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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2018

Edward Godfrey Ochieng, Oghenemarho Omaruaye Ovbagbedia, Tarila Zuofa, Raymond Abdulai, Wilfred Matipa, Ximing Ruan and Akunna Oledinma

The purpose of this paper is to examine the efficacy of knowledge management (KM) based systems and best practices that could be used to address operational issues in the…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the efficacy of knowledge management (KM) based systems and best practices that could be used to address operational issues in the oil and gas sector.

Design/methodology/approach

Given little was known empirically about the strategies and practices which contribute to improved performance, innovation and continuous improvement in the oil and gas sector qualitative method was used. Semi-structured interviews were used to derive senior managers’ constructs of project delivery efficiency and KM based systems. The interviews were analysed through the use of a qualitative analysis software package NUDIST NVivoTM. Participants were selected using purposive sampling. Validity and reliability were achieved by first assessing the plausibility in terms of already existing knowledge on some of the operational issues raised by participants.

Findings

These were synthesised into a framework capturing seven well-defined stages. All these steps emerged as being related; they are comprised of independent variables. These steps were found to comprise of knowledge management technology approaches, knowledge management people approaches, KM strategies and value enhancing practices.

Research limitations/implications

Although the findings are pertinent to oil and gas organisations, it will be important to conduct follow-up research validating the potential for using the results of this study to establish frameworks for knowledge and information management in different organisations and contexts. This will provide not only data about the validity of the framework in generic terms but will also generate additional data on the application of KM strategy.

Practical implications

As shown in this study, successful KM based systems requires the aligning of business strategy, technology for KM, project management operations with an enterprise knowledge-sharing culture. Such sharing requires managing the behaviour of project personnel such that knowledge transfer becomes part of the organisation’s norm.

Social implications

The implementation of KM based systems requires deliberate planning and action to create the conditions for success and put in place the strategy, leadership, goals, process, skills, systems, issue resolution, and structure to direct and exploit the dynamic nature of project work. The strategies proposed in this research cannot be expected to resolve all KM issues in the oil and gas sector. However, their use defines an approach that is superior to the traditional approaches typically adopted and consequently merits far wider application.

Originality/value

The proposed framework presents a better way of optimising the performance of project-based operations thus enabling oil and gas organisations to reform their poor performance on projects and empower them to better manage emerging cultural challenges in their future projects. Reflecting on their experiences, the participants confirmed that the proposed KM framework and its seven well-defined stages were central to the effectiveness of KM in oil and gas operations. Although the scope of this research was restricted to projects in Nigeria and the UK, the geographical focus of this research does not invalidate these results with respect to other countries. The fact is that the oil and gas sector globally shares some common fundamental characteristics.

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Wenche Aarseth, Asbjørn Rolstadås and Bjorn Andersen

The purpose of this paper is to complement the research that has been done in global projects so far and has two objectives: to study organizational challenges in global…

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5675

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to complement the research that has been done in global projects so far and has two objectives: to study organizational challenges in global projects, compared with those of traditional projects; and to define and analyze the main organizational challenges the project team members and project managers meet when assigned to global projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a survey sent to 550 project managers and people working in a global environment, data from 246 respondents, and 30 interviews with senior project team members.

Findings

The results show that the main organizational challenges are managing the external stakeholders in the global project; the local government in the country, local content demand, local authorities, local industry, and lack of support from the base organization and management. One of the conclusions is that companies need a relationship management approach to managing these challenges in global projects.

Originality/value

Organizational challenges are an underestimated area in projects and when it comes to an in-depth understanding of organizational challenges in global projects only a very few studies have been published compared with other project management issues. This article contributes to existing research by presenting the organizational challenges in global projects and how they differ from traditional projects.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 5 November 2018

Caroline Ruiller, Beatrice Van Der Heijden, Frédérique Chedotel and Marc Dumas

As a way to enable employees to work distantly, teleworking has gained a growing interest in companies. At the same time, management challenges regarding the teleworkers…

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3022

Abstract

Purpose

As a way to enable employees to work distantly, teleworking has gained a growing interest in companies. At the same time, management challenges regarding the teleworkers’ risk of isolation, coupled with the need to maintain cohesion for the dispersed team, to give an example, are various. How can management practices help to maintain adequate levels of perceived proximity for a dispersed team’s members? The purpose of this paper is to answer this question. Referring to a particular person’s perception of how close or how far another person is, the concept of perceived proximity is mobilized. This Telecom case study is based on 22 interviews with human resources directors, managers and teleworkers. While the results of this study appear to corroborate empirically the theoretical model as proposed by O’Leary et al. (2014), they also propose nuances, highlighting the importance of the interpersonal relationship to expand the perceived proximity and stressing the need for both distant and face-to-face exchanges. They also help to understand which management practices can influence perceived proximity. In particular, they help to understand the role of communication and collective identity and support the importance of the e-leader. Finally, the results highlight two remote management modes that will be discussed elaborately.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a single in-depth case study of Telecom as a unique case study; it is useful to analyze new and complex phenomena for which theoretical development is emerging and the consideration of the context is essential (Yin, 2013). In total, 22 interviews were conducted with the human resources directors, managers and teleworkers. Lasting between 40 and 130 min each, the interviews were all fully transcribed and analyzed using an iterative thematic content analysis. The authors first manually analyzed the data on the basis of the social regulation theory to interpret the local and the combined regulation (that is say to how the managers and the teleworkers co-build the rules to work being distant) the telework implied between managers, teleworkers and their co-workers (Authors, 2018). Two emerging codes led the authors to reinterpret the data, compared to the initial interpretative framework. The authors thus transformed the coding and recoded the 22 interviews (Bacharach et al., 2000, p. 713; cited by Gibbert et al. 2010, p. 58) around the objective/subjective working time and information and communication technology (ICT) use and the perceived proximity: shared identity and perceived proximity, and communication and perceived proximity.

Findings

First, the level of ICT use and the accompanying objective and subjective perceptions with regard to working time are reported and positive perceptions for the employees are determined because of the timing flexibility the ICT determines. Second, the ICT use is presented in relation to the managerial and collegial proximity perceived. Third, the authors discuss the shared identity processes that influence the proximity perceived, followed by the characteristics of the communication process, being the fourth one. As such, the results lead to a valuable input that enables to critically reflect on the e-leader roles, resulting in two emerging management modes seen as a continuum in terms of shared identity: the “e-communicational” mode signals the re-foundation of management in situations of distance based on the personality of the e-leader that influences the team members in terms of communicational and organizational behaviors; and the control management mode that is based upon objectives in a situation of being distant, illustrated by managers who regulate the work made by the distant team in monitoring the objectives without sharing the experience of telework.

Research limitations/implications

The results corroborate empirically with the theoretical model by Boyer O’Leary et al. (2014), while putting into perspective the complexity to manage the inter-subjectivity that is related to distance. More specifically, the results show that even if the ICT use leads to a new balance regarding time management for teleworkers – increasing their quality of life perceptions, with a better organizational flexibility – that is to say, a “win-win” configuration, the ultimate success of such a configuration depends on sound management practices. In this sense, the authors propose to enrich their model (Figure 3, p. 33). More extensive research will test two new moderating variables. At first, the results put in evidence the core role of e-management (e-communicational vs control), with a potential moderator effect on the relationship between objective distance and shared identification, on the one hand, and communication, on the other hand. Another result is the potential moderator effect of the ICT use on the relationship between perceived proximity and relationship quality. The nuances proposed support some recent studies arguing that distant communication (versus face-to-face) may inhibit geographically distributed team performance without consideration of the way the teams use ICT to ensure their cohesion and performance (Malhotra and Majchrzak, 2014).

Practical implications

These conclusions result into important management recommendations to support dispersed teams with how to cope with challenges such as the risk of delayed communication, possible misinterpretations, limited information richness and great conflicts (Zuofa and Ochieng, 2017).

Originality/value

Compared to the unique empirical application of the Boyer O’Leary et al.’s framework (2014), who found no differences existing in terms of proximity perceived with the study of 341 “geographically present” dyads with 341 “geographically distant,” this study’s results show that the construction of the feeling of proximity depends on a fragile balance between virtual and face-to-face exchanges. The authors also highlight the role of an e-leader in this regard and identify and compare two modes of remote management.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2021

Sulafa Badi, Hanxiao Ji and Edward G. Ochieng

This study aims to examine how embeddedness influences consultants' information seeking when making decisions within a social network of relationships, and how these…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how embeddedness influences consultants' information seeking when making decisions within a social network of relationships, and how these social networks evolve throughout the project delivery stages. The study is grounded in social network theory and examines embeddedness from three perspectives: structural (network cohesion), relational (tie strength in terms of friendship and knowledge awareness) and actor prominence.

Design/methodology/approach

A social network analysis (SNA) questionnaire was administered to a team of consultants working on a management consultancy project in Shanghai, China. The SNA measures of density, degree centrality and betweenness centrality were used to analyse relationship patterns among project team members, permitting comparison between the networks. Networks were also compared across the three project delivery stages of collect, consider and create.

Findings

Structural embeddedness was observed in the active information seeking behaviour among consultancy team members. The moderate network density of the self-organising information seeking networks across the project delivery stages ensures that the team remains connected but avoids information redundancy and overload. Relational embeddedness was evident through the multiplexity of ties among team members with overlapping friendship and information seeking relationships. The knowledge awareness network's sparseness indicates a team of autonomous knowledge workers with distributed expertise. Project managers were the most prominent actors across the three project delivery stages, underlining these actors' relational leadership role.

Practical implications

The study provides a deeper understanding of collaborative decision-making behaviours in dynamic-project environments. Limited attempts have been made to visualise and analyse the relationships involved in small consulting teams. The novelty of the network approach adopted stems from its ability to offer a structural view of the relationship among consultants, thus offering a distinctive and arguably more complete picture of consultancy team dynamics.

Originality/value

The study validates the social network theory of embeddedness in a real-world collaborative decision-making setting and provides a deeper understanding of information seeking behaviours for decision-making in dynamic-project environments. From a project management process viewpoint, the evolving nature of the information seeking network as it changes across the project stages with associated actors' roles was also visualised graphically, offering a distinctive and arguably more complete picture of consultancy team dynamics.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 August 2017

Tarila Zuofa and Edward G. Ochieng

This paper aims to extend the extant knowledge on virtual teams by examining the challenges of virtual project teams in organisations in Nigeria.

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5513

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to extend the extant knowledge on virtual teams by examining the challenges of virtual project teams in organisations in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through semi-structured interviews. Totally, 20 interviews were recorded, transcribed and analysed. Validity and reliability were achieved by first assessing the plausibility in terms of already existing knowledge on some of the virtual project team issues identified by participants.

Findings

The findings from this study confirmed the growing relevance of virtual project teams in highly competitive global business environments. It emerged that some of the challenges identified in the study had some level of congruence with those previously identified from similar studies from other geographical locations. The findings also suggested that challenges in virtual project teams can be linked to the organisation, the project team and the virtual environment or even a combination of all.

Practical implications

The present study corroborates the position that managing virtual project teams requires additional efforts to attain their objectives through effective communications and the adoption of appropriate technology.

Originality/value

The originality of this study lies in its exploration of virtual project team challenges in a sub-Saharan Africa country (Nigeria). By identifying the challenges associated with virtual project teams, stakeholders will be better able to successfully establish and manage virtual project teams better.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 April 2013

E.G. Ochieng, A.D.F. Price, X. Ruan, C.O. Egbu and D. Moore

The purpose of this paper is to examine challenges faced by senior construction managers in managing cross‐cultural complexity and uncertainty. The rationale was to…

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3334

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine challenges faced by senior construction managers in managing cross‐cultural complexity and uncertainty. The rationale was to identify the key strategies that are considered essential for managing cross‐cultural complexity and uncertainty.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews with 20 senior construction managers, ten in Kenya and ten in the UK, were recorded, transcribed and entered into the qualitative research software NVivo. Validity and reliability were achieved by first assessing the plausibility in terms of already existing knowledge on some of the cultural issues raised by participants. The findings were presented to the participants through workshops and group discussions.

Findings

The emerging key issues suggested that project leaders need to learn how to control their own characteristics and to use them selectively. An effective multicultural construction project team should focus on team output and attributes that characterise a multicultural team as a social entity.

Practical implications

Findings indicate that the role of construction project managers has significantly changed over the past two decades. In order to deal with cross‐cultural uncertainty, project leaders must have superior multicultural and interpersonal skills when managing global multicultural heavy engineering projects.

Originality/value

The research shows that leaders of global construction project teams need a good understanding of their culture, environment and the value of their individual contributions.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 20 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Edward G. Ochieng, Andrew D.F. Price, Charles O. Egbu, Ximing Ruan and Tarila Zuofa

The purpose of this paper was to examine UK shale gas viability. The recent commitment to shale gas exploration in the UK through fracking has given rise to…

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1182

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper was to examine UK shale gas viability. The recent commitment to shale gas exploration in the UK through fracking has given rise to well-publicised economic benefits and environmental concerns. There is potential for shale gas exploration in different parts of the UK over the next couple of decades. As argued in this study, if it does, it would transform the energy market and provide long-term energy security at affordable cost.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews with senior practitioners and local communities were recorded, transcribed and entered into qualitative research software Nvivo. Validity and reliability were achieved by first assessing the plausibility in terms of already existing knowledge on some of the economic and environmental issues raised by participants.

Findings

Findings from this study suggest that environmental, health and safety risks can be managed effectively provided operational best practices are implemented and monitored by the Health and Safety Executive; Department of Energy, Climate Change; and the Mineral Planning Authorities. Participants further suggested that the integration of shale gas technology will protect consumers against rising energy prices and ensure that government does not get exposed to long-term geopolitical risks.

Practical implications

The present study corroborates the position that environmental, health and safety risks can be managed effectively provided operational best practices are implemented and monitored by the Health and Safety Executive; Department of Energy, Climate Change; and the Mineral Planning Authorities.

Social implications

The present study confirms that the government is committed to ensuring that the nation maximises the opportunity that cost-effective shale gas technology presents, not just investment, cheap energy bills and jobs but providing an energy mix that will underpin the UK long-term economic prosperity.

Originality/value

The present study corroborates the position that environmental, health and safety risks can be managed effectively provided operational best practices are implemented and monitored by the Health and Safety Executive; Department of Energy, Climate Change; and the Mineral Planning Authorities. As shown in this study, the UK has a very strong regulatory regime compared to USA; therefore, environmental, health and safety risks will be very well managed and unlikely to escalate into the crisis being envisioned.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 20 February 2017

Raymond Talinbe Abdulai and Edward Ochieng

The assertion that land registration guarantees landownership security is common knowledge. Thus, efforts at securing landownership in particularly, the developing world…

Abstract

Purpose

The assertion that land registration guarantees landownership security is common knowledge. Thus, efforts at securing landownership in particularly, the developing world have concentrated on the formulation and implementation of land registration policies. However, over the years, whilst some studies claim that land registration assures security, a lot of other studies have established that security cannot be guaranteed by land registration. Also, there is evidence from research that has shown that land registration can be a source of ownership insecurity in some cases. The purpose of this paper is to critically analyse the underpinning principles of land registration and their application in order to establish whether or not land registration can actually guarantee ownership security.

Design/methodology/approach

It is a literature review paper that looks at the existing literature on landownership, security and land registration systems. The land registration principles that have been subjected to critical analysis are the publicity function of land registration, the legality of ownership emanating from land registration and the warranty provided by the State in land registration, specifically, under the Torrens system.

Findings

An analysis of the underpinning principles of land registration shows that land registration per se cannot guarantee ownership security and this helps to explain the findings of the numerous studies, which have established that landownership security cannot be assured by land registration. The paper concludes by identifying the right role of land registration as well as a mechanism that can effectively protect or secure landownership.

Practical implications

Land registration policies and programmes in the developing world are often funded by the international donor community and the findings provide useful insights regarding the actual role of land registration and for policy change in terms of what can secure landownership.

Originality/value

Even though there are two schools of thought regarding research on the link between land registration on one hand, and landownership security on the other, none of the studies has made an attempt to consider the nexus by critically examining the principles that underpin land registration to support their arguments.

Details

Property Management, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-7472

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Khulod Elsahati, Edward Godfrey Ochieng, Tarila Zuofa, Ximing Ruan and Bekithemba Mpofu

In recent times, electricity as one of the most important energy sources has witnessed considerable decreases in consumption figures. These cutbacks have been mainly due…

Abstract

Purpose

In recent times, electricity as one of the most important energy sources has witnessed considerable decreases in consumption figures. These cutbacks have been mainly due to the growing increasing living standards, minimal governance and political fracture. Thus, this paper aims to appraise the supply of electricity side in an attempt to propose a sustainable electricity framework.

Design/methodology/approach

The reviewed literature identified a gap within the previous literature which had not previously been investigated; however, to carry out the investigation, a research strategy had to be formulated. Twenty semi-structured interviews were carried out with managers, engineers and electrical professionals. Prior to the commencement of the main study, a preliminary pilot study was carried out among ten senior practitioners in the General Electric Company of Libya. The purpose of the pilot study was to assess clarity of questions, timing and suitability of the respondents for the study, and to establish its reliability and validity.

Findings

From the aspect of the demand, the study found that there was a diverse set of factors that affect electricity demand in Libya. These included the average real price of electricity, the real value of the imported electrical appliances, gross domestic product, population, the temperature difference and the lagged electricity demand. Secondly, from the aspect of electricity supply, the study found that there was a diverse set of factors that affect electricity projects in Libya or even the development of existing projects. These factors included electricity demand, political effects, recession, oil prices and improved development of other infrastructure.

Research limitations/implications

Due to limitations in time and cost, political instability in the country and the lack of security, the entire analysis was only of the demand for electricity in Libya based on data collected from secondary sources and primary data resources. The ordinary least squares method of regression used for the purpose of quantitative analysis only included the factors related to the demand for electricity in Libya. It is worth noting that the research work did not include any quantitative analysis that comprised factors related to the supply of electricity in the country. Such an analysis could have technically carved the ways to augment the supply of electricity. Therefore, the context of the research work is one-sided that focuses primarily on the demand.

Practical implications

The problem confronting development of electricity projects in Libya has three components: The first is the national significance of the projects as a physical resource. The second is the conflict arising politically from within. The third is the lack of consideration given to the specific resource management issues associated with the projects within the government plans and policy statements. In addition, participants further claimed that there were three more independent factors that could affect the level of electricity demand in Libya. These were urbanisation, industrialisation and literacy rates.

Social implications

The participants also believed that as the rate of socio-economic development increases, the demand for electricity is expected to rise. Urbanisation, industrialisation and literacy rates are some of the developments which will exert more demand pressure on the electricity supply. The participants claimed that the government should take into account the urbanisation rates in Libya in the energy policy formulation. Electricity companies can also take a cue from the urbanisation trends and other socio-economic developments to plan the delivery of electricity according to the rising demand.

Originality/value

This study appraised the supply of electricity side in Libya and proposed a sustainable framework that could be used by policymakers to address energy demand issues in Libya.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2009

Edward Godfrey Ochieng and Andrew David Price

The purpose of this paper is to present literature that suggests that project teams comprising members from culturally diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas and new…

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12557

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present literature that suggests that project teams comprising members from culturally diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas and new approaches to problem solving. The challenge, however, is that they also introduce different understandings and expectations regarding team dynamics and integration. The question becomes how a project manager can effectively work and influence a multicultural construction project team, at the same time being attentive to the diversity and creating the structure required for success.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a qualitative methodology, participants of heavy construction engineering projects revealed a number of multi‐dimensional factors that either facilitated or limited the effectiveness of multicultural teamwork. These were synthesised into a framework of eight key dimensions that need to be considered when managing multicultural teams. The identified key dimensions include: leadership style, team selection and composition process, cross‐cultural management of team development process, cross‐cultural communication, cross‐cultural collectivism, cross‐cultural trust, cross‐cultural management and cross‐cultural uncertainty.

Findings

The proposed framework has implications for construction managers who work with multicultural teams and are committed to improving team performance and productivity. The utilisation of the proposed framework would not instantly transform multicultural teams into high‐performing ones; however, it does identify eight key cross‐cultural dimensions, which need to be considered.

Originality/value

Though the benefits of culturally diverse teams have been acknowledged within the industry, the study highlighted that cultural differences among project teams can cause conflict, misunderstanding and poor project performance.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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