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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2021

Hatice Akpinar and Didem Ozer-Caylan

This study aims to review and try to understand the importance of complexity management for maritime business to gain competitiveness in global business environment. The…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to review and try to understand the importance of complexity management for maritime business to gain competitiveness in global business environment. The purpose of the study is to discuss and evaluate managing change and requirements of understanding the complexity management.

Design/methodology/approach

To find peer-reviewed journal publications, a large scientific database used by searching Web of Science and Scopus as the most relevant abstract and citation databases that provide peer-reviewed literature data for many different academic disciplines and selected papers evaluated from the maritime business context.

Findings

As a conceptual paper, the contribution of the study is to offer practical/required management applications with the help of six proposes for making better management decisions to confront future challenges to catch organizational competitiveness and success. With adaptation of complexity management, maritime stakeholders able to create an important core competency.

Research limitations/implications

The research has some limitations and further research into this area should be extended. This study is designed as a first step to provide an insight to the field and to understand the main views of the subject. Subsequently, complexity management in maritime business is a slightly deficient area of research, which offers remarkable research opportunities. First, it would be fruitful to collect qualitative data to examine the current issues and changing business environment of the maritime business. Second, it would be helpful develop quantitative models to offer practical solutions from the maritime stakeholders’ point of view according to loading/discharging/transportation requirements. Future studies should deepen the subject with the help of simulation models of operations or agent based applications of stakeholder problems or vessel/ship-owner management implementations to understand changing circumstances of new business environment for the sake of managing complexity.

Practical implications

As the core point of view in strategic management; “achieving and sustaining” competitive advantage in organizations always takes an important place in organizational survival. With the help mentioned proposes stakeholders of the system could understand the ways of dealing with the complexities of new business world which enhances organizational competitiveness.

Social implications

Maritime business could be defined as a social ecosystem which has it is own dynamics and customs. Socio-eco systems, like all complex systems, show unique non-linear dynamics in space and time which could be tough to define via classical quantitative methods. Organizations co-exist and co-evolve with their environment. It is possible that organizations effect their environment and gain some control over it while at the same time affected from environment and should steer the new trends.

Originality/value

The originality of the study lies in highlighting the importance of change management as a handler of complexity management for maritime business. The contribution of the paper is to indicate expected opportunities and challenges of smart changes for relevant readiness of maritime business for better management decisions, benefiting maritime business stakeholders by simultaneously enhancing effectiveness to confront future demands to achieve organizational competitiveness. With the help of proper complexity management lenses organizations could able to create their source of competitive advantage that represents capacity to align and enable required functions under tough contextual environment.

Details

Competitiveness Review: An International Business Journal , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1059-5422

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Article
Publication date: 24 December 2019

Afshin Jalali Sohi, Marian Bosch-Rekveldt and Marcel Hertogh

The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of project management flexibility in early project phases on end-project performance including its mediating role on the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the effect of project management flexibility in early project phases on end-project performance including its mediating role on the effect of complexity over project performance.

Design/methodology/approach

Out of 13 hypotheses, 6 hypotheses regarding the relationships between areas of flexibility and project performance, 1 regarding the effect of complexity on performance and 6 other hypotheses regarding the mediating effect of six areas of flexibility were formulated. Statistical analysis was performed using partial least squares–structural equation modeling on data gathered from 111 surveys.

Findings

Research results revealed that flexibility of “how-attitude” and “how-organization” has positive significant effects on project performance. “How-attitude” contributes to the flexibility of project management processes by having an “open attitude,” “wide approach” and “proactive attitude” while “how-organization” put the emphasis of flexibility on “facilitate planning,” “outer organization” and “inner organization.” Moreover, this research confirmed that complexity has a negative effect on project performance. Among the six areas of flexibility, flexibility of “how-organization” mediates the effect of complexity on project performance.

Originality/value

The increased project complexity requires some degree of flexibility in project management to deal with project dynamics. However, whether such flexibility in early project phases has an effect on end-project performance has not been empirically investigated. This research contributes to filling the gap in literature about the relationship between project management flexibility and project performance. Such effect was investigated by studying the direct effect of flexibility on project performance and the mediating role of flexibility on the negative effect of project complexity on project performance.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 19 August 2019

Muhammad Sajid Khattak and Usman Mustafa

The complexity of projects has become a serious issue and obstacle in their successful completion. In order to overcome these complexities, it has become imperative to…

Abstract

Purpose

The complexity of projects has become a serious issue and obstacle in their successful completion. In order to overcome these complexities, it has become imperative to identify the relevant management competencies of project managers. The purpose of this paper is to address the problem of cost, time and scope in engineering infrastructure projects due to their complexities through management competencies.

Design/methodology/approach

In the first phase of the study, 32 experts were interviewed through semi-structured pre-tested questionnaire. In this phase, essential elements of complexities were identified initially. This was followed by finding required dimensions of competencies to counter these complexities and to acquire improved performance. In the final stage, required levels of competencies for specific elements of complexity were identified. In the second phase, 85 “project managers” were also approached to get feedback about their recently completed public sector engineering infrastructure projects in Pakistan.

Findings

The study identified additional dimensions, i.e. honesty, enthusiasm and dedication, in the case of competencies and adverse law and order situation, political instability, land issues, energy crisis and weak authorization of project managers in the case of complexities. Leadership, management skill, communication skill, effectiveness and result orientation were identified as top quality traits required. The study concluded that there is a significant impact of management competencies and complexities on project performance.

Originality/value

The study contributes to a better understanding of how to improve performance in complex engineering infrastructure projects through adopting management competencies. It also empirically illustrates the relations among project management competencies, complexities and project performance. Although the research is grounded on public sector infrastructure projects, its findings may also be helpful for practices in project management of other sectors.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2020

Gianluca Elia, Alessandro Margherita and Giustina Secundo

Factors such as stakeholder requirements, emergence of exponential technologies, global business operations and pressures for sustainability increase the complexity of…

Abstract

Purpose

Factors such as stakeholder requirements, emergence of exponential technologies, global business operations and pressures for sustainability increase the complexity of modern projects. This article aims to contribute by developing a systems view of project elements and relations among the same.

Design/methodology/approach

The article is based on a design science process and uses business management, project management and the system dynamics literature to support the construction of a conceptual framework, which is preliminary validated using practitioner feedback.

Findings

The project management model includes: (a) a systems view of a project in terms of 5 subsystems, 9 components and 27 dimensions; (b) a flow diagram showing 11 key relations among project attributes and (c) a discussion of ten system archetypes which can be identified in the management of a project.

Research limitations/implications

Whereas the application of systems thinking in project management has been mostly addressed to build system dynamics tools, this article advances the discussion by providing a framework useful to support theory development and contextual knowledge construction in project management activities.

Practical implications

The article provides (project) managers with an articulated project management model and insights to address the complexity of modern project activities.

Originality/value

The main value of the research stays in the integrative nature of the presented framework, along with its twofold focus on components and flows (dynamic view).

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 12 November 2020

Mogens Frank Mikkelsen, John Venable and Kirsi Aaltonen

Project complexity is becoming increasingly challenging for project managers. Much valuable research has been done on the concept of project complexity. The research…

Abstract

Purpose

Project complexity is becoming increasingly challenging for project managers. Much valuable research has been done on the concept of project complexity. The research reported in this paper aims to provide a new means (the “Complexity Navigation Window”) and guiding principles for the navigation of project complexity in practice.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper applied action design research (a methodology for design science research) to design and evaluate the Complexity Navigation Window (CNW), which will serve as a representation of project complexity as a key component of the user interface for a decision support system (DSS) for managing project complexity.

Findings

Formative evaluations of the CNW by 16 project management practitioners indicated that the artefact is relevant, comprehensible and heading in a promising direction to guide decision-making. The evaluation also highlighted project managers' difficulty in using the (conceptual) representation by itself to assess a project's current situation accurately, which in turn limits their ability to understand a project's current complexity and decide an appropriate course of strategy. A conceptual framework by itself is insufficient. This finding motivates further research to develop and evaluate a DSS that would partially automate the assessment process (by surveying stakeholders and automatically assessing and representing project complexity according to the CNW), which should aid in increasing the accuracy (and timeliness) of project complexity assessments and contribute to appropriate strategy formulation and timely revision.

Practical implications

The formative evaluation of the CNW indicates relevance for practitioners and the further features of the DSS may still yield even higher perceived utility from the full artefact.

Originality/value

The paper provides improved understanding of practitioners' perceptions of project complexity and ability to assess it for a given project. The paper describes the design of a new visualisation for navigating and managing complexity. The paper further presents four strategies for managing project complexity. Finally, the paper also provides a methodological discussion on the potential of ADR in advancing project management research.

Details

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

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 12 August 2019

Fredrik Ralf Nilsson

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate on how perspectives and assumptions embedded in the complexity paradigm contribute to make logistics management research better…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to elaborate on how perspectives and assumptions embedded in the complexity paradigm contribute to make logistics management research better aligned with real-life logistics. This is necessary, due to increasing supply chain complexity caused by an increasing request for sustainable development (SD).

Design/methodology/approach

The research is exploratory and based on a narrative literature review of logistics and supply chain management (SCM) from a complexity science perspective. Qualitative research interviews have been conducted with 12 logistics and supply chain managers in international companies and have focussed on their daily experiences and the underlying assumptions related to their actual work.

Findings

Logistics and SCM research is embedded in the functionalistic paradigm with reductionistic assumptions as the dominant logic. These do not sufficiently align with the complexity related, for example, to the daily work of SD in logistics management practice.

Research limitations/implications

It is proposed that the inclusion of complexity-based assumptions in logistics management research can increase realism in the advancement of the discipline. A key result is that the recognition of logistics as complex means inclusion of human and social aspects – which is apparent in any logistics process or phenomenon – in logistics knowledge creation processes.

Practical implications

Increased realism in logistics management research by addressing complexity, instead of merely reducing it, will provide logistics and supply chain managers with increased understanding and appropriate knowledge when they deal with emerging challenges such as SD.

Originality/value

Based on Boulding’s levels of complexity, this paper challenges the underlying assumptions of logistics management in research and practice, and provides reflective frameworks for advancing the discipline and aligning it to the complexity of contemporary challenges in logistics management.

Details

The International Journal of Logistics Management, vol. 30 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-4093

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2020

Anete Pajuste, Elva Poriete and Reinis Novickis

This paper explores how the text complexity and content of management discussion and analysis (MD&A) relate to earnings management in Baltic listed companies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper explores how the text complexity and content of management discussion and analysis (MD&A) relate to earnings management in Baltic listed companies.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a panel data set of 250 firm-year observations from the Baltic markets in the period 2012–2016, this paper uses linear regression analysis to examine the relation between earnings management and reporting complexity.

Findings

The results show that earnings could be managed in about 6–11% of firm-years, depending on specification, and there is a positive relationship between earnings management and reporting complexity; however, this relationship is confined to more liquid companies. The authors argue that higher scrutiny by market participants in more liquid companies incentivizes managers to obfuscate negative financial results through report complexity.

Originality/value

This paper presents a novel application of the opportunistic perspective of positive accounting theory (PAT) in relation to managers' choice of reporting complexity. The findings of this paper contribute by providing empirical evidence for strategic reporting by managers and can be useful for regulators and investors that should monitor the level of reporting complexity in the listed companies.

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2004

Ian A. Combe and Günther Botschen

Quality management is dominated by rational paradigms for the measurement and management of quality, but these paradigms start to “break down”, when faced with the…

Abstract

Quality management is dominated by rational paradigms for the measurement and management of quality, but these paradigms start to “break down”, when faced with the inherent complexity of managing quality in intensely competitive changing environments. In this article, the various theoretical strategy paradigms employed to manage quality are reviewed and the advantages and limitations of these paradigms are highlighted. A major implication of this review is that when faced with complexity, an ideological stance to any single strategy paradigm for the management of quality is ineffective. A case study is used to demonstrate the need for an integrative multi‐paradigm approach to the management of quality as complexity increases.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 38 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 17 September 2008

Ludovic‐Alexandre Vidal and Franck Marle

The purpose of this paper is to better identify, define and model complexity within the field of project management in order to manage better under conditions of complexity

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to better identify, define and model complexity within the field of project management in order to manage better under conditions of complexity (and manage better complexity‐induced risks).

Design/methodology/approach

An extensive literature review enlightens the lack of consensus on project complexity and thus provides a broad view and a critical analysis of the underlying concepts. A project complexity framework and definition are then proposed. After underlining the stakes of project complexity in accordance with these proposals, a project complexity model is then built notably due to systems analysis.

Findings

Proposal of standard project complexity framework and definition. Proposal of a synthesis of the relationships between the concepts of project uncertainty and project complexity. Proposal of a project complexity model (and validation due to industrial application).

Research limitations/implications

The literature review and project complexity framework tries to be exhaustive even though it is likely to be completed. The final version of the model is still to be computed and tested.

Practical implications

Avoiding confusion when defining and managing a complex project, particularly between project team members (and as a consequence improving communication and information sharing), improves the assessment of the propagation of a change within the project.

Originality/value

The paper proposes an original framework and a definition of project complexity. The complexity model permits the navigation from any element of the project to any other (when detail is needed) and is, as a consequence, original and complementary with traditional project management models and tools.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 37 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Article
Publication date: 24 October 2019

Farman Afzal, Shao Yunfei, Muhammad Sajid and Fahim Afzal

Cost overrun is inherent to project chaos, which is one of the key drivers of project failure. The purpose of this paper is to explore the critical elements of complexity

Abstract

Purpose

Cost overrun is inherent to project chaos, which is one of the key drivers of project failure. The purpose of this paper is to explore the critical elements of complexity-risk interdependency for cost-chaos in the construction management domain by utilizing a multi-criteria decision model.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 12 complexity and 60 risk attributes are initially identified from the literature and using expert’s judgements. For the development of a structured hierarchy of key complexity and risk drivers, a real-time Delphi process is adopted for recording and evaluating the responses from experts. Afterwards, a pair-wise comparison using analytical network processing is performed to measure complexity-risk interdependencies against cost alternatives.

Findings

The findings of the integrated priority decision index (IPDI) suggest that uncertainties related to contingency and escalation costs are the main sources of cost overrun in project drift, along with the key elements such as “the use of innovative technology,” “multiple contracts,” “low advance payment,” “change in design,” “unclear specifications” and “the lack of experience” appear to be more significant to chaos in complexity-risk interdependency network.

Research limitations/implications

This study did not address the uncertainty and vulnerability exit in the judgment process, therefore, this framework can be extended using fuzzy logic to better evaluate the significance of cost-chaos drivers.

Practical implications

These results may assist the management of cost overrun to avoid chaos in a project. The proposed model can be applied within project risk management practices to make better-informed technical decisions in the early phases of the project life cycle where uncertainty is high.

Originality/value

This research addresses the importance of cost overruns as a source of project chaos in dynamic systems where projects reach the edge of chaos and progress stops. A new IPDI index contributes toward evaluating the severity of complexity and risk and their interdependencies which create cost-chaos in infrastructure transport projects.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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