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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…

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: 20 March 2017

Bekithemba Mpofu, Edward Godfrey Ochieng, Cletus Moobela and Adriaan Pretorius

A voluminous amount of research has been conducted on project delay in the recent past; however, the persistence of the problem demands that a relentless quest for…

Abstract

Purpose

A voluminous amount of research has been conducted on project delay in the recent past; however, the persistence of the problem demands that a relentless quest for solutions is upheld. It can be argued that the problem is likely to be more pronounced in areas where development pressure is the highest. One such area is the United Arab Emirates (UAE) where the construction industry is said to have reached an unparalleled position in the last decade. The purpose of this paper is to identify the most significant causes of delays in the UAE construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted targeting three key types of stakeholders, namely clients, contractors and consultants. Validity and reliability were achieved by first assessing the plausibility of construction delay variables in UAE. The verification took place after the interpretation of quantitative data, this involved presenting the findings to the main participants. The validation took place after the verification process. Rigour was achieved by engaging participants previously engaged in UAE and focussing on verification and validation, this included responsiveness of the researchers during group discussions, methodological coherence, appropriate sampling frame and data analysis.

Findings

From the analysis, the study unveiled a number of important causes of construction delays in the UAE, ranging from unrealistic contract durations to poor labour productivity, with consultants and clients seemingly shouldering the bulk of the “blame game”. It was evident that all the three main stakeholders in a construction project (clients, consultants and contractors) need to change their existing practices in order to ensure timely delivery of projects. The research also confirms that delays are country specific and appear to be time related hence they should be viewed within the social, economic and cultural settings of the UAE.

Research limitations/implications

A major limitation of the current study was the use of a single approach to facilitate data collection.

Practical implications

It was evident that practitioners need to change their existing practices in order to ensure timely delivery of projects. Continuous coordination and relationship between practitioners are required through the project life cycle in order to solve problems and develop project performance.

Originality/value

As suggested in this study methods should be put in place to reduce long and bureaucratic processes within the client’s organisations, not only to fulfil the requirements of the contract but also to suite fast-track projects.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 24 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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…

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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