Ling, F. and Formoso, C. (2014), "Project management and asset management in emerging economies", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 4 No. 4. https://doi.org/10.1108/BEPAM-07-2014-0031Download as .RIS
Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Project management and asset management in emerging economies
Article Type: Guest editorial From: Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Volume 4, Issue 4
While much has been published on project management (PM) and asset management (AM) in matured economies, the literature on emerging economies is sparse. Emerging economies can be defined as those countries that have fast-growing, diverse and dynamic economies, and are newly industrialised with a growing population and fast-rising aspirations. These include, but are not limited to, the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and CIVETS countries (Colombia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Egypt, Turkey and South Africa).
2. Key PM and AM issues in emerging economies
As emerging economies undergo high rates of growth, the built environment needs to be expanded and improved in tandem so as to help accelerate the country's economic growth and national development. In this context, it is important not only to deliver projects effectively, but also to optimize the life-cycle costs of the built assets. Those investments also play a key role in improving the quality of living of the population, since most emerging economies have a wide range of social challenges, such as an unskilled labor force, poor distribution of wealth and inadequate housing conditions. This calls for strong, and ideally integrated, PM and AM capabilities. It is important to manage the existing infrastructure and any newly developed assets wisely, so that the country has improved capabilities for producing goods and services.
3. Overview of this issue
This call for papers for this special issue netted 21 papers from Africa (Ghana, Nigeria, South Africa and Uganda), Asia (China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Vietnam) and South America (Brazil). After subjecting these papers to rigorous double blind reviews, six papers have been selected for publication in the special issue. These are research studies carried out in nine different countries: India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Vietnam, Brazil, Ghana, Sri Lanka and Malaysia. Several key issues have been discussed in those papers, such as construction industry development, public-private partnerships (PPP), value management, trade credit supply, health and safety in maintenance operations, and performance of facility management systems.
4. Developing construction industry in emerging economies
Sawhney, Agnihotri and Paul proposed a list of the main challenges currently faced by the Indian construction industry. The Delphi technique was applied to a panel of experts from various industry stakeholders. An important contribution of this paper is the use of the grand challenges approach, widely adopted in the health care, for setting an agenda to enhance the operational efficiency of the construction industry. The main challenges are the need to: streamline land acquisition and land procurement procedures and project approvals and statutory sanctions; strengthen accountability, transparency and governance in public sector projects; and standardize, update and modernize building byelaws and codes.
5. Achieving value for money in emerging economies
Atmo and Duffield analyzed the performance of energy projects that have adopted PPP in four Asian countries: China, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam. The study devised a value for money framework for assessment of PPP power project proposals in Asian emerging economies in order to improve the sustainability of private investments in PPP power projects. Based on a critical review of international practices, a set of key determining factors that led to the different project outcomes was identified. These include project structure, financial and commercial arrangements, and technical solutions.
Ruiz, Granja and Kowaltowski discussed the challenges in Brazil's social housing projects of achieving design and construction quality under severe cost constraints. The study suggested that value generation can be substantially improved by reallocating costs to better meet the attributes most valued by end-users, without increasing initial project costs. An important contribution is the combined use of subjective parameters, based on the desired values of end-users, and technical and functional analysis.
Owusu-Manu, Holt, Edwards and Badu investigated the key factors underpinning construction suppliers’ decisions to provide trade credit to Ghanaian construction firms. Based on a survey with Ghanaian construction suppliers, the key factors regarding the decision to provide trade credit were identified as characteristics of contractors (financial profile, experience, age, cash flow and corporate image); profit margins of the parties; asset portfolio and project particulars; and trade credit quantum and repayment terms.
6. Managing assets in emerging economies
Wijeratne, Perera and De Silva identified the health and safety risks in maintenance work, and evaluated risk assessment methods that have been adopted in Sri Lanka. This study concluded that the most typical risks associated with maintenance work are cuts, slips and falls. The most severe or fatal injuries come about because workers disregard the standard operating procedures and fail to use personal protective equipment. Those drawbacks can potentially be minimized by education, systematic training, and enforcing rules, regulations and procedures for controlling risks.
Ismail proposed improvements to building maintenance management of polytechnics in Malaysia. The main problems related to existing maintenance management methods are poor service delivery, inadequate finance, poor maintenance planning and maintenance backlogs. The study proposed a conceptual process model that provides a better maintenance assessment of symptoms, causes and reasons for building defects, without depending on expensive procedures, such as, for instance, non-destructive testing and sensor technology.
This set of papers provides evidence that some very relevant issues concerning PM and AM are being investigated in research institutions from emerging economies. While the studies are country specific, some findings may be generalized carefully to other emerging economies.
Besides the issues researched and reported in this special issue, there are other urgent and dynamic challenges that emerging economies face, which need to be studied. It is recommended that future studies be conducted in emerging economies on the following: providing the poor with affordable built products (buildings and infrastructure) in the face of large income inequality; balancing economic, social and environmental sustainability issues in developing and maintaining built products; and reducing corruption and increasing transparency in built environment project and AM.
Dr Florence Yean Yng Ling
Department of Building, School of Design and Environment, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Dr Carlos Torres Formoso
Department of Civil Engineering, School of Engineering, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, Brazil