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Open Access
Article
Publication date: 5 April 2022

Danstan Bwalya Chiponde, Barry Gledson and David Greenwood

In his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”, Maslow suggested the “Hierarchy of Needs” as a classification system that described the stimuli for human behaviour…

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Abstract

Purpose

In his 1943 paper “A Theory of Human Motivation”, Maslow suggested the “Hierarchy of Needs” as a classification system that described the stimuli for human behaviour. Presently, project behaviour research, which inspired this work, encourages undertaking research on behavioural aspects within and across organisational and project settings. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to analyse project-based organisations’ (PBOs) seemingly reluctance in engaging in organisational learning from past project failures by drawing upon both institutional theory (since it focuses on how firms interact) and Maslow’s model within a project behaviour piece of research.

Design/methodology/approach

Interviews were held with purposively selected construction professionals from the UK construction industry, and data were analysed using thematic analysis.

Findings

Besides the need to learn from failures, PBOs’ main competing needs revolve around their “competitiveness”; “profitability and productivity”; “repeat business” and “reputation and partnering”. Mirroring these needs against Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, “competitiveness” and “profitability” are analogous to foundational “physiological” and “safety” needs. The need for “repeat business” and “reputation” is approximated with Maslow’s “affiliation” and “self-esteem” needs, and organisational learning is associated with “self-actualisation”. From an institutional theory perspective, such response to failure is influenced by the need to show legitimacy and conformity imposed by institutional factors.

Practical implications

Instead of taking a simplified approach to learning from failure such as the use of technological tools, PBOs and the sector at large should consider more robust approaches, by appreciating the influence of institutional factors and the external environment on their efforts to learn from failure.

Originality/value

Unlike past studies that present organisational learning within PBOs as a straightforward process, this study instead highlights the need of understanding various competing needs within a PBO and the external pressure.

Details

Frontiers in Engineering and Built Environment, vol. 2 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2634-2499

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 13 May 2022

Saleh Alsulamy

The purpose of this research is to identify the constraints and restrictions and their impact on the construction projects in Saudi Arabia from three key participants'…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to identify the constraints and restrictions and their impact on the construction projects in Saudi Arabia from three key participants' perspectives for the planning stage.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a descriptive-analytical approach, this research described and analyzed the frequency and severity of failure factors in construction projects in the planning stage using a five-Likert scale questionnaire in Saudi Arabia construction between 2019 and 2020. A total of 100 experts from contractors, consultants and owners were included in the study.

Findings

The findings have shown that time dispute was the major factor affecting the projects to be failed. Similarly, cost overrun and total abandonment have an impact on project failures. The findings have indicated that government officials were involved in delaying the projects while contractors also failed in the project deliveries.

Research limitations/implications

Further research is needed to investigate the relationship between failure characteristics and project success measures in the same stage, in addition to, factors of failure for construction projects' life-cycle stages.

Originality/value

The findings have indicated that government officials were involved in delaying the projects while contractors also failed in the project deliveries.

Details

Frontiers in Engineering and Built Environment, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2634-2499

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 24 September 2021

Bart A. Lameijer, Jiju Antony, Hans P. Borgman and Kevin Linderman

Although scholars have considered the success factors of process improvement (PI) projects, limited research has considered the factors that influence failure. The purpose…

Abstract

Purpose

Although scholars have considered the success factors of process improvement (PI) projects, limited research has considered the factors that influence failure. The purpose of this paper is to extend the understanding of PI project failure by systematically reviewing the research on generic project failure, and developing research propositions and future research directions specifically for PI projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic literature review protocol resulted in a total of 97 research papers that are reviewed for contributions on project failure.

Findings

An inductive category formation process resulted in three categories of findings. The first category are the causes for project failure, the second category is about relatedness between failure factors and the third category is on failure mitigation strategies. For each category, propositions for future research on PI projects specifically are developed. Additional future research directions proposed lay in better understanding PI project failure as it unfolds (i.e. process studies vs cross-sectional), understanding PI project failure from a theoretical perspective and better understanding of PI project failure antecedents.

Originality/value

This paper takes a multi-disciplinary and project type approach, synthesizes the existing knowledge and reflects upon the developments in the field of research. Propositions and a framework for future research on PI project failure are presented.

Details

International Journal of Lean Six Sigma, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-4166

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 February 2020

Emmanuel Oluwatobi Adebisi, Oluwaseyi Olalekan Alao and Stephen Okunlola Ojo

The continuous failure of construction projects notwithstanding appreciable increase in project management knowledge has necessitated a proactive approach of assessing…

Abstract

Purpose

The continuous failure of construction projects notwithstanding appreciable increase in project management knowledge has necessitated a proactive approach of assessing early warning signs (EWS) of building projects failure. Building projects are expected to show warning signs before experiencing crises, comparable to a patient displaying symptoms of a disease. Thus, this study aims to examine the EWS that predisposed building projects to failure in Nigeria to provide empirical data for enhancing projects delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data were used for the study. Structured questionnaire was administered to consultants and contractors’ personnel within Lagos State, Nigeria. A total of 180 copies of questionnaire were administered and 134 copies (combined response rate of 74.44 per cent) were retrieved. Frequency distribution, percentages, mean item score and Mann–Whitney test were used to analyse the data.

Findings

Most construction professionals applied the EWS approach from project planning and early construction phase. The most significant EWS predisposing building projects to failure were “Management inability and incompetence to proactively detect and manage problems at early project stages”, “Actual expenditure is constantly shooting beyond cost estimates” and “Incurred costs already getting higher than the anticipated benefits”. Project/construction management-related symptoms are most significant to predisposing building projects to failure.

Practical implications

The study provided implications for effective project management of building projects through proactive approach which is very paramount to improving the delivery of building projects in Nigeria.

Originality/value

The study provides implications for proactive management of building projects, thereby enhancing the delivery of building projects.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. 18 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 April 2018

Emmanuel Oluwatobi Adebisi, Stephen Okunola Ojo and Oluwaseyi Olalekan Alao

The failure and abandonment of construction projects have proven to be insurmountable problems incessantly militating against the efficient performance of the construction…

Abstract

Purpose

The failure and abandonment of construction projects have proven to be insurmountable problems incessantly militating against the efficient performance of the construction industry in Nigeria. The complexity, technicality and a host of other project execution issues unique to multi-storey building projects do increase their susceptibility to failure and abandonment. Thus, the purpose of this paper is to examine the factors influencing failure and abandonment of multi-storey building projects in Nigeria. This is with a view to provide inferential empirical data that could enhance successful delivery of multi-storey building projects in Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

Primary data were used for the study. A structured questionnaire was administered on consultants and contractors’ personnel within Lagos State, Nigeria. A total of 180 copies of the questionnaire were administered ,and 134 copies which represent a combined response rate of 74.4 per cent were retrieved. The data were analysed using frequency distribution and percentages, Mean item score and factor analysis.

Findings

The factors most significant to the failure and abandonment of multi-storey building projects are inadequate funding by the client, improper planning at the pre-construction phase, structural failure in multi-storey building during construction, bankruptcy/business failure of the contractor, improper scheduling of the building project activities and failure to engage qualified professionals with technical expertise and experience. The rated factors clustered under human resources capability, planning and structural quality, contractor selection and variation, insecurity and variation, and force majeure and political risk.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to multi-storey building projects in Lagos State, Nigeria. Further studies could focus on specific resuscitation strategies for abandoned multi-storey building projects.

Practical implications

The study provided implications for effective project and contract management of multi-storey building projects which is very paramount to improve the delivery of complex, technical- and capital-intensive building projects in Nigeria.

Originality/value

The study provides specific implications for the management of multi-storey building projects, thereby enhancing the delivery of building projects.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

D. Laurie Hughes, Nripendra P. Rana and Antonis C. Simintiras

Information systems (IS) project failure has been a recurring problem for decades. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to examine the key factors that influence…

4110

Abstract

Purpose

Information systems (IS) project failure has been a recurring problem for decades. The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to examine the key factors that influence project failure and an analysis of the major areas that can have a significant impact on success; and second, to explore some of the key aspects that have an impact on project management performance from the practitioner perspective and discusses the problems faced by organizations in the closer integration of change and project management.

Design/methodology/approach

This study critically reviews the IS failure literature developing a synthesized view of the key issues and common reasons for projects to fail. The approach taken in this study is one that focuses on a number of key questions that pull together the relevant themes in this genre of research whilst highlighting many of the implications for practitioners and organizations alike.

Findings

Key questions remain on the underlying causes of instances of poor project management as an IS failure factor. The literature has omitted to develop a deeper analysis of the associations between failure factors and the potential causal relationships between these factors. The realization of project benefits relies on the success of both change and project management yet the formal integration of these two disciplines is constrained by separate standards bodies and an immature body of research.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited by its theoretical nature lacking an empirical element to provide a deeper analysis of IS failure factors and their interrelationships. This specific area is a recommendation for future research, where causal relationships between failure factors could be developed via a mathematic-based method such as interpretive structural modeling.

Practical implications

With failure rates of IS projects still unacceptably high after decades of attempts to significantly change outcomes, a deeper analysis of this topic is required. The research gaps and recommendations for practitioners highlighted in this study have the potential to provide valuable contributions to this topic of research.

Originality/value

The intent of this study is to present a new perspective of this genre of IS research that develops the main arguments and gaps in the literature from the practitioner viewpoint.

Details

Journal of Enterprise Information Management, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0398

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

Om P. Kharbanda and Ernest A. Stallworthy

In the continuing endeavour to work towards ever better management,experience plays a crucial role. We learn from success, but we can learnmuch more from failure. Further…

2081

Abstract

In the continuing endeavour to work towards ever better management, experience plays a crucial role. We learn from success, but we can learn much more from failure. Further, it is far better and cheaper when we learn from other people′s failures rather than our own. This monograph assesses the requirements of project management in relation to industrial projects, illustrating the factors that can result in failure by means of a series of case studies of completed and abandoned projects worldwide that have failed in one way or another. The key roles played by project planning and project cost control in meeting and overcoming the practical problems in the management of industrial projects are examined in detail. In conclusion the lessons that can be learned are evaluated and presented, so that we may listen and learn – if only we will.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 92 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 July 2014

Surangkana Trangkanont and Chotchai Charoenngam

Numerous studies to date have demonstrated the public-private partnership (PPP) project procurement method's failure to deliver low-cost housing (LCH) to low-income groups…

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Abstract

Purpose

Numerous studies to date have demonstrated the public-private partnership (PPP) project procurement method's failure to deliver low-cost housing (LCH) to low-income groups (LIGs) in developing countries. The purpose of this paper is to investigate critical failure factors (CFFs), and how they cause the failure of PPP-LCH program.

Design/methodology/approach

Grounded Theory methodology was used to gather and analyze the data in order to identify, categorize, and develop the logically causal relationships among CFFs that cause PPP-LCH program failure.

Findings

Ten CFFs in various phases of PPP-LCH project life cycle caused PPP-LCH program failure. Some CFFs resulted from ineffective PPP policy and strategy, while some were beyond the control of the project/program management team. These CFFs were inter-/intra-related to one another in a particular way.

Originality/value

Despite the increase in PPP-LCH projects/programs for LIGs in practice and the prevalence of failure, the studies of PPP-LCH project/program failure still suffer from insufficient conceptual clarity about the causes of these failures. The lessons learned, to some extent, help decision makers in both public and private sectors to reduce the probability of the PPP-LCH project/program failure by clearly explaining the nature of each CFF.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2017

Isaac Sakyi Damoah and Cynthia Akwei

The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent of failure within Ghanaian Government projects using multiple failure criteria.

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent of failure within Ghanaian Government projects using multiple failure criteria.

Design/methodology/approach

This study used a sequential data collection approach by employing an in-depth semi-structured interview and questionnaire, respectively. Based on insight from the literature review, interviews were held with participants to solicit their perceptions about the failure of Ghanaian Government projects. A questionnaire was developed based on the results from the interviews in order to determine the relative importance of the various failure criteria used as the evaluation tool.

Findings

Six main criteria were identified and used as the assessment framework for Ghanaian Government project failure. The findings indicated that Ghanaian Government projects fail on all the six failure criteria; however, the extent of failure differs from criterion to criterion. The worst failure criterion is meeting the projected timescale. This is followed by cost, requirement, stakeholder satisfaction, national development and contribution to the sector where projects are implemented, respectively.

Practical implications

From this study, government project practitioners and policy makers will be able identify the failure areas (criteria) on which to focus during government project implementation.

Originality/value

Though extant literature has been devoted to the success/failure criteria, attention has not been paid to comparison of the extent of failure within these criteria in government projects. Therefore, this study extends the literature in this regard as well as government project failure literature in general.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2019

Jiju Antony, Fabiane Letícia Lizarelli, Marcelo Machado Fernandes, Mary Dempsey, Attracta Brennan and Julie McFarlane

Process improvement initiatives, such as Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma, typically have common characteristics that are carried through projects. Whilst a project’s…

1964

Abstract

Purpose

Process improvement initiatives, such as Lean, Six Sigma and Lean Six Sigma, typically have common characteristics that are carried through projects. Whilst a project’s performance is an important determinant of the successful implementation of continuous improvement (CI) initiatives, its failure can undermine the impact of any CI initiative on business performance. As a result, an understanding of the reasons of process improvement project failures is crucial. The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a pilot survey highlighting the most common reasons for process improvement project failures.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a pilot survey of 42 Brazilian manufacturing specialists who have been involved in process improvement projects. The participants of this survey were Six Sigma Master Black Belts, Black Belts, Green Belts and Six Sigma champions from manufacturing companies in Brazil. The survey questionnaire was piloted with five experts in the field in order to ensure that the questions were valid and technically sound.

Findings

The execution of Six Sigma projects in organizations results in a moderate rate of project failures. These failures can cost organizations several millions of dollars especially within the context of larger organizations. The main reasons for project failure, as cited by the specialists include: resistance to change, lack of commitment and support from top management and incompetent teams.

Research limitations/implications

The authors report the findings from a pilot survey having a limited sample size. Moreover, the data have been collected from one country and primarily from large manufacturing companies.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, this is the first empirical study looking into the reasons for process improvement project failures. The authors argue that if the top reasons for such failures are understood, a framework can be developed in the future that can mitigate the chance of project failures during project execution. This could potentially lead to significant savings to the bottom-line of many organizations.

Details

International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management, vol. 36 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-671X

Keywords

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