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Article
Publication date: 13 May 2019

Knut R. Fossum, Jean C. Binder, Tage K. Madsen, Wenche Aarseth and Bjorn Andersen

The purpose of this paper is to identify and complete the existing lack of quantitative data at the crossroads between organizational support (OS) practices and project…

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1688

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify and complete the existing lack of quantitative data at the crossroads between organizational support (OS) practices and project management success in global projects (GPs) and discuss implication of the results in perspective of the theory–practice gap.

Design/methodology/approach

Building on classical organizational theory and GP knowledge areas, a survey addressing GP practitioners was designed. This paper focuses on OS practices as success factors and addresses a subset of the survey (1,170 respondents across 74 countries).

Findings

OS practices included in the study were found to have high importance for managerial success. OS practices for selection and training of team members show significant correlation with project efficiency but have low adaptation in many organizations. Statistically significant correlations were found to be weaker than expected, indicating that the relation between OS practices (as success factors) and project efficiency (as success criteria) is more complex than expected.

Research limitations/implications

The work constitutes opinion-based research and is vulnerable to variations in OS practices and the definition of success in different organizations and industries. The granularity level of the theoretical framework brought about relative high-level survey questions and may impact the applicability of the results.

Practical implications

To improve the efficiency of GPs, better implementation of OS practices for selection processes and training personnel has been suggested.

Originality/value

The theoretical alignment of classical organizational variables with GP knowledge areas and associated practices provides an original approach to the “theory–practice gap” discourse.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 2 July 2018

Kristina Nevstad, Sjur Børve, Anniken Th Karlsen and Wenche Aarseth

The purpose of this paper is to present new findings to organizations that acknowledge difficulties in implementing and succeeding with project partnering.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present new findings to organizations that acknowledge difficulties in implementing and succeeding with project partnering.

Design/methodology/approach

The investigation is based on a case study where empirical evidence has been collected via semi-structured interviews of 54 professionals within the construction industry.

Findings

Based on the research the authors were able to identify three main dimensions vital for project partnering success: 1. who related to participant selection; 2. what related to task clarification; and 3. way related to partnering means. These dimensions give rise to what the authors have termed a 3W (Who, What, Way) model on how to succeed with project partnering in practice. The third dimension, way related to partnering means, was found to consist of the four subdimensions: 3a. partnering attitude; 3b. a collaborative culture; 3c. a holistic perspective; and 3d. an accurate handover.

Originality/value

The authors found 318 papers focusing on partnering, in these only 19 focused on how to succeed with project partnering. The authors have complemented the limited research on how to succeed with project partnering with 54 interviews of professionals. The majority of the existing research has focused on challenges. This paper contributes to the research gap by presenting a 3W model on how to succeed with project partnering.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 5 September 2017

Sjur Børve, Asbjørn Rolstadås, Bjorn Andersen and Wenche Aarseth

Due to observed problems in real-life projects stemming from the lack of a unified definition, the purpose of this paper is to formulate a new definition of project…

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1471

Abstract

Purpose

Due to observed problems in real-life projects stemming from the lack of a unified definition, the purpose of this paper is to formulate a new definition of project partnering (PP) through documenting the specific characteristics researchers attribute to this approach.

Design/methodology/approach

PP definition phrases extracted from a literature review were sorted into a basic framework of who, what, how, when and where. In a web-based survey, a group of experts marked the phrases from the literature review as being specific, generic, or irrelevant to PP. The expert group comprised highly ranked and experienced PP researchers. Based on the survey results, a new definition was formulated. The new definition specifies the participants, the objectives and the knowledge, skills, tools and techniques applied to pursue the objectives in PP. A verification survey of the expert group gave a 78-96 per cent combined approve and support score for each element of the new definition.

Findings

PP and a partnering project are defined by a framework encompassing three basic dimensions: participants, objectives, knowledge, skills, tools and techniques applied to pursue the objectives. The new definition is: “project partnering is a relationship strategy whereby a project owner integrates contractors and other major contributors into the project”. Through commitment to mutual project objectives, collaborative problem solving and a joint governance structure, partners pursue collaborative relationships, trust and improved performance. The new definition indicates that PP neither varies with early contractor involvement nor gain and pain share, but varies with the degree of mutual project objectives, collaborative problem solving and joint governance structure.

Originality/value

PP is a complex concept with no widely accepted definition. The basic framework applied to the formulation of the definition in this project can also be applied to define and implement a partnering project and to define and distinguish between other relationship-based procurement forms.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 20 June 2019

Knut R. Fossum, Wenche Aarseth and Bjorn Andersen

The purpose of this paper is to explore scenario development (SD) as a method for engaging known challenges in collaborative research projects, i.e. SD is the construct…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore scenario development (SD) as a method for engaging known challenges in collaborative research projects, i.e. SD is the construct under investigation.

Design/methodology/approach

Criticism of the dominant, rational approach to project management (PM) and its underlying hypotheses highlights a considerable PM research gap for research projects (research problem). The authors undertake a six-step constructive research approach to investigate if SD (the construct) constitutes a fruitful method to support the management of collaborative research projects. A two-part literature review summarizes known challenges in collaborative research projects and introduces the history and application of SD methodology. The work includes participatory action research (PAR) in two case studies, constituting a qualitative research method.

Findings

The authors found the SD method to be useful for structuring and analyzing intuitive project processes. However, using SD in the management of single projects presents some fundamental challenges. SD, like PM, struggles with issues related to myopic decisions, a “predict and provide” attitude with clear aspects of path dependency in the project front-end as well as inconsistent and/or missing identification of success criteria among different stakeholders.

Research limitations/implications

This paper does not provide any comprehensive, normative account of scenario techniques or compare SD with other foresight and future studies methods. Although PAR is in itself a research method that demands systematic description and execution, the focus of this paper is the overall constructive research approach.

Practical implications

The paper offers a broadened repertoire of methods to describe and analyse project stakeholder situations (collaborative aspects) and to structure and balance the need for both rational and intuitive project processes (research aspects). The SD method also supports development of graphical storylines and facilitates the use of influence diagrams, event trees and cost/benefit analysis.

Originality/value

Although PM literature contains several references to SD, the practical application of SD at single-project level has, to the authors’ knowledge, never been described in the PM literature.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2019

Haavard Haaskjold, Bjørn Andersen, Ola Lædre and Wenche Aarseth

Transaction costs in projects can be reduced through improved collaboration between contractors and clients. The purpose of this paper is to respond to the call for…

Abstract

Purpose

Transaction costs in projects can be reduced through improved collaboration between contractors and clients. The purpose of this paper is to respond to the call for further research on the framework suggested by Li et al. (2015) who presented 26 factors that determine project transaction costs. The objective is to empirically test the framework to identify factors that have the greatest influence on project collaboration so that practitioners can prioritize their efforts on the most salient factors that will improve collaboration and reduce transaction costs.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper employed interviews with 38 project practitioners from three different industries in Norway. The respondents had in average 20 years of professional experience.

Findings

The quality of communication, project uncertainty, owner’s organizational efficiency, change orders and trust were the five most frequently found factors that influence both project transaction costs and collaboration level. When the authors compared findings between different industries the authors found that the quality of communication was important for all industries. The owner’s organizational efficiency was also highly important in oil and gas and ICT projects. Trust was particularly important in oil and gas projects while frequency of claims was particularly important in construction projects.

Practical implications

This paper identifies the five most important factors for project practitioners to prioritize in order to reduce transaction costs through improved collaboration.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the conceptual theory of transaction costs and collaboration as it empirically tests and extends the framework developed by Li et al. (2015).

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 4 January 2017

Sjur Børve, Tuomas Ahola, Bjorn Andersen and Wenche Aarseth

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate to which extent partnering practices observed in earlier research focussing on the construction industry are applied in offshore…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to evaluate to which extent partnering practices observed in earlier research focussing on the construction industry are applied in offshore development drilling projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reviews earlier research on project partnering and the relationship-based procurement (RBP) taxonomy. The taxonomy is then empirically applied to describe partnering practices in an incentive-based drilling project in Norway.

Findings

Many elements of project partnering observed earlier in construction projects were found to characterize offshore development drilling projects. However, as assessed using the RBP framework, the authors found that partnering elements in observed context rated consistently lower than elements previously reported in the construction industry, indicating a lower maturity of partnering practices in the studied context.

Practical implications

The present study provides a multi-dimensional and systematic description of partnering practices in offshore drilling projects. Project owners can utilize this information to identify partnering elements requiring particular emphasis when initiating and managing drilling projects. Based on the findings, such elements include transparency and open-book auditing, integrated risk mitigation and insurance practices and establishment of authentic leadership. The findings further imply that partnering models cannot be directly applied across industry boundaries but must be tailored to fit the salient characteristics of each context.

Originality/value

The paper systematically describes to which extent specific partnering elements of the RBP taxonomy are applied in offshore drilling projects.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 30 March 2012

Wenche Aarseth, Bjørn Andersen, Tuomas Ahola and George Jergeas

The purpose of this paper is to present practical difficulties in attempting to implement a partnering approach.

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1191

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present practical difficulties in attempting to implement a partnering approach.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper comprises empirical evidence from case studies in Norway and Canada and an extensive literature review on partnering.

Findings

The authors identified a lack of shared understanding of key partnering concepts, missing initial effort to establish shared ground rules, communication difficulties in inter‐organizational relationships and unclear (perceived) roles and responsibilities. In existing partnering literature, a large number of construction studies have identified conceptual partnering models. However, studies that describe partnering models to take these practical difficulties into account have not been found and the paper develops a practical model that outlines the phases of a typical partnering effort.

Research limitations/implications

Partnering has both a legal/contractual side and a management/collaboration side. This paper looks at the management and collaboration aspects of partnering only.

Practical implications

The paper will be a very useful source of information and advice for project managers who are attempting to implement partnering in projects.

Originality/value

The paper presents organizational challenges and difficulties in attempting to implement partnering and a practical model which takes these difficulties into account.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2014

Wenche Aarseth, Asbjørn Rolstadås and Bjorn Andersen

The purpose of this paper is to complement the research that has been done in global projects so far and has two objectives: to study organizational challenges in global…

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5643

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to complement the research that has been done in global projects so far and has two objectives: to study organizational challenges in global projects, compared with those of traditional projects; and to define and analyze the main organizational challenges the project team members and project managers meet when assigned to global projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based on a survey sent to 550 project managers and people working in a global environment, data from 246 respondents, and 30 interviews with senior project team members.

Findings

The results show that the main organizational challenges are managing the external stakeholders in the global project; the local government in the country, local content demand, local authorities, local industry, and lack of support from the base organization and management. One of the conclusions is that companies need a relationship management approach to managing these challenges in global projects.

Originality/value

Organizational challenges are an underestimated area in projects and when it comes to an in-depth understanding of organizational challenges in global projects only a very few studies have been published compared with other project management issues. This article contributes to existing research by presenting the organizational challenges in global projects and how they differ from traditional projects.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 7 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Bjørn Andersen, Bjørnar Henriksen and Wenche Aarseth

The work presented aimed at developing an integrated framework for holistic performance management.

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15004

Abstract

Purpose

The work presented aimed at developing an integrated framework for holistic performance management.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was carried out using an action research approach. A case study was used as the basis for developing a pilot framework for performance management, involving both employees in the case organization and researchers. The research is based on theoretical contributions within performance management, total quality management, and trend analysis.

Findings

A generic holistic performance management framework is outlined, encompassing diverse areas that need to play together and reinforce each other to give full effect to an organization. The main focus is a case study of a bank office, where a tailored version of the performance management framework was developed to give a setting where all these elements now are harmonized and work together.

Research limitations/implications

The framework must be viewed as a pilot that should be further tested in other types of industries/organizations to verify its validity on a broader basis.

Originality/value

The generic framework for integrated performance management is novel and seems suitable for adaptation to many different industries and types of organization and can function as a guideline to avoiding launching concepts and programs that ultimately do not cancel each other out as their inter‐linkages have not been understood.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 55 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

Reviews the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoints practical implications from cutting‐edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

As companies try to find ever more ways to sharpen their competitive edge through various strategic and management tools, their relationship with the customer can become muddled and impersonal. In their quest for diversification and efficiency, many companies often take on several of the latest fads in training and structuring, only to discard them later down the line when they prove not to have been beneficial. One answer to this problem is a “holistic” approach to corporate structure, beginning with the front‐end of the organization and its relationship with the consumer.

Practical implications

Provides strategic insights and practical thinking that have influenced some of the world's leading organizations.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy‐to‐digest format.

Details

Strategic Direction, vol. 22 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0258-0543

Keywords

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