed that knowledge of cost planning practices among Ghanaian construction professionals is appreciable but its application leaves so much to be desired. However, a few professionals were found to be applying concepts such as unit, elemental and comparative cost analysis in planning their cost activities. In addition, the study established that due to the failure of Ghanaian construction practitioners to apply effective cost planning practices in the development and execution of construction projects, stakeholder cost expectations are often not met as a result. This study explored effective techniques that will enhance the utility of cost planning practices by construction practitioners and policymakers who are seeking innovative ways to manage cost in the whole process of the planning and execution of construction projects.
Keywords: Cost, Planning, Practices, Ghanaian, Professionals
Attitudes towards Face-To-Face Meetings in Virtual Engineering Teams: Perceptions from a Survey of Defense Projects
by Lawrence Blenke, Abhijit Gosavi, William Daughton
Abstract: Modes of communication used in virtual defense projects have changed dramatically over the years with tools such as email and video-conferencing dominating face-to-face (FTF) meetings. We conducted a survey at a defense firm with an aim to test current attitudes towards FTF meetings with respect to significant problems faced, project success, transfer of technical requirements, preference for FTF vis-
Keywords: Managing projects; Project Success; Virtual Teams
Virtuality of Hybrid Design Teams within the Construction Context: A Conceptual Model
by M. Reza Hosseini, Nicholas Chileshe, Bassam Baroudi, Jian Zuo
Abstract: Construction managers are required to harness the benefits of hybrid design teams in which interactions are increasingly both virtual and face-to-face. In this context, virtuality plays a crucial role in hybrid teams. This has made a comprehensive appreciation of the nature of virtuality very relevant within the construction context. That is because, virtuality is a key determinant within the design and best practices for adopting hybrid design teams within construction organisations. Yet, a review of literature reveals a conspicuous absence of studies on virtuality within construction. To address this, as a first enquiry targeting virtuality in the construction context, the study synthesises the existing literature and encapsulates available knowledge in a conceptual model describing virtuality for hybrid design teams within construction. It is put forth that such a conceptual model will further establish the field, and can provide fertile ground for future empirical studies on hybrid design teams in the construction context.
Keywords: Hybrid teams, virtuality, construction industry, conceptual model
Managing for Stakeholders: introducing stakeholder metrics-integrated model to lead project ethics and success
by Mahmoud Rajablu, Shabnam Hamdi, Govindan Marthandan, Wan Fadzilah
Abstract: The purpose of this research paper is to offer a comprehensive stakeholder metrics-integrated management approach that enables greater ethics and success through facilitating managing for stakeholders in project environment. The paper employs stakeholder theory and investigates the role of the key stakeholder management concepts when metrics and tools are mediated. The mediation test is performed through structural equation modelling (SEM) techniques to produce research results. The research concludes that managing for stakeholders through effective stakeholder integration can add to projects success. On the practical side, the paper provides a tool that enables greater stakeholder satisfaction, ethics and success.
Keywords: Stakeholder management, Project management, Metrics and tools, Project success, Ethics
Practitioners Preference: Which Project Planning Components Offer the Most Promise?
by Todd Creasy, Yang Fan, Nathan Johnson
Abstract: This research was designed to uncover top planning components as determined by current project management practitioners. A qualitative analysis was conducted involving 58 project managers representing diverse professional years of experience, project sizes, and industries. Various planning components were deemed to be value-adding including the top four which were (in descending order): WBS, scope planning, risk management and stakeholder management. Key findings from the content analysis produced themes which seem to support this ranking. These planning components and associated themes were: a) WBS - structure and accountability; b) scope planning - clarity and reflectiveness; c) risk management - uncertainties and insurance and d) stakeholder management - identification and influence.
Keywords: planning, stakeholders, WBS, risk management, scope
Detrimental Changes and Construction Projects: Need for Comprehensive Controls
by Rashid Maqbool, Yahya Rashid
Abstract: Changes are inevitable and put harmful effects on construction projects in the form of delay, cost overrun and productivity degradation. This study aims to explore what are the major causes of the project changes in construction Projects of Pakistan. Moreover, a set of change controls are also identified for minimizing the intensity of negative effects of project changes. Data are collected through structured questionnaires from construction industry located in Pakistan. Various statistical data analysis techniques such as reliability analysis, validity analysis, correlation, multi co-linearity, and regressions analysis are performed for data analysis and results inference. The findings show that client associated project changes are most critical hindrance in the construction projects, and their intensity is more than other change factors. Moreover the Freezing design and Clarify change order procedures are found to be the most important change control methods to minimize the severity of the project variations. The study is expected to provide significant insights to the project managers so that they can formulate the strategies to address the change and its effects in construction projects.
Keywords: Project changes; Construction projects; Change controls; Client changes; Contractor changes; Design changes
Its All Up Here: Adaptation and Improvisation within the Modern Project
by Stephen Leybourne
Abstract: This paper considers organizational improvisation, and in particular, adaptation as a specific component of improvisational work (Miner et al., 2001), and how it may assist in resolving or assisting with some of the challenges surrounding recent shifts in our understanding of project-based management. Examples focus on the use of adaptation to cope with ambiguity and uncertainty, caused by execution in problematic and turbulent organizational environments.
The literature on improvisation suggests that adapting previously successful interventions reduces and manages the risk of improvising by engaging with the adaptation component of organizational improvisation. This practice assists in ensuring that the additional risk of completely novel activity is avoided.
This paper explores adaptation within the project domain, and also unpicks the rhetoric from the reality of adaptation within projects, confirming its benefits, setting out the circumstances where experience informs the practice, and offering readily usable and applicable insights.
Keywords: improvisation; adaptation; project management; ambiguity; uncertainty
The status quo of innovations within the construction industry: a conceptual model
by M. Reza Hosseini, Nicholas Chileshe, Jian Zuo, Bassam Baroudi
Abstract: The construction industry remains in need of applicable theories on the lifecycle of innovations. Nevertheless, construction researchers have hitherto used different constructs and various variables to present the status quo of an innovation. Building on an exhaustive literature review and analyses, this paper contributes to the body of knowledge on construction theories by presenting theoretical frameworks that represent the lifecycle of innovations and identifies the influential constructs and typologies. The study also discusses the view that constructs representing the cross-sectional state of an innovation within the construction industry should be universal in scope and meet the requirements of potential future studies and decision makers. The study concludes by developing a conceptual model illustrating the primary constructs and variables that could present the status quo of an innovation within the construction context.
Keywords: innovation; adoption; status quo; construction industry; conceptual framework.
Can teams benefit from using a mindful infrastructure when defensive behaviour threatens complex innovation projects?
by Peter R.A. Oeij, Steven Dhondt, Jeff B.R. Gaspersz, Ernest M.M. de Vroome
Abstract: Projects are often doomed to fail. An explorative case study which carried out team-based complex innovation projects in a research and technology organisation suggests three main results: 1) project team leaders experienced that the complexity involved in the various aspects of team functioning, made it prone to mixed messaging; 2) one of the meetings observed indicated that defensive behaviours were prevalent; 3) the team members' self-assessment reports on team performance suggested that team outcomes improve in the presence of team psychological safety, team learning and team mindfulness. The study indicates that complex innovation projects may be negatively affected by defensive behaviours, but this behaviour can be overcome by creating a mindful infrastructure based on team psychological safety, team learning and team mindfulness.
Keywords: project complexity; defensive behaviour; mindful infrastructure; innovation; team; resilience; mindfulness; innovation resilience behaviour.
Dynamic project scheduling with reduction of activity durations
by Toshihisa Fujiwara, Hiroshi Morita, Haruhiko Suwa
Abstract: This paper deals with a generalised dynamic decision-making model in project scheduling by focusing on both of how we generate an efficient project schedule (how-to-schedule policy) and when a currently-used schedule should be modified (when-to-schedule policy). We propose a new approach to such dynamic project scheduling by using critical path method (CPM) as a how-to-schedule policy. In this approach, we consider adding resources as much as needed to shorten the processing time of some activities so that the project deadline can be met. This CPM-based schedule revision process combined with a when-to-schedule policy is referred to as CPM-based dynamic project scheduling. Through a series of computational experiments, some properties of the proposed method are clarified and the capability of CPM-based dynamic project scheduling is demonstrated.
Keywords: project management; critical path method; CPM; reactive scheduling; processing time; resource constraint.
Causes of construction change orders in Qatar: contractors' perspective
by Abdulaziz M. Jarkas, Saleh A. Mubarak
Abstract: The construction industry involves complex processes which are prone to various changes and variations. However, it may be argued that the application of change orders within construction projects in the State of Qatar has become the rule rather than the exception. Therefore, the objective of this research is to identify, explore, and rank the relative importance of the preeminent causes instigating changes to construction contracts in the state. To achieve this objective, a structured questionnaire survey comprising 35 determinants, was distributed to a statistically representative sample of contractors. Using the relative importance index technique, the critical causes related to the client, consultant, contractor and exogenous groups are identified. The findings can provide industry practitioners and policy makers with guidance to mitigate, control, or effectively manage the primary causes of variations determined, which can further assist in meliorating the performance of the construction industry in a climate on the brink of witnessing an unprecedented boom in demand for expeditious delivery and restrained cost of constructed enterprises.
Keywords: change orders; variations; construction projects; constructability; State of Qatar.