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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Maqsood A. Sandhu and A. Gunasekaran

The strategic focus of organisations today is on the customer and internal and external processes. This paper presents a systematic approach to project process development…

Abstract

The strategic focus of organisations today is on the customer and internal and external processes. This paper presents a systematic approach to project process development and identifies key aspects of long‐term process evaluation. A framework for process development is presented with special emphasis on value‐adding activities in engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) projects. The framework provides a better understanding of the dynamic processes and critical interfaces in inter‐organisational networks. The choice of concepts and final construction of the framework is informed by an empirical research of EPC projects, and a case study of the power division of Wärtsilä Corporation is analysed. Empirical findings are gathered through the Delphi method and the use of personal group interviews with the key actors involved. A model for process development is developed, linking interest groups to the development of their targets, information, and knowledge sharing. The emphasis is on the right place, the right actors, the right resources, and the right time.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 10 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Maqsood Sandhu and Asadullah Khan

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to investigate project management dimensions while constructing the Panama Canal from the end of ninetieth century to the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to investigate project management dimensions while constructing the Panama Canal from the end of ninetieth century to the start of twentieth century and then benchmarking against the Palm Diera Island at the lapse of a century. Second, to highlight issues of project management, specially the risk management with its economic, social and political domains at the construction site and in France and America.

Design/methodology/approach

The case study research method of qualitative research has been adopted when comparing two mega projects executed in different time and space. For the Panama Canal project documentation investigation was performed. However, a semi-structured interview data collection method was adopted for the Palm Diera Island project. A comparative study of two projects helps in deeper understanding of cross-project management dimensions.

Findings

The research reveals that the French team failed to complete the Panama Canal construction project due to inadequate planning, inappropriate design, lack of risk management, health and safety of the staff and non-availability of finances. However, the Americans successfully completed construction of the canal within budget and time and this was due to the support of change in the purpose of the canal construction adding to achieve its commercial objectives and at the same time strengthen its naval presence. American took its construction as a national objective than the individual enterprise as executed by the French team.

Research limitations/implications

Data collection for the Panama Canal was limited to only historical data available from the literature as documentary investigation. The researchers visited the canal to get in-depth understanding of the construction practices and the scale of construction. However, for the Palm Diera project, data collection was limited to three key personnel interviews.

Practical implications

The Americans were successful in completing the canal due to the US Government control on management and finances of the canal construction and lessons learned during the French construction period. The paper serves as a benchmark for project management dimension in two different regions in different times. The paper bears economic implications for the construction of the mega projects both in South America and the Middle East. Cost overrun construction of the Panama Canal during the French period influenced political spectrum in France resulting into the defeat of the government. During the American period of construction first time out of country visit by the sitting president of the USA reflects its economic and social importance. The valley of death was converted into the valley comfort during the American period resulting into social welfare of the workers. Completion of the canal by the Americans helped them secure operations of the Panama Canal for the next 100 years, contributing to its economic and naval strength.

Social implications

The paper reveals that safety and social implications for the work place in two different regions and at two different times. The impact of safe and improved working conditions at Palm Diera Island resulted into no injury or loss of life, however, during the Panama Canal construction more than 30,000 workers died affecting not only families of the respective workers but their nations as well. The impacts of both the projects on the society were also significant. The public opinion against the construction of the canal during the French period of construction was so significant that they had to abandon their construction equipment at the site. On the contrary, completion of construction of the Panama Canal during the French period helped secured political mileage for President Roosevelt and his party.

Originality/value

The paper benchmarks two different mega projects with different scope executed in two different regions at the lapse of a century. No such research work was found to have compared project management dimensions of two mega projects at the lapse of a century and in two different regions.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 28 January 2019

Maqsood Ahmad Sandhu, Tareq Zayed Al Ameri and Kim Wikström

Projects are an inherent part of implementing strategies. Still, the challenge is to connect a long-term strategy for larger ecosystem development to the individual…

Abstract

Purpose

Projects are an inherent part of implementing strategies. Still, the challenge is to connect a long-term strategy for larger ecosystem development to the individual projects being undertaken. The purpose of this paper is to test the ability of seven project management office (PMO) roles to achieve strategic planning in large society development public organisations in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Design/methodology/approach

The questionnaire survey that was employed for data collected from 450 project members in 19 project-based public organisations having PMO unit had a response rate of 60 per cent. The received data analysed quantitatively by using multiple regression.

Findings

The survey data revealed that PMO enhanced the achievement of the strategic plan for better development of the business ecosystem. The analysis outputs, as expected, have indicated that 95 per cent of the targeted organisations established their own PMO for developing business ecosystem.

Research limitations/implications

Despite there are PMOs hosted by private organisations, the study is limited to the PMO within the context of the government and semi-government organisations in the UAE.

Practical implications

These findings further utilised in developing the conceptual PMO model that would be flexible to be applied to similar project management methodology in various business settings, as well as pave the way for further scholarly investigations.

Originality/value

This work is both exploratory and causal study, which concentrates on investigating the effectiveness of seven proposed PMO roles (as independent variables) in carrying out the strategic plan (as the dependent variable) of the public-sector organisations in the UAE for the development of business ecosystem.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2018

Maqsood Ahmad Sandhu, Ahm Shamsuzzoha and Petri Helo

The purpose of this paper is to deal with the importance and obstacles of outsourcing strategy in project business in terms of product development perspectives. This…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to deal with the importance and obstacles of outsourcing strategy in project business in terms of product development perspectives. This strategy is intrinsically analyzed and evaluated with respect to the strategic business environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The objective of this research is to analyze the advantages and limitations of the outsourcing that have been identified in prior studies. This research has attempted to investigate the performance implications of outsourcing strategies in terms of theoretical considerations and implementation perspectives.

Findings

In this study, the authors have presented a general overview of outsourcing strategies in terms of both light and dark sides of this approach. Various driving forces of outsourcing strategy along with critical success factors are articulated within project to product development perspectives.

Research limitations/implications

Future research could be continued to measure various performance variables such as productivity, sales, revenues, career opportunities, manifest in power struggles, change jobs, change organizational cultures, etc. in multiple case companies, which affect with the success or failure of outsourcing arrangements.

Practical implications

The term outsourcing is nowadays a widely known business strategy, where manufacturing firms share partly or fully of their production process with outside organizations or suppliers. The research approach as articulated within this paper would be beneficial for project business organizations and specially the product designers and project managers for planning and developing their strategic business potentials with respect to outsourcing and in-sourcing decisions.

Originality/value

In this paper a high-level decision-making model for outsourcing and a cause and effect type framework are demonstrated with a view to ease the decision-making process for the organizations managers.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2021

Maqsood Ahmad Sandhu, Omer Farooq, Saba Khalid and Mariam Farooq

Based on the extensive literature review and the research published in the context of Western countries, this study proposes that the entrepreneurship education…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the extensive literature review and the research published in the context of Western countries, this study proposes that the entrepreneurship education, participation in entrepreneurial seminars at the universities and their involvement in the activities of innovation and incubation center of the universities may foster entrepreneurial intentions (EIs) among Emirati female graduating students.

Design/methodology/approach

To test the study’s hypothesized model, survey data are collected from 283 female graduating students of 19 public and private universities in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The analysis of the data relies upon multiple hierarchical regression and moderation analysis in SPSS.

Findings

The results suggest that all three types of educational activities positively influence the women's EIs in the UAE. However, formal entrepreneurship courses are more effective than the participation in seminars and involvement in the activities of innovation/incubation center. The authors also found that perceived social support does not moderate the impact of education on EIs, which means that entrepreneurship education is equally effective in fostering EIs, no matter female students perceive low or high social support. On the other hand, results demonstrate that the level of gender stereotypes negatively moderates the impact of education on it. This implies that if a female student believes in a high gender stereotype, the impact of education on her EIs will be low and vice versa.

Research limitations/implications

This study specifically focuses on women entrepreneurship and for the UAE only. However, the results can be generalized for female entrepreneurship, specifically for countries where governments are taking initiatives to foster female entrepreneurship. The study provides specific implications for the UAE public policy government.

Practical implications

As the Government of the UAE is keenly interested to boost up the women entrepreneurial behavior, the findings of the study support that in addition to entrepreneurship education, the government should also encourage the universities to arrange entrepreneurship seminars as these seminars also increase the EIs of women. In addition, the government and the universities should also focus on the involvement of women in the incubation centers/innovation park because the incubation centers can provide the practical exposure to the women in the new business start-ups.

Originality/value

This research is among the first, which benchmarks women EIs in the UAE.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

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Article
Publication date: 3 September 2018

Mohamed Aldhaheri, Amal Bakchan and Maqsood Ahmad Sandhu

The purpose of this paper is to define and analyze causal factors shaping the effectiveness of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) major projects in meeting…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to define and analyze causal factors shaping the effectiveness of engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) major projects in meeting the product objectives, from the end-user’s perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

An online survey questionnaire was developed and administered to end-users working in major oil and gas projects. Data collection process was initiated on, around 275 end-users, and 213 responses were received, achieving a high response rate of 77 percent.

Findings

The results indicate that both alignment of objectives and end-user’s engagement factors exhibit a positive influence on effectiveness of EPC, with the former having higher contribution than the latter. In this context, the product success triangle reveals higher preference of the end-user’s team toward quality than schedule and cost objectives.

Research limitations/implications

Shifting the efforts of involving the end-user forward in time, starting from the planning stage, alleviates the adverse impacts of design changes as well as increases the ability to save cost, improve performance and increase end-user’s satisfaction.

Practical implications

The model raises the awareness of oil and gas industry practitioners toward the critical factors influencing the project effectiveness and proposes useful techniques for maintaining proper alignment between project and product objectives as well as facilitating end-user’s engagement at the site level. As such, it can serve as a motivation tool for aligning the objectives and acknowledging the engagement, with the aim of achieving the product success.

Originality/value

The effectiveness of EPC structural model was developed and tested using PLS–structural equation modeling statistical technique. The interpretation of the structural model demonstrated that both end-user’s engagement and alignment of objectives are essential to successfully achieve project effectiveness.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 25 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 November 2006

Maqsood Sandhu and Petri Helo

Based upon previous models and the extant literature, the purpose of this paper is to present a network approach to describing and analyzing inter‐organizational…

Abstract

Purpose

Based upon previous models and the extant literature, the purpose of this paper is to present a network approach to describing and analyzing inter‐organizational relationships in project business. The framework provides a better understanding of the dynamic processes and critical interfaces in a network context, and advocates the use of the tools of agile supply‐demand networks (ASDN) and design structure matrix (DSM).

Design/methodology/approach

This conceptual paper uses a network approach to understand inter‐organizational business relationships in resource management. This approach is useful for understanding relationships in project business, which usually involves a wide array of actors or stakeholders who provide resources or have an interest in project outcomes.

Findings

The paper concludes that a network‐based framework provides a solid basis for a rich description and analysis of a multi‐actor project business, as well as assisting in understanding important interpersonal relationship factors that affect project success‐such as trust, commitment, and adaptation.

Research limitations/implications

Models of the type discussed here have been implemented in larger multinational corporations, but they might not be applicable in smaller enterprises that do not have overall control of a network.

Practical implications

The paper presents useful practical tools for understanding the dynamic processes of networks in project‐based business, and for identifying the actors, activities and resource interdependencies involved.

Originality/value

This paper extends upon previous approaches to project business and presents practical tools that can be used to analyze project‐business networks.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 13 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2012

Maqsood Sandhu and Mian Ajmal

This research aims to investigate the adoption of electronic communication tools and seeks to shed more light on their diffusion process, a challenging task for…

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to investigate the adoption of electronic communication tools and seeks to shed more light on their diffusion process, a challenging task for project‐based (PBO) and traditional business organizations (TBO).

Design/methodology/approach

The data for the study were collected through three surveys, one total population survey in the Finnish and Swedish house building industries representing traditional business organizations, together with a focused and a total population survey in project‐based organizations.

Findings

The main findings from the survey indicate a difference in attitude between the employees of TBOs and PBOs. Moreover, electronic document management and scheduling were more prominent among PBOs, because these firms exhibit more inter‐organizational communication.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to project‐based and traditional business organizations. The research emphasises the fact that PBOs make more inter‐firm collaboration efforts and thus require more extensive communication systems for inter‐organizational links. Further research is needed in other industries to validate the present findings.

Practical implications

By looking at the use of ICT, the aim was to determine which e‐communication tools are more tightly coupled to management and how firms can benefit most from these tools for organizational governance.

Originality/value

This is one of the few studies to have examined the uses of ICT in a PBO and TBO context and especially in Finnish and Swedish background.

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Article
Publication date: 6 January 2012

Yohanes Kristianto, Mian M. Ajmal and Maqsood Sandhu

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a survey of customer satisfaction with regard to the strategy of total quality management (TQM) adopted in a wheat…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the results of a survey of customer satisfaction with regard to the strategy of total quality management (TQM) adopted in a wheat flour milling company.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted to learn more about customer expectations and satisfaction. The respondents were all customers of a flour‐based food processor. Quality function deployment (QFD) was applied to improve customer service performance by focusing on customer satisfaction, value and retention.

Findings

The results show that customer satisfaction has increased steadily over a period of three years. The QFD approach helped to design a competitive product by aligning the company resources to customers’ needs.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to a specific food manufacturing company and for this reason they cannot be generalized to the whole in service sector. Further research is needed for other service companies.

Practical implications

The findings may support manufacturing companies hoping to achieve customer satisfaction by focusing on TQM implementation efforts. Furthermore, companies can focus their efforts on improving the way in which they meet certain customers’ needs if these needs are more extensively related to a certain component of quality management.

Originality/value

The paper presents evidence to managers of the value of implementing TQM strategy to effectively achieve customer satisfaction that ultimately leads to greater market share and profit maximization.

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Article
Publication date: 6 November 2007

Richard A. Owusu, Maqsood Sandhu and Sören Kock

The aim of the paper is to elaborate a framework of project business as a distinct mode of internationalization. The uniqueness and complexity of project business as a

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the paper is to elaborate a framework of project business as a distinct mode of internationalization. The uniqueness and complexity of project business as a core mode are portrayed by comparing it with other internationalization modes. It is agreed that a single project sale is a discrete form of direct involvement in a foreign market. However, this provides opportunities for network interactions that can facilitate further project business openings in a foreign market and on a global level.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the abductive method, the paper constructs a comparative framework of project business and other forms of internationalization. It illustrates the discussion with a longitudinal case study of a company that uses project business as its strategic choice for its internationalization.

Findings

The paper finds that, using project business as its core internationalization mode, the company has expanded its global business as well as entering and succeeding in foreign business networks. It proposes that the network and relationship‐based project business approach is viable as a strategic alternative for internationalization on its own or in combination with other modes.

Research limitations/implications

The study provides a framework for positioning project business as a separate internationalization mode. It provides a comparative framework for internationalization modes.

Practical implications

This study provides managers with an understanding of project business as a distinct and profitable mode of internationalization. It illuminates the network and relationship‐building aspects of project business.

Originality/value

According to the research, this is the first study that proposes project business as a distinct mode of internationalization. Much previous research has either not mentioned project business or subsumed it as an unimportant part of exports. The framework developed in this study should spur new research on the issue.

Details

International Marketing Review, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-1335

Keywords

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