This research aims to investigate the impacts of project culture on the performance of construction projects. Cultural issues in the construction industry have attracted growing attention from both practitioners and academia. However, there are few studies on culture issues at the project level. The influence of project culture has not traditionally been on the research radar.
A case study approach, utilising questionnaire surveys, in-depth interviews and review of project documents, was used to investigate project culture and its associated impacts in two major hospital projects.
The results indicated that project culture played an important role in achieving harmonious relationships between project participants and better project outcomes in terms of schedule, functionality, satisfaction with the process, satisfaction with the relationships, environmental issues addressed commercial success, further business opportunities and overall performance. Case 1 outperformed Case 2 in these performance indicators. Similarly, it became clear that the project’s culture should be developed from the outset and sustained during the project period. Furthermore, it was also highlighted that the project culture should be translated to all levels of the supply chain, i.e. sub-contractors and suppliers.
The findings enabled the client to understand the role of project culture and actively commit towards the development and maintenance of the project culture from very early on. It also helps project teams to understand how to deal with cultural issues at the project level.
This study is one of limited empirical studies that offer in-depth insights of how project culture affects the performance of construction projects. It is also the first study of hospital projects on the research topic.
The authors would like to express sincere appreciation to all the participants in this case study. Particular thanks to the reviewers for their constructive comments for the improvement of this paper.
Zuo, J., Zillante, G., Zhao, Z.-Y. and Xia, B. (2014), "Does project culture matter? A comparative study of two major hospital projects", Facilities, Vol. 32 No. 13/14, pp. 801-824. https://doi.org/10.1108/F-02-2013-0014Download as .RIS
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