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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2012

Tina Karrbom Gustavsson and Hayar Gohary

Traditional construction project practice has been based on rigid and impermeable boundaries that have made communication, cooperation and integration a major challenge…

Abstract

Purpose

Traditional construction project practice has been based on rigid and impermeable boundaries that have made communication, cooperation and integration a major challenge. However, new collaborative approaches have been developed. This paper aims at adding to knowledge on projects‐as‐practice by interpreting findings from a case study on a contemporary collaborative construction project. The purpose of this paper is to provide knowledge about organizational development in the project‐based construction industry by identifying boundary actions in contemporary collaborative construction practices.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on an exploratory longitudinal case study approach covering both early design phase and the following production phase, including interviews, participant observation at formal meetings and informal gatherings and internal and external documents. Thus, the methodology used is triangulation and the analysis has followed an interpretative process.

Findings

The paper provides empirical insights into three examples of boundary actions of a collaborative construction project: stakeholder boundary action, professional boundary action and geographical boundary action. From a project‐as‐practice perspective, these boundary actions turn out to be interesting renewal initiatives, providing increased understanding of where and how renewal can take place.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are based on a single case study and more research on this area is needed. However, the paper shows examples of boundary actions in a contemporary project and thus adds to the knowledge on contemporary projects‐as‐practice.

Practical implications

The paper provides implications for construction project managers on examples of renewal arenas.

Originality/value

The paper is exploratory and the findings are important for much needed development and renewal of the construction industry.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 12 May 2020

Laura Saukko, Kirsi Aaltonen and Harri Haapasalo

The purpose of this paper is to achieve an understanding of the challenges and preconditions for inter-organizational collaborative project practices in industrial…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to achieve an understanding of the challenges and preconditions for inter-organizational collaborative project practices in industrial engineering projects. A framework for identifying the challenges and preconditions for inter-organizational collaboration is presented.

Design/methodology/approach

The adopted research method is qualitative, and empirical data were collected from the industrial engineering project sector in Finland. The literature related to industrial engineering projects and inter-organizational collaborative project management practices is summarized, informing the qualitative design of the study.

Findings

By analyzing empirical data from industrial engineering projects, the challenges for inter-organizational collaboration are identified in each industrial engineering project stage. A framework of preconditions for inter-organizational collaboration is identified, in which investors are advised to pay attention when deciding on the use of collaborative project management methods.

Practical implications

The findings of this study help practitioners deal effectively with mechanisms aimed at fostering and hindering inter-organizational collaborative practices. The identified preconditions for inter-organizational collaboration provide support for decision-making in every phase of an engineering project and can be used as guidelines throughout the process.

Originality/value

Inter-organizational collaborative project management practices have recently been attracting attention in the industrial engineering project setting. This research is an attempt to identify the underlying forces supporting and preventing inter-organizational collaboration in industrial engineering projects. This study offers a framework that can help academics and project management practitioners deal with the challenges affecting inter-organizational collaboration at each project stage and consider preconditions for inter-organizational collaboration in industrial engineering project settings.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2018

Mehmet Chakkol, Kostas Selviaridis and Max Finne

Inter-organisational collaboration is becoming increasingly important in complex projects; some project customers even formally require evidence of collaborative

Abstract

Purpose

Inter-organisational collaboration is becoming increasingly important in complex projects; some project customers even formally require evidence of collaborative competence from potential providers. The purpose of this paper is to explore the governance of collaboration and the ways in which it is enacted in practice for complex projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on a qualitative analysis of 29 semi-structured interviews, primary data from meetings and events supported by secondary data, including standards and industry-specific contract templates.

Findings

The paper identifies how collaboration can be effectively governed in complex projects through the emerging role of the collaboration standard and its impact on contractual and relational governance mechanisms. The standard sets higher-level institutional guidelines that affect the way in which collaboration is governed in complex projects. It helps formalise informal relational practices whilst also providing guidelines for building flexibility in contracts by including coordination- and adaptation-oriented provisions conducive to collaboration.

Originality/value

The paper demonstrates the emerging role of the collaboration standard and its influence on contractual and relational mechanisms deployed in complex projects. It shows how the standard can formalise and codify informal collaborative practices and help transfer related learning across projects, thereby contributing towards the dual requirement for standardisation and flexibility in project settings.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 38 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 November 2020

Shankar Sankaran, Ralf Müller and Nathalie Drouin

The purpose of this article is to investigate collaboration in project management research. Although the literature shows an increase in collaboration between scientists…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this article is to investigate collaboration in project management research. Although the literature shows an increase in collaboration between scientists and social scientists for various reasons, it is unclear how and why such collaboration takes place in project management research. The literature does show that co-authorship of articles published in project management journals is on the rise due to increased collaboration between researchers in developed countries and emerging economies as well as developing countries. However, no detailed study has been conducted to investigate how such collaboration occurs in practice in project management research. This article addresses this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

We use a multi-method approach (action research as a meta-methodology and surveys) using qualitative data to reflect on a successful collaborative externally funded research project. At the end of the study, a survey was used to investigate how collaboration occurred among the 26 researchers involved, who were spread over nine countries to collect data on a sponsored research project led by the authors who were the principal investigators. We also compare our findings from the original project with findings from a second survey of a purposeful sample of ten project management researchers who have conducted or are conducting collaborative research in order to validate our findings.

Findings

Through this study, we were able to compare the reasons for increased collaboration in scientific research reported in the literature with what we learnt from our own experience in collaborating on a large-scale project across geographical boundaries and cultures around the world. We were also able to get some insights on enablers and barriers to collaboration from peers who have collaborated on project management research from the second survey. We found that, although some of the reasons explained in the literature were confirmed in our study (e.g. the reputation of lead researchers), some other reasons (e.g. the prestige of institutions) were not that important. The conclusions section of this article provides a more detailed comparison. We also found that using a project management approach would deliver better outcomes. The literature on scientific collaboration was divided on the value of a project management approach and preferred a combination of firmness and flexibility. We found that using action research as a meta-methodology to reflect on our research gave us further insights into why we did what we did at certain critical points in our research that moved us forward.

Research limitations/implications

Our study used two surveys with a limited number of researchers to compare what was found in the literature on reasons for collaboration in scientific research and how research outcomes were measured using citation rates. Conducting interviews or focused groups could have provided more nuanced findings. However, our findings did show that collaboration is beneficial to both experienced and early career researchers and helps them to publish in higher-ranked journals resulting in better visibility for the research. This is an interesting observation and merits further investigation. Theoretical implications: Findings from this research contribute to the broad literature on collaborative research in science and social science with a focus on practice-based fields such as project management where collaboration between academics and practitioners is becoming important.

Practical implications

The study provides some insights into the reasons for processes used and benefits from collaboration in project management research. Our findings have also been validated with our peers. Thus, this study will be useful for setting up and managing collaborative research in project management.

Social implications

Effective collaboration in research can provide social value through mentoring of early career researchers.

Originality/value

This is the first detailed study of collaborative research in project management. It also proposes an action research model that can be used to retrospectively analyse long-term research projects to reflect upon and improve.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2012

Will Venters and Avgousta Kyriakidou‐Zacharoudiou

This paper seeks to consider the collaborative efforts of developing a grid computing infrastructure within problem‐focused, distributed and multi‐disciplinary projects

Abstract

Purpose

This paper seeks to consider the collaborative efforts of developing a grid computing infrastructure within problem‐focused, distributed and multi‐disciplinary projects – which the authors term interventionist grid development projects – involving commercial, academic and public collaborators. Such projects present distinctive challenges which have been neglected by existing escience research and information systems (IS) literature. The paper aims to define a research framework for understanding and evaluating the social, political and collaborative challenges of such projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper develops a research framework which extends Orlikowski and Gash's concept of technological frames to consider two additional frames specific to such grid projects; bureaucratic frames and collaborator frames. These are used to analyse a case study of a grid development project within Healthcare which aimed to deploy a European data‐grid of medical images to facilitate collaboration and communication between clinicians across the European Union.

Findings

That grids are shaped to a significant degree by the collaborative practices involved in their construction, and that for projects involving commercial and public partners such collaboration is inhibited by the differing interpretive frames adopted by the different relevant groups.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is limited by the nature of the grid development project studied, and the subsequent availability of research subjects.

Practical implications

The paper provides those involved in such projects, or in policy around such grid developments, with a practical framework by which to evaluate collaborations and their impact on the emergent grid. Further, the paper presents lessons for future such Interventionist grid projects.

Originality/value

This is a new area for research but one which is becoming increasingly important as data‐intensive computing begins to emerge as foundational to many collaborative sciences and enterprises. The work builds on significant literature in escience and IS drawing into this new domain. The research framework developed here, drawn from the IS literature, begins a new stream of systems development research with a distinct focus on bureaucracy, collaboration and technology within such interventionist grid development projects.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Enoch Sackey and Julius Akotia

The purpose of this paper is to study the interdependent boundary-spanning activities that characterise the level of permeability of knowledge, information flow and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the interdependent boundary-spanning activities that characterise the level of permeability of knowledge, information flow and learning among construction supply chains involved in the delivery of building information modelling (BIM)-compliant construction projects. Construction projects are mobilised through a number of interdependent processes and multi-functional activities by different practitioners with myriad specialised skills. Many of the difficulties that manifest in construction projects can be attributed to the fragmented work activities and inter-disciplinary nature of project teams. This is nevertheless becoming ever more pertinent with the rise of technology deployment in construction organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study combined experts’ sampling interviews and a case study research method to help offer better insights into the kind of emerging multilevel boundary practices as influenced by the rapidly evolving construction technological solutions. The experts’ sampling helped inform better understanding by unravelling the key changes in contemporary boundary configurations and related boundary-spanning practices within technology-mediated construction project settings. The case study also helped to establish the manifestation of best practices for managing multilevel boundaries in BIM-enabled construction project organisations.

Findings

The study has revealed that different generic organisational BIM strategies as developed in specialised boundaries are reconfigured as appropriate at the project level to produce project-specific BIM execution plan (BXP). The outcome of project BXP is dependent on the project organisational teams that cooperate in creating new solutions and on conceding space for negotiations and compromises which conflicting interests at the project level can find to be both desirable and feasible. The implementation effort is therefore contingent on mutual translation in which different actors with different insights instigate their practice through negotiation and persuasion which eventually are reinforced by contractual agreements and obligations.

Originality/value

The paper has presented a novel and well-timed empirical insight into BIM-enabled project delivery and best practices that span multilevel boundaries of construction organisations.

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Book part
Publication date: 20 November 2015

Antonella Nuzzaci

The contribution explores the methodology, strategies and activities of inter-institutional partnership among university, school, territory initiated by the Degree Courses…

Abstract

The contribution explores the methodology, strategies and activities of inter-institutional partnership among university, school, territory initiated by the Degree Courses in Primary Education Sciences of the University of L’Aquila. It illustrates the experiences of an active partnership undertaken at the five-year, single-cycle Degree Course after the reform introduced in Italy by the law 249 of September 2010 aimed at encouraging local development in a national and international perspective (Bologna Process, 1999). These activities focus on the need to strengthen the cultural and professional profile of future teachers through curricular and extracurricular activities involving the use of cultural heritage goods, tangible and intangible, of the territory. The aim is to renew methodological approaches to ‘science teaching’ through the use of appropriate technologies that make it possible to realize the process of teaching-learning adequate to provide the multi-lettered of the XXI Century with sets of skills and knowledge more and more updated. The contribution focuses, in particular, on the project titled ‘Museum in … click! – Cognitive processes and new technologies applied to archaeological heritage in museums for cultural fruition qualitatively appreciable’. This project involved University, Superintendence of Archaeological Heritage (SAH) of Abruzzo and local schools in a partnership where teachers and students from schools of the territory were busy in direct training to build educational proposals and multimedia products for their peers to improve the quality of use of cultural goods involved. The project, funded by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism – Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo (MIBACT), provides a good example of practices within a partnership model that feeds a teaching system where the different skills of the stakeholders interact inside a common cultural area pursuing the same goals.

Details

University Partnerships for Community and School System Development
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-132-3

Content available
Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2019

Anne Klitgaard and Stefan Christoffer Gottlieb

The study aims to investigate the concept of strategy-as-practice in construction management literature has been investigated. The focus is on the link between…

Abstract

Purpose

The study aims to investigate the concept of strategy-as-practice in construction management literature has been investigated. The focus is on the link between strategizing practices and project management.

Design/Methodology/Approach

An exploratory literature review is carried out based on fifteen journal articles on strategizing practices in the construction industry.

Findings

The analysis shows how strategy-as-practice questions and contradicts project management practices as depicted in the dominant deterministic perspective. Strategy-as-practice has a focus on reacting and adapting to a chaotic and changing environment, while project management is concerned with creating and maintaining a stable working environment. The findings point to the necessity of considering the organizational and institutional context of project management practices, and hence the values the strategy-as-practice lens, when considering new avenues for improving the industry.

Research Limitations/Implications

As the study is based on an exploratory literature review of only 15 articles, generalizations should be made with caution. The identified literature is restricted by search words and choice of database.

Practical Implications

The differences between strategizing and project management practices are very clear, and a focus on both may offer insights into how the construction industry could improve its productivity by developing more robust management practices.

Originality/Value

The paper illustrates the benefit of applying a strategizing perspective, which hitherto has been under-investigated in construction management research.

Details

10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-051-1

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2021

Huosong Xia, Jingwen Li, Juan Weng, Zuopeng (Justin) Zhang and Yangmei Gao

Existing research on collaborative innovation mechanisms from the perspective of global operation is very limited. This paper aims to address the research gap by studying…

Abstract

Purpose

Existing research on collaborative innovation mechanisms from the perspective of global operation is very limited. This paper aims to address the research gap by studying the factors influencing globally distributed teams’ innovation performance, especially how effective knowledge sharing between distributed teams promotes collaborative team innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

This research proposes a model to investigate how collaborative knowledge sharing affects global operations [team dispersion, task orientation, information and communication technology (ICT) usage] and innovation performance based on the data collected from 167 managers in 40 local Chinese IT and offshoring firms. Using the theory of Cognitive Diversity and Innovation Diffusion and Synergy, separate hierarchical regression analysis was used to test the proposed model.

Findings

The findings of this study demonstrate that effective collaborative knowledge sharing plays a crucial role in enhancing innovation performance in a global operation. Specifically, innovation capacity can be improved by task orientation, ICT usage and team dispersion.

Originality/value

This research study contributes to the development of global distributed operations and innovation among distributed teams in multinational corporations.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2018

Jesper Falkheimer and Katarina Gentzel Sandberg

The purpose of this paper is to describe strategic improvisation, a contemporary concept and approach based on the creative arts and organizational crisis theory, as a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe strategic improvisation, a contemporary concept and approach based on the creative arts and organizational crisis theory, as a valuable approach for communication professionals. Strategic improvisation combines the need for planning and structure with creative action, and is a normative idea of how to work in an efficient way.

Design/methodology/approach

The concept is developed in a collaborative project between a major Swedish communications agency and a university scholar. The empirical foundation consists of 25 qualitative interviews with a strategic selection of successful communication professionals, identified as typical strategic improvisers.

Findings

An analysis of the interviews led to 11 defining patterns or themes typical for strategic improvisation and strategic improvisers. The interviews and the theoretical framework is the foundation of a communication model. Strategic improvisation is defined as a situational interpretation within a given framework. The model has three interconnected parts: a clear framework (composition), a professional interpretation (interpretation) and a situational adaptation based on given possibilities and conditions (improvisation).

Research limitations/implications

This is not a peer reviewed paper, but a paper in the section “In Practice,” directed toward communication professionals.

Originality/value

The ideas and model are connected to theories of improvisation, especially in music, which is rare in the field of communication management, and developed in a collaborative project between practice and research.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

Keywords

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