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Article
Publication date: 12 May 2020

Krishnan Mysore, Konstantinos Kirytopoulos, Seungjun Ahn and Tony Ma

Adverse situations negatively impact project stakeholders’ engagement. Past research has sporadically investigated adverse situations affecting stakeholder engagement but…

Abstract

Purpose

Adverse situations negatively impact project stakeholders’ engagement. Past research has sporadically investigated adverse situations affecting stakeholder engagement but lacks a thorough empirical investigation. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

A web survey was designed to address the knowledge gap of the identification of the impactful adverse situations during multi-stakeholder engagement. The research yielded 144 completed responses from multi-stakeholders engaged in globally distributed ICT projects.

Findings

Exploratory factor analysis revealed eight factors that underpin 26 adverse situations. The top factors, ranked in terms of importance according to their Relative Importance Index (RII) are: dysfunctional conflicts, dearth of reasoning, glitches in project governance, clash of personalities.

Research limitations/implications

This research reveals the factors that can impact engagement in the form of meaningful clusters and dimensions and opens-up a future research agenda toward causation and mitigation studies related to adversarial stakeholder engagement. The study focuses on globally distributed ICT projects and has not explored generalizability in other sectors.

Practical implications

This research enables project managers and stakeholder analysts to get an understanding on the importance of different dimensions of adverse situations in the way stakeholders think, act and emote.

Social implications

Awareness on the potential adversarial stakeholder engagement helps in effectively managing the sustained stakeholder relationships and mental well-being of project stakeholders.

Originality/value

This research contributes to project management practice, as it reveals the underlying factors of adverse situations occurring during multi-stakeholders’ engagement, provides clarity on their components and ranks them in terms of importance for their overall effect on stakeholders’ engagement.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 16 April 2018

Jian Zuo, Xianbo Zhao, Quan Bui Minh Nguyen, Tony Ma and Shang Gao

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to identify the soft skills of construction project management; and second, to investigate the influence of these soft skills…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is twofold: first, to identify the soft skills of construction project management; and second, to investigate the influence of these soft skills on project success factors in the Vietnamese construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was conducted with 108 project management professionals from the Vietnamese construction industry. Partial least square structural equation modelling was employed in data analysis.

Findings

Four-dimensional structure of project success factors was confirmed in this study. Results also showed that soft skills of project managers significantly contributed to project success factors and hence the project success.

Research limitations/implications

There may be geographical limitation on the conclusions drawn from the findings. Similarly, the sample size was still small, despite a relatively high response rate. In addition, the majority of the respondents were contractors and clients as other project players were reluctant to respond to the survey.

Practical implications

This study provides an understanding of the relationship between soft skills and project success factors.

Originality/value

Although there have been studies focused on soft skills of project management and project success factors, few have attempted to analyse the effects of these soft skills on critical success factors. Thus, this study adds significantly to the existing research on both project management skills and project success factors.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2017

James Prater, Konstantinos Kirytopoulos and Tony Ma

One of the major challenges for any project is to prepare and develop an achievable baseline schedule and thus set the project up for success, rather than failure. The…

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2939

Abstract

Purpose

One of the major challenges for any project is to prepare and develop an achievable baseline schedule and thus set the project up for success, rather than failure. The purpose of this paper is to explore and investigate research outputs in one of the major causes, optimism bias, to identify problems with developing baseline schedules and analyse mitigation techniques and their effectiveness recommended by research to minimise the impact of this bias.

Design/methodology/approach

A systematic quantitative literature review was followed, examining Project Management Journals, documenting the mitigation approaches recommended and then reviewing whether these approaches were validated by research.

Findings

Optimism bias proved to be widely accepted as a major cause of unrealistic scheduling for projects, and there is a common understanding as to what it is and the effects that it has on original baseline schedules. Based upon this review, the most recommended mitigation method is Flyvbjerg’s “Reference class,” which has been developed based upon Kahneman’s “Outside View”. Both of these mitigation techniques are based upon using an independent third party to review the estimate. However, within the papers reviewed, apart from the engineering projects, there has been no experimental and statistically validated research into the effectiveness of this method. The majority of authors who have published on this topic are based in Europe.

Research limitations/implications

The short-listed papers for this review referred mainly to non-engineering projects which included information technology focussed ones. Thus, on one hand, empirical research is needed for engineering projects, while on the other hand, the lack of tangible evidence for the effectiveness of methods related to the alleviation of optimism bias issues calls for greater research into the effectiveness of mitigation techniques for not only engineering projects, but for all projects.

Originality/value

This paper documents the growth within the project management research literature over time on the topic of optimism bias. Specifically, it documents the various methods recommended to mitigate the phenomenon and highlights quantitatively the research undertaken on the subject. Moreover, it introduces paths for further research.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2019

James Prater, Konstantinos Kirytopoulos and Tony Ma

Despite the advent of sophisticated control methods, there are still significant issues regarding late delivery of information technology projects. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the advent of sophisticated control methods, there are still significant issues regarding late delivery of information technology projects. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the common causes of scheduling problems specifically in the information technology projects context.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a quantitative research, the importance of those causes, as well as the underpinning factors driving them, is explored. The causes are ranked according to their relative important index, and exploratory factor analysis is employed to reveal underlying dimensions (factors) of these causes.

Findings

From the analysis, four factors were extracted, namely, “Dataless Newbie,” “Technical Newbie,” “Pragmatic Futurist” and “Optimistic Politician.” These factors explain the different latent conditions that lead to scheduling problems in information technology projects.

Practical implications

The key contribution of this research is that it enlightens the latent conditions underpinning scheduling problems. Also, the evidence provides that schedule development for information technology projects is impacted by the same causes that impact engineering projects, and that applying a number of mitigation techniques widely used within the engineering area, such as reference class, would, no doubt, not only improve information technology schedules but also reduce the political pressures on the project manager.

Originality/value

This research provides a valuable insight into understanding the underlying factors for poor project estimation.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Book part
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Jacquelyn Benson, Steffany Kerr and Ashley Ermer

Research on relational maintenance of long-distance or cross-residential romantic relationships is limited. Moreover, relatively little is known about relational…

Abstract

Research on relational maintenance of long-distance or cross-residential romantic relationships is limited. Moreover, relatively little is known about relational maintenance among non-marital intimate partners in later life, many of whom prefer to live-apart-together (LAT) rather than cohabit. This research paper examines how older adults from the United States maintain their romantic relationships across residences. The authors conducted a grounded theory study drawing on interviews collected from 22 older adults in LAT relationships. The data revealed that older LAT partners engage in a process of safeguarding autonomy to maintain their partnerships and relationship satisfaction. Two broad strategies were identified: upholding separateness and reshaping expectations. While safeguarding autonomy was paramount, participants also emphasized the importance of having a flexible mindset about the physical copresence of their relationships. The findings have implications for practice, suggesting that creating an interdependent couple-identity may undermine, or at least have little bearing on, the relationship stability of older LAT couples. Future research is needed to determine how LAT experiences among racially/ethnically or socioeconomically diverse samples might differ.

Details

Intimate Relationships and Social Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-610-5

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1999

John Sneed and Donald Ace Morgan

From a roundup of recent literature on the effectiveness of the current accounting curriculum in the USA, identifies a consensus that additional education is needed to…

Abstract

From a roundup of recent literature on the effectiveness of the current accounting curriculum in the USA, identifies a consensus that additional education is needed to better prepare students for their careers in the accounting profession and seeks to determine which areas need to be addressed if substantial improvement is to be achieved within the curriculum; analyses data collected from the results of students’ tests undertaken over three consecutive semesters at a US Midwest university to assess students’ quantitative, verbal and problem‐solving skills, and finds that performance in the latter two areas was consistently less impressive than in the former. As each of these areas is seen as important to accounting careers, suggests that more attention should be paid to communication and problem‐solving skills as part of the curriculum, although not at the expense of technical skills; tabulates and briefly discusses a number of other findings from the research, for example with regard to gender differences across the skill areas.

Details

Management Research News, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0140-9174

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1987

David Bishop FCCA, Tony Grundy MA ACA and Peat Marwick McLintock

No company can afford to ignore opportunities for growth. Innovations in production, new developments in information technology and the identification of new markets can…

Abstract

No company can afford to ignore opportunities for growth. Innovations in production, new developments in information technology and the identification of new markets can all provide the stimulus for successful business expansion.

Details

Education + Training, vol. 29 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0040-0912

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

A.C. Sidwell, D. Budiawan and T. Ma

During the tendering process for most major construction contracts there is the opportunity for bidders to suggest alternative innovative solutions. Clearly clients are…

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1830

Abstract

During the tendering process for most major construction contracts there is the opportunity for bidders to suggest alternative innovative solutions. Clearly clients are keen to take advantage of these opportunities, and equally contractors want to use their expertise to establish competitive advantage. Both parties may very well benefit from the encouragement of such innovation and the availability of cheaper methods of construction than have been contemplated by the tendering authority. However recent developments in common law have raised doubts about the ability of owners to seek alternative tenders without placing themselves at risk of litigation. This common law has recognised the existence of the so‐called “tendering contract” or “process contract”. Since the tendering process is inherently price competitive, the application of the tendering contract concept is likely to severely inhibit the opportunity for alternative tenders. The “tendering contract” is automatically brought into being upon the timely submission of a conforming tender. This is contrary to the traditional view that an invitation to tender was considered to be no more than an invitation to treat, therefore submission of a tender creates obligations for neither party. Under the “tendering contract”, the owner becomes obliged to treat all tenderers equally and fairly. This paper is primarily based on the literature review. The aim of this paper is to highlight the problems with the competitive tendering process in relation to contractor‐led innovation and explore ways in which owners can develop procurement procedures that will allow and encourage innovation from contractors.

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Article
Publication date: 4 August 2014

Daniel W.M. Chan, Joseph H.L. Chan and Tony Ma

This paper aims to develop a fuzzy risk assessment model for construction projects procured with target cost contracts and guaranteed maximum price contracts (TCC/GMP…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a fuzzy risk assessment model for construction projects procured with target cost contracts and guaranteed maximum price contracts (TCC/GMP) using the fuzzy synthetic evaluation method, based on an empirical questionnaire survey with relevant industrial practitioners in South Australia.

Design/methodology/approach

A total of 34 major risk factors inherent with TCC/GMP contracts were identified through an extensive literature review and a series of structured interviews. A questionnaire survey was then launched to solicit the opinions of industrial practitioners on risk assessment of such risk factors.

Findings

The most important 14 key risk factors after the computation of normalised values were selected for undertaking fuzzy evaluation analysis. Five key risk groups (KRGs) were then generated in descending order of importance as: physical risks, lack of experience of contracting parties throughout TCC/GMP procurement process, design risks, contractual risks and delayed payment on contracts. These survey findings also revealed that physical risks may be the major hurdle to the success of TCC/GMP projects in South Australia.

Practical implications

Although the fuzzy risk assessment model was developed for those new-build construction projects procured by TCC/GMP contracts in this paper, the same research methodology may be applied to other contracts within the wide spectrum of facilities management or building maintenance services under the target cost-based model. Therefore, the contribution from this paper could be extended to the discipline of facilities management as well.

Originality/value

An overall risk index associated with TCC/GMP construction projects and the risk indices of individual KRGs can be generated from the model for reference. An objective and a holistic assessment can be achieved. The model has provided a solid platform to measure, evaluate and reduce the risk levels of TCC/GMP projects based on objective evidence instead of subjective judgements. The research methodology could be replicated in other countries or regions to produce similar models for international comparisons, and the assessment of risk levels for different types of TCC/GMP projects (including new-build or maintenance) worldwide.

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1995

Rinita Sarker

Employees who blow the whistle at work on serious fraud and malpractice out of concern for public interest, are to be afforded new protection against reprisals and unfair…

Abstract

Employees who blow the whistle at work on serious fraud and malpractice out of concern for public interest, are to be afforded new protection against reprisals and unfair dismissal in the Whistleblower Protection Bill, introduced in Parliament on 28th June, 1995, with all‐party support.

Details

Journal of Financial Crime, vol. 3 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-0790

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