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Article
Publication date: 31 October 2018

Susanna Hedborg Bengtsson, Tina Karrbom Gustavsson and Per Erik Eriksson

Innovation is constantly present in the construction industry, however, mainly on a single project level. Initiating and implementing inter-organizational innovation in a…

Abstract

Purpose

Innovation is constantly present in the construction industry, however, mainly on a single project level. Initiating and implementing inter-organizational innovation in a multi-project context such as in urban development entails large complexity, for example, because of the many interdependent projects and users of innovation. The users’ influence on inter-organizational innovation in a multi-project context has not been fully explored. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to discuss how users influence inter-organizational innovation in multi-project contexts by mapping the receptiveness for change.

Design/methodology/approach

A single case study approach was used, where empirical material including semi-structured interviews in combination with meeting observations, document studies and participative workshops were gathered. The rich empirical material, studying inter-organizational innovation in an urban development context, was mapped based on the receptive context for change framework.

Findings

A receptive context for change was not present in the studied multi-project context. Communication to develop and implement inter-organizational innovation was not sufficient and the clients’ procurement strategies were to a large extent not developed to facilitate inter-organizational innovation. Findings show differences in users’ possibility and aim to implement inter-organizational innovation.

Originality/value

The mapping of the receptive context to influence inter-organizational innovation widens the knowledge base and provides valuable insights on how inter-organizational innovation may be implemented in the loosely coupled construction industry. Furthermore, the findings broaden the discussion on clients as innovation supporters, and contribute to the debate on clients as innovation supporters, by highlighting the importance of distinguishing between different types of clients.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 2004

Nick G. Blismas, William D. Sher, Antony Thorpe and Andrew N. Baldwin

The single project paradigm which dominates the literature of both project and construction management research does not accurately reflect the reality of many…

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Abstract

The single project paradigm which dominates the literature of both project and construction management research does not accurately reflect the reality of many construction clients, who have large ongoing construction portfolios rather than one‐off construction projects. Although several concepts of multi‐project environments (MPEs) exist, an investigation of the form and dynamic interactions of components within MPEs of construction clients was lacking. This paper presents the factors identified as exerting greatest influence on project delivery within construction clients' MPEs.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 11 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 September 2009

Tomas Blomquist and Timothy L. Wilson

The purpose of this paper is to look at the underlying unit cost considerations in project conduct at the firm level and an established business unit concept is extended…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to look at the underlying unit cost considerations in project conduct at the firm level and an established business unit concept is extended to multi‐project organizations. The approach and background are described along with apparent implications.

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology developed by Gold is extended to cover multi‐project organizations. The adaptation of the productivity network is demonstrated using a hypothetical case.

Findings

The focus of the paper is on demonstrating an approach. Generally, productivity in an organization is found not to be dictated by a single input, but by the multiplicative outcome of each together. In particular, the number of projects handled each year appears to be of strategic importance in productivity.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is conceptual, so applicability depends upon the nature of the particular organization to which it is applied. Implications, of course, will depend upon the degree to which actual data match the model.

Practical implications

The approach permits managers to get a handle on productivity in their organizations. It is particularly attractive insofar as it largely depends upon available accounting information for input. This paper seeks to fuel greater interest and debate by practitioners and project management academics about the topic.

Originality/value

Although the paper is conceptual, the authors believe that it may among the first to quantitatively treat productivity in multi‐project organizations. The approach can be used to understand the productivity as well as some elements of effectiveness of multi‐project organizations.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 June 2011

Michael Young, Jill Owen and James Connor

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that there is not just a single project portfolio operating within an organisation, but instead there are multiple portfolios.

1954

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate that there is not just a single project portfolio operating within an organisation, but instead there are multiple portfolios.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper follows a case study methodology, utilising secondary sources in the form of publically available reports.

Findings

The authors offer a definition of whole of enterprise portfolio management and suggest that this conceptual tool will allow an organisation to control programs and portfolios, particularly, where organizations adapt to emergent situations.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is supported through a single case study using secondary data only. Whilst this provides an illustrated example to support a theoretical model, further empirical research is required to determine its applicability in other sectors and organisational contexts.

Practical implications

This paper provides a whole of enterprise portfolio model in the utilities sector and can be applied to many organisations. It also provides a basis for further research.

Originality/value

This paper provides a new perspective on portfolio management, suggesting that the organisation consists of many portfolios that need to be managed in an integrative manner, rather than just the project portfolio be examined and managed in isolation.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 2021

Ghizlane El bok and Abdelaziz Berrado

Categorizing projects allows for better alignment of a portfolio with the organizational strategy and goals. An appropriate project categorization helps understand…

Abstract

Purpose

Categorizing projects allows for better alignment of a portfolio with the organizational strategy and goals. An appropriate project categorization helps understand portfolio’s structure and enables proper project portfolio selection (PPS). In practice, project categorization is, however, conducted in intuitive approaches. Furthermore, little attention has been given to project categorization methods in the project management literature. The purpose of this paper is to provide researchers and practitioners with a data-driven project categorization process designed for PPS.

Design/methodology/approach

The suggested process was modeled considering the main characteristics of project categorization systems revealed from the literature. The clustering analysis is used as the core-computing technology, allowing for an empirically based categorization. This study also presents a real-world case study in the automotive industry to illustrate the proposed approach.

Findings

This study confirmed the potential of clustering analysis for a consistent project categorization. The most important attributes that influenced the project grouping have been identified including strategic and intrinsic features. The proposed approach helps increase the visibility of the portfolio’s structure and the comparability of its components.

Originality/value

There is a lack of research regarding project categorization methods, particularly for the purpose of PPS. A novel data-driven process is proposed to help mitigate the issues raised by prior researchers including the inconsistencies, ambiguities and multiple interpretations related to the taken-for-granted categories. The suggested approach is also expected to facilitate projects evaluation and prioritization within appropriate categories and contribute in PPS effectiveness.

Details

Journal of Modelling in Management, vol. 17 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5664

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 November 2019

Henrico Plantinga, Hans Voordijk and André Dorée

The development of innovative procurement instruments can be costly and risky. To capitalize on successful innovative instruments, it is essential that these are reused…

Abstract

Purpose

The development of innovative procurement instruments can be costly and risky. To capitalize on successful innovative instruments, it is essential that these are reused. However, reuse can be problematic in project-based public client organizations. This paper aims to apply the ambidexterity concept of integration mechanisms to examine how such reuse can be facilitated.

Design/methodology/approach

An initial framework is developed to conceptualize and contextualize the ambidexterity integration mechanism for the procurement function of a multi-project public client. Concluding that, in this situation, an organizational procedure is an appropriate interpretation of the integration mechanism, a design science project is carried out to develop and implement a procedure in a real-life setting.

Findings

Reconstructed reuse patterns confirm the need to have an actionable integration mechanism implemented. Integration, in the sense of drawing benefits from successful one-off innovative procurement instruments, may fail unnoticed if not organized and deliberately managed. The procedure developed in the design science project demonstrates how such integration can be achieved.

Originality/value

Although research on ambidexterity has grown exponentially in the past decade, it is yet to be applied in the field of public procurement. Furthermore, the application of design science research is novel in this field of literature. The paper illustrates how both can help solve a relevant organizational problem.

Details

Journal of Public Procurement, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1535-0118

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 12 January 2010

Sihem Ben Mahmoud‐Jouini and Sylvain Lenfle

The platform strategy adopted by firms in a multi‐project context reduces lead‐time and development cost, enhances reliability, allows mass customization and increases…

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Abstract

Purpose

The platform strategy adopted by firms in a multi‐project context reduces lead‐time and development cost, enhances reliability, allows mass customization and increases manufacturing flexibility. While the major challenges of this strategy have been highlighted, the evolution of the platform and its management during its lifecycle is under studied. The paper address this missing point by considering the sustainability of the platform during its life cycle.

Design/methodology/approach

For that purpose, the paper has carried out a field methodology research at a car manufacturer six years after the successful setting of the platform strategy. It analyzes at a fine‐grained level the development of a second generation product on this existing platform.

Findings

Using a model that traces the design decisions taken during this development, it has identified that, in order to reuse the platform over two generations, the engineers implicitly apply, besides the design rules that correspond to the very definition of platform strategy as presented in the literature such as the carry‐over and the lean design, a learning routine that challenges these rules. It designates this routine by “smart reuse” because it enables the reuse of the platform from one generation to another. It highlights the interplay between the products and the platform that co‐evolve by pointing out the reciprocal prescription relationships. This co‐evolution operates through two levels: between the product planning and the platform on one hand and the product development and the platform on the other.

Practical implications

The paper has several implications, such as the central role of the platform director in the platform reuse and the platform architecture, mainly its modularity, and its impact on the platform progressive renewal. This research reveals ideas that need to be validated and tested through other methods and in other industrial contexts.

Originality/value

The paper offers insights into platform‐re‐use, focusing on the automotive industry.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 September 2011

Jacob D. Vakkayil

This paper focuses on how shared objects created by support departments in a software development firm facilitate the advancement of learning and knowledge sharing…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper focuses on how shared objects created by support departments in a software development firm facilitate the advancement of learning and knowledge sharing. Objects can be both facilitative and restrictive in certain ways, and the study seeks to enhance our understanding of how they can be made more facilitative.

Design/methodology/approach

This study can best be described as a single location exploratory case study in which data were predominantly gathered through unstructured interviews. The theoretical perspective of practice‐oriented studies is adopted, specifically utilizing activity theory to understand and analyze objects.

Findings

It is pointed out that, striving to understand objects with a focus on their often unanticipated usage can be useful in making them more facilitative. While emphasizing that objects are not used coherently in the field, the study explores how they could be made more facilitative by focusing on situated ways in which they act in the field. It was observed that they could become more facilitative by being shells with higher degrees of configurability, by being legitimate facades that create interesting contexts of multi‐project interactions and by being anchors of stability in an organizational setting of constant flux.

Originality/value

The research is exploratory in nature and has focused on the introduction of new ways of looking at objects in project‐based organizations. An enhanced understanding of the dynamics of objects in project settings can enable project personnel and support service personnel to make them more facilitative. For researchers, this study contributes to the discussions on understanding objects by proposing new ways of looking at the role of objects in project‐based organizations.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 June 2012

Thommie Burström and Mattias Jacobsson

The purpose of this paper is to identify and understand challenges related to transition processes that occur between projects and the permanent organisation, as well as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and understand challenges related to transition processes that occur between projects and the permanent organisation, as well as the outcome of such processes.

Design/methodology/approach

The study is based on an explorative, in‐depth case study of a multi‐project setting. The concept phase of three projects was followed by participative observations and ongoing interviews over a 15‐week period at two sites and in two countries. The empirical material was analyzed through a process‐oriented approach focusing on daily project activities.

Findings

Transition processes are characterized by containing operational complexities. These operational complexities demand project stakeholders to perform multiple translational and transformative activities. The outcomes from these activities are, for example, strategic, operational, and functional fine‐tuning, but also attitudinal turnaround.

Research limitations/implications

This research is based on an interorganizational vehicle platform project setting. Therefore, the findings from this study cannot easily be generalized to other settings. However, it is likely that actors in other interorganizational project settings can benefit from the finding, since there probably are a multitude of transition processes in such projects as well.

Practical implications

Managers can learn that it is important to map all related transition processes, analyze the implications that these processes have on the project, and perform a dialog with project members so that the sense of operational complexity and uncertainty can be reduced. This type of action will reduce feelings of frustration and create a sense of readiness to deal with unexpected events.

Originality/value

The paper's value is two‐fold. First, the setting “an interorganizational vehicle platform” is largely under studied; and second, the paper pinpoints three unique transition processes and thereby contributes to the sparsely researched area of transition processes.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 5 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 19 June 2009

Julie Beauséjour

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how lessons learnt from a case study of a sanitation project undertaken in periurban Vietnam can indicate a more sustainable…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how lessons learnt from a case study of a sanitation project undertaken in periurban Vietnam can indicate a more sustainable scale of operations by decentralization. In context of high urbanization in South‐East Asia, periurban areas suffer increasing environmental pressure and lack access to environmental infrastructures. As the government of Vietnam has not yet defined its supply programme for sanitation, central governmental supply and operation is questioned by various small non‐governmental organizations (NGO) that could successfully provide community‐managed projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A pilot wastewater management community project by an international NGO serves as a case study for capacity‐analysis at the local level. Using interviews with experts and user‐oriented focus groups, both the village and household capacities to participate in the project are analyzed.

Findings

The research identifies the skills and expertise necessary for the management of a sustainable sanitation service. Observing local skills and resulting outputs of the community‐managed system provides comprehensive insight about the highest needs of local support and clarifies coordination priorities between stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is limited to one country and context, while findings can be useful in similar contexts it cannot be generally applied.

Practical implications

The Lai Xa project demonstrates that operation decentralization could be highly profitable for the authorities compared to the traditional approach of government supply and maintenance. Local communities could, with proper training, manage and maintain a simple sanitation system. The sustainability of these community services finally depends on proper coordination by water and sanitation authorities providing specialized technical and managerial support.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of literature on project case studies in the NGO world and this paper helps to broaden the understanding of the interface between project management and aid project delivery by providing useful insights on how the project uses a complex system of capacities at various levels.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

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