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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2021

Sharareh Kermanshachi, Thahomina Jahan Nipa and Bac Dao

The purpose of this study is to ascertain and list the most effective management strategies in efficiently handling the project complexities to enhance the performance of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to ascertain and list the most effective management strategies in efficiently handling the project complexities to enhance the performance of the project.

Design/methodology/approach

To fulfill the aim of this study, a comprehensive literature review was conducted, and the qualitative Delphi technique in two rounds was applied. Participants of the Delphi technique consisted of 12 subject matter experts (SMEs) with cumulative experience of 250 years in working in construction projects. In the first round of the Delphi technique, SMEs were asked to provide complexity management strategies to address the complexities due to 37 complexity indicators (CIs) under 11 complexity categories. In the second round of the Delphi technique, SMEs identified the top three management strategies for each of the 37 CIs.

Findings

This study collected the outcome of the two-round Delphi technique and based on the output developed the list of strategies to manage complexities related to each indicator. For example, establishing a well-informed governance team, assigning a Project Manager (PM) when the number of projects is more than one in an organization, and assigning a PM efficient enough to communicate with higher authority effectively will help in managing complexity that arises due to faulty assessment of the influence of a project on the organization’s overall success.

Originality/value

This study will help practitioners in effectively managing the project complexities, and thus will reduce the monetary loss associated with project complexities.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2021

Nina Rizun, Aleksandra Revina and Vera G. Meister

This study aims to draw the attention of business process management (BPM) research and practice to the textual data generated in the processes and the potential of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to draw the attention of business process management (BPM) research and practice to the textual data generated in the processes and the potential of meaningful insights extraction. The authors apply standard natural language processing (NLP) approaches to gain valuable knowledge in the form of business process (BP) complexity concept suggested in the study. It is built on the objective, subjective and meta-knowledge extracted from the BP textual data and encompassing semantics, syntax and stylistics. As a result, the authors aim to create awareness about cognitive, attention and reading efforts forming the textual data-based BP complexity. The concept serves as a basis for the development of various decision-support solutions for BP workers.

Design/methodology/approach

The starting point is an investigation of the complexity concept in the BPM literature to develop an understanding of the related complexity research and to put the textual data-based BP complexity in its context. Afterward, utilizing the linguistic foundations and the theory of situation awareness (SA), the concept is empirically developed and evaluated in a real-world application case using qualitative interview-based and quantitative data-based methods.

Findings

In the practical, real-world application, the authors confirmed that BP textual data could be used to predict BP complexity from the semantic, syntactic and stylistic viewpoints. The authors were able to prove the value of this knowledge about the BP complexity formed based on the (1) professional contextual experience of the BP worker enriched by the awareness of cognitive efforts required for BP execution (objective knowledge), (2) business emotions enriched by attention efforts (subjective knowledge) and (3) quality of the text, i.e. professionalism, expertise and stress level of the text author, enriched by reading efforts (meta-knowledge). In particular, the BP complexity concept has been applied to an industrial example of Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) change management (CHM) Information Technology (IT) ticket processing. The authors used IT ticket texts from two samples of 28,157 and 4,625 tickets as the basis for the analysis. The authors evaluated the concept with the help of manually labeled tickets and a rule-based approach using historical ticket execution data. Having a recommendation character, the results showed to be useful in creating awareness regarding cognitive, attention and reading efforts for ITIL CHM BP workers coordinating the IT ticket processing.

Originality/value

While aiming to draw attention to those valuable insights inherent in BP textual data, the authors propose an unconventional approach to BP complexity definition through the lens of textual data. Hereby, the authors address the challenges specified by BPM researchers, i.e. focus on semantics in the development of vocabularies and organization- and sector-specific adaptation of standard NLP techniques.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2021

Sylvia Odusanya, J. Jorge Ochoa, Nicholas Chileshe and Seungjun Ahn

The purpose of this paper is to provide a holistic view of the link between the identification of complexity contributing factors, the application of project management…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a holistic view of the link between the identification of complexity contributing factors, the application of project management approaches and their impacts on the performance of Information Technology (IT)-enabled change projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach of an embedded single-case design comprising three IT-enabled change projects delivered in Australia was used to explore the impact of complexity contributing factors and project management approaches on project performance measures. Semi-structured interviews were used as the main data collection method. Thematic analysis was used as the data analysis approach.

Findings

The results from the thematic analysis highlight that complexity contributing factors are related to two categories of complexity defined in this paper: technical uncertainties and uncertainty in goals and deliverables, both have an impact on the performance of IT-enabled change projects. It also highlights key project management approaches such as the use of an adaptive management approach and good communication as key to managing complexity. It also identifies a misalignment between stakeholder perception of success and the project management success measure for complex IT-enabled projects.

Research limitations/implications

The research is based on data collected from Australian participants involved in three case studies. Additional data collection and reviews from practitioners in the field of project management could further refine and improve this research.

Practical implications

The research facilitates the identification of specific complexity contributing factors at the early stage of a project to ensure that the appropriate project management approaches and success measures are used.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to rethinking the pathways towards improving project performance in the IT sector by expanding the identification of project complexity to understanding how complexity and the management approaches impact project performance.

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: 23 August 2021

Jorgina Pereira, Vitor Braga, Aldina Correia and Aidin Salamzadeh

This study aims to distinguish businesses by their degree of complexity and to analyse the influence of complexity on the performance of firms during the coronavirus…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to distinguish businesses by their degree of complexity and to analyse the influence of complexity on the performance of firms during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 468 businesses, and various multivariate statistical techniques were used. Initially a factor analysis was conducted, organising variables into five factors. A discriminant analysis, performed with the five factors, allowed discriminating firms based on whether they internationalise or not. A linear regression was performed in order to estimate the contribution of each factor in the business performance.

Findings

The results suggest the existence of additional variables for measuring the complexity. From the factorial analysis it is possible to conclude that business complexity can be explained by size, indebtedness and profitability, internationalisation, number of employees, and age and leverage. Total assets, indebtedness and age are the variables that contribute the most to business performance. On the other hand, indebtedness, internationalisation, age and leverage are the independent variables that most contribute to explain business performance.

Originality/value

This paper presents advances in two ways. First, it proposes measures of complexity (highly debatable in the literature). It also proposes internationalisation as an explanation of complexity. Second, this paper sheds light on businesses decisions to grow, taking into account how complexity may affect performance.

Details

Journal of Entrepreneurship and Public Policy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2045-2101

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2021

Naailah Nutman, Khadijah Isa and Salwa Hana Yussof

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation in Malaysia had raised various responses from many parties involved when the new tax was introduced in 2015 until its…

Abstract

Purpose

The Goods and Services Tax (GST) implementation in Malaysia had raised various responses from many parties involved when the new tax was introduced in 2015 until its abolishment in 2018. GST complexity has been stated as part of the reasons for its resistance and abolishment. The purpose of this paper is to identify causes of GST complexities during its implementation in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on causes of tax complexity from previous studies and conducted semi-structured interviews with tax experts. The respondents comprised of subject matter experts in GST and the findings are based on their numerous years of experiences handling clients with diverse backgrounds.

Findings

Findings from this study are categorised into legal complexity and declarative complexities. Almost all the causes of complexities from prior studies were encountered by Malaysian businesses. This study concluded that the most likely reasons for the abolishment of GST in Malaysia are: numerous rules and exception to the rules (e.g. 35 tax codes, gifts rules, 21-day rules), frequent changes of GST rulings and guidelines, GST computations that were too difficult for mixed supply and process of GST refund that were onerous and lengthy.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of this paper include reliance on the respondents’ ability to accurately and honestly recall details of their experiences, circumstances, thoughts or behaviours that are being asked.

Practical implications

Despite the abolishment of the GST in Malaysia, it is pertinent to identify the causes of GST complexities that can be learnt by the relevant authorities. Measures can be formulated to mitigate the identified GST complexities to ensure high compliance among businesses with other existing taxes or new taxes (if any) to be introduced in the future. This includes addressing the competency of RMCD officers and businesses on the rules and regulations, minimal rules and exception to the rules, a simplified GST computations for mixed supply and a systematic refund process.

Originality/value

The research method used is a flexible and powerful tool to capture the voices and the ways respondents make meaning of their experience dealing with the GST matters. The findings reveal a deep understanding of the issues from the views of the experts in the field.

Details

International Journal of Law and Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

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Article
Publication date: 25 August 2021

Michael C.P. Sing, David J. Edwards, Arthur W.T. Leung, Henry Liu and Chris J. Roberts

The accuracy and reliability of subjectively assessing a construction project's complexity at the pre-construction stage is questionable and relies upon the project…

Abstract

Purpose

The accuracy and reliability of subjectively assessing a construction project's complexity at the pre-construction stage is questionable and relies upon the project manager's tacit experiences, knowledge and background. The purpose of this paper is to develop a scientifically robust analytical approach by presenting a novel classification mechanism for defining the level of project complexity in terms of work contents (WCs), scope, building structures (BSs) and site conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

Empiricism is adopted to deductively analyze variables obtained from secondary data within extant literature and primary project data to develop project type classifications. Specifically, and from an operational perspective, a two-stage “waterfall process” was adopted. In stage one, the research identified 56 variables affecting project complexity from literature and utilized a structured questionnaire survey of 100 project managers to measure the relevance of these. A total of 27 variables were revealed to be significant and exploratory factor analysis (EFA) is adopted to cluster these variables into six-factor thematic groups. In stage two, data from 62 real-life projects (including the layout and structural plans) were utilized for computing the factor score using the six-factor groups. Finally, hierarchical cluster analysis (HCA) is adopted to classify the projects into collected distinctive groups and each of a similar nature and characteristics.

Findings

The developed theoretical framework (that includes a novel complex index) provides a robust “blueprint platform” for main contractors to compile their project complexity database. The research outputs enable project managers to generate a more accurate picture of complexity at the pre-construction stage.

Originality/value

While numerous research articles have provided a comprehensive framework to define project complexity, scant empirical works have assessed it at the pre-construction stage or utilized real-life project samples to classify it. This research addresses this knowledge gap within the prevailing body of knowledge.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 13 August 2021

Paulo Vaz-Serra, Peter Edwards and Guillermo Aranda-Mena

Complex projects require careful management. They may expose stakeholders to greater risks and place additional demands upon resources. In the initial stages of project…

Abstract

Purpose

Complex projects require careful management. They may expose stakeholders to greater risks and place additional demands upon resources. In the initial stages of project development, however, little may be known about the nature and magnitude of such complexity. This paper aims to ensure that this gap is at least subjectively assessed and addressed.

Design/methodology/approach

Research, using focus group workshops with a convenience sample of construction professionals, was carried out to test the validity of a Project Early Stage Complexity Assessment Tool (PESCAT). The PESCAT concept brings together selected complexity theories and uses subjectively based measures for assessment.

Findings

The findings confirm that an early-stage project complexity assessment tool is practicable and can contribute to project management practice in the construction industry. It should be applied by individual project stakeholders using small teams of experienced staff. PESCAT explores project complexity through “filter” sets of perspective factors which should be customised to reflect the stakeholder’s role and processes in a project.

Originality/value

In the initial complexity assessment model, resolution space and uncertainty were tested as project complexity parameters. However, in subsequent versions of the tool, four measures (differentiation and differentiation uncertainty; interdependency and interdependency uncertainty) are used in an innovative way that focuses users’ attention more clearly and points to a more targeted approach for addressing project complexity. The value of our model lies in its practical application and the project management benefits it can deliver.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2009

Daniel Mahler and Adheer Bahulkar

For many firms the problems of manufacturing, marketing and distributing a complex product line persist, and it is driving up costs in an economy where cutting costs is

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1368

Abstract

Purpose

For many firms the problems of manufacturing, marketing and distributing a complex product line persist, and it is driving up costs in an economy where cutting costs is essential to survival. This paper aims to promote the innovative concept of “Smart Complexity.”

Design/methodology/approach

This paper explains how a firm can adopt this new complexity management concept. It is an approach that challenges the notion that every new product variant drives growth.

Findings

Recently, a company that adopted this approach increased margins by 1 to 3 percent and set the foundation for ongoing improvements in profitability.

Practical implications

This four‐pronged approach to complexity management starts with consumer research to find the right level of variety. It adds richer SKU‐based data on costs across each step of a newly transparent value chain. It brings this data to a cross‐functional, integrated decision process. Finally, it implements process changes to ensure complexity is governed and managed over time.

Originality/value

The leadership lesson: desirable complexity drives consumer buying decisions. Undesirable complexity unduly complicates internal processes without making a whit of difference to the consumer. The new concept of Smart Complexity distinguishes between the two.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 37 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Hong Liu, Lu Ma and Panpan Huang

The purpose of this paper is to test the assertion that the relationship between corporation performance and organizational complexity follows an inverted U-shape curve…

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1170

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to test the assertion that the relationship between corporation performance and organizational complexity follows an inverted U-shape curve, and a corporation gains the best performance when its organizational complexity fits its environmental complexity.

Design/methodology/approach

This research did not directly measure environmental complexity to verify the relationship between corporation performance and complex environment, but measured organizational complexity to subtly display the effect of the organizational complexity on the corporation performance while controlled the environmental complexity. To do so, a set of corporations that shared the similar environment was selected, and then these corporations’ performance and organizational complexity were calculated, the related hypotheses were tested empirically.

Findings

The paper proved the inverted U-shape relationship between organizational complexity and corporation performance, and also found that different corporation chooses different complex adaptive way, so the inverted U-shape relationship displays hierarchy.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should search out to calculate corporation’s environment complexity the fitness of organizational complexity for testing hypotheses.

Practical implications

The regularity of relationship between organizational complexity and corporation performance is helpful for managers to understand that a way to improve a corporation’s performance is to enhance the fitness of organizational complexity and environmental complexity.

Social implications

Organizational complexity may be competitive advantage, but excessive growth of it will be harmful.

Originality/value

Usually organizational complexity is thought of as a negative factor to corporation performance and tends to be constrained, but this research explored the role of organizational complexity to corporation performance and the findings helps managers to understand when to enhance organizational complexity and when to weaken it. The methodology of calculating the fitness of organizational complexity and environmental complexity by fixing environment is a contribution to complexity theory research.

Details

Journal of Management Development, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0262-1711

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2006

Bob Anderson, Christian Hagen, Joe Reifel and Eric Stettler

Many companies in many industries find themselves dealing with an over abundance of custom‐designed products, services and IT functions. Such complexity becomes

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1616

Abstract

Purpose

Many companies in many industries find themselves dealing with an over abundance of custom‐designed products, services and IT functions. Such complexity becomes unnecessary and value draining when companies fail to address the trade‐off between customization and complexity – between the costs associated with customization, the value derived from it, and the price that should be charged for it.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors show how to build an organization that routinely measures complexity and takes a continuous improvement approach to reducing it. This ensures that complexity is managed and customization that does not contribute to competitive advantage is eliminated.

Findings

Good complexity is necessary and adds value for the company and the customer. It is the kind required to customize products and services and help companies increase revenues, profits, and customer loyalty.

Practical implications

Ideally, the initial focus should be on identifying the complexity drivers across the organization and determining where modularization can reduce unnecessary complexity.

Originality/value

The company must obtain an in‐depth understanding of the tradeoffs between customization and complexity, and change its business processes and decision‐making to consider both internal challenges as well as its position in the marketplace. In the end, by weeding out the “bad” complexity, the company should see marked improvement in both its delivery capabilities and bottom‐line performance.

Details

Strategy & Leadership, vol. 34 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1087-8572

Keywords

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