Al Neyadi, Ahmed (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-08)
The United Arab Emirates (UAE) construction sector is an important industry and contributes approximately 11% of the GDP. It has been the most significant economic activity outside the oil sector. However, recession, uncertainty, complexity, sustainability, and climate change are among the most important features of the current construction business environment in the UAE. Although many construction firms throughout the world have successfully embedded sustainability, there is little information on how UAE construction organisations are embedding sustainability strategies for competitive advantage. Therefore, the aim of this research is to explore how the UAE construction organisations are embedding sustainable strategies to improve their competitive advantage from a social, environmental and economic point of view. The findings are in the main, based on semi-structured interviews with 44 professionals from UAE construction organisations. As part of the analysis of the interviews, content analysis was employed. The unit of analysis adopted for this study is the ‘construction industry’ and the embedded unit is ‘individual employee’.
The study recommend that the overall outlook for improved sustainability initiatives efforts from the UAE construction organisations looks quite promising at present. However, the implementation of green Building Information Modelling (BIM) and mobile applications technologies to tackle sustainability issues are relatively low uptake in the UAE construction organisations. Therefore, there is a need to reshape the UAE construction organisations existing digital strategy in order to gain sustainable competitive advantage. The decision makers have to recognise and understand the concept of sustainability from a triple bottom line concept. It is concluded that before organisations embed sustainability initiatives they need to understand and recognise key drivers, which are pushing them towards implementation. The lack of skills for successful deployment of sustainability strategies is one of the most important challenges for the UAE construction sector. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop and deliver a bespoke training program to address, improve and measure the effectiveness of leadership skills for driving change towards sustainability. Most of the technologies included in Industry 4.0 are still at their infancies and for the future would recommend more research to be carried out on these technologies, this will enable the construction industry to understand the benefits that can be gained from these technologies and with the industry being known for resisting change, demonstrating these benefits can be the start of the construction industry embracing the change. Furthermore, it is recommended that future research on mobile applications for sustainability should focus on user readiness aspects, as well as organisation readiness for adoption and usage patterns of mobile devices. A framework for managing sustainability strategies in the UAE construction industry was developed and validated. Findings of this research are limited to the UAE construction industry context only, as such, the level of generalisability outside this context may be very limited.
Al Shamsi, Sultan Khamis (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-08)
A tremendous growth has been experienced in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the construction industry. It is also mirrored by the expansion and development of project management tools and techniques. The term project management prevails as a trending topic in the business world due to its vitality in the transformation process and execution of new business opportunities. However, regardless of the increasing importance of project management, still UAE construction industry is facing massive challenges in controlling their assignments since projects continue to fail in very high rate. Therefore aim of this research is to explore how the UAE construction organisations are managing construction projects to enhance competitive advantage. Given the relatively new and unexplored nature of the research problem, qualitative research method was adopted to collect and analyse data. Semi-structured interviews with 65 professionals were used to collect data which was then analysed using content analysis for inference and conclusion.
The study concluded that a complex mix of political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental forces drives construction project management in the UAE. Therefore, understanding the macro-environmental factors that impact on the UAE construction project management is important. Furthermore, it is noted that understanding drivers is imperative for smooth project implementation. As revealed in the current study, the single most important driver for managing projects in UAE is to improve greater efficiency. In addition, the UAE project management education struggles with challenges such as there are too many knowledge areas in project management, and struggle to provide education to professionals from different background and learning styles. Therefore, the UAE project management training and education should lead to a more active/practical approach. The study concludes that adoption of digital technologies in the UAE construction industry is still at their infancy. Despite of the incremental significance of project management, yet, businesses are confronting encounters in controlling their assignments since projects keep failing in very high rate. A project management competency framework for managing construction projects was developed and validated. It is recommended to explore the level of embeddedness of construction project management between developed and developing countries. This should lead to a generation of benchmark data and best practices in addressing global construction project management issues.
Algahtani, Khaled (University of Wolverhampton, 2019-09-20)
After a decade of sustained oil-based growth, KSA is at a transition towards knowledge based economy. Today, achieving that goal has become essential. To address these change challenges, knowledge is increasingly accessed and shared across different functional departments and professionals. This knowledge interdependence creates new management challenges resulting from the risks and difficulties of knowledge transactions across boundaries. Providing access to key tacit and explicit knowledge to decision makers during potential changes seems to be critical for effective decision-making. Recent technological developments have made a significant and positive impact on the ability and desire to manage knowledge. These challenges have made the government think to adopt Knowledge Management (KM) initiatives. There is, however, a paucity of empirical research on the key KM practices that have been implemented in the public sector organisations of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) – which is the core rationale for this study. Therefore, the aim of this study is to investigate how KSA public sector organisations are managing knowledge to gain sustainable competitive advantage. A web based, online questionnaire survey method was employed to collect data. Descriptive and inferential analysis was used to analyse the data obtained from the 107 completed and usable questionnaire for inference and conclusion.
The survey revealed that to improve access to key knowledge is most important driver for managing knowledge in KSA public sector organisations. The extent of implementation of KM initiatives is relatively low in the KSA public sector organisations. Furthermore, study revealed that conventional, simple and cost effective KM techniques and technologies are effective and extensively used. Lack of government support for using new technologies, lack of awareness of knowledge, and lack of leadership support are key challenges for managing knowledge in the KSA public sector organisations. KM strategies have a very high positive impact on improving citizen relations.
The study concluded that the challenge of managing knowledge is a daunting task for any organisation. An organisation’s knowledge resources are complex and multifaceted, ranging from tacit components to knowledge that is explicitly represented. The ultimate key to organisations successfully embracing KM initiatives into daily operation is leadership. Therefore, the KSA government should take a greater leadership role in shaping the information environment and the role of emerging technologies in society that have significant impacts. It is necessary for KSA public sector decision makers to recognise and use a blend of ICT and non-ICT based KM techniques and technologies. Before embarking on a KM journey, decision makers have to understand what it is that they would like to achieve with KM and what value it needs to add to their organisation in the context of Saudi Vision 2030. The scarcity of knowledge and expertise a huge challenge for many KSA public sector organisations. Therefore, training and education related to the management of knowledge will help leaders, managers, and change agents to better understand on how to craft and implement various KM strategies for competitive advantage.
Alosaimi, Hanouf (University of Wolverhampton, 2019)
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) construction sector is an important industry and contributes approximately 20% of the GDP. It has been the most significant economic activity outside the oil sector. However, uncertainty, complexity, sustainability, climate change, and Saudi Arabia National Policy Plan 2030 are among the most important features of the current construction business environment in the KSA. As organisations try to meet these complex challenges, they need to be innovative. It is widely recognised that knowledge is an essential strategic resource for a firm to retain a sustainable competitive advantage. Although Knowledge Management (KM) has been widely practiced in the western countries, there is a little evidence in the KSA especially in the construction industry. Therefore, this research focuses on key KM strategies that the KSA construction organisations implemented en-route to organisational competitiveness. The findings are in the main, based on semi-structured interviews with 46 professionals from 30 construction organisations.
The data analysis revealed that, the key initiatives implemented broadly under the umbrella of KM are: knowledge sharing initiatives, knowledge capturing initiatives and knowledge mapping initiatives. Furthermore, seven types of KM specific training strategies adopted in the KSA construction organisations. The single most important driver for managing knowledge is to improve cost savings. The key challenge for managing knowledge is capturing tacit knowledge. The KM strategies contribute to improved competitiveness on cost savings. Furthermore, a framework for managing knowledge is developed and validated. The study concludes that managing knowledge is an integrated and complex process. More effective knowledge-sharing within and across construction organisations is required. Therefore, the KSA professional institutions and construction industry should support and participate in the work of knowledge-sharing groups to address perceived risks and opportunities from new technologies and processes. The results do suggests that for effective implementation of KM strategies, there is an urgent need for KSA construction industry to develop and deploy appropriate KM related management training programmes. Leadership plays an important role in breaking down barriers in achieving KM strategies. This study has made significant contributions to knowledge since there is no previous research explored on KM programmes in the KSA construction organisations. Findings of this research are limited to the KSA construction industry context only, as such, the level of generalisability outside this context may be very limited.
Almenhali, Ali Abdulqader Abdulrahman (University of Wolverhampton, 2019)
Sports industry is receiving an imperious call to reduce their negative influences associated with their events, operations and facilities on the natural environment. Hence, it has developed numerous initiatives to address pertinent issues, bearing in mind two significant initiatives; reducing their ecological footprint and using the power and popularity of sport as a means to promote and raise environmental awareness and to inspire positive social change amongst fans and spectators. Despite the growing popularity given to sports industry lags behind other forms of facilities with reference to sustainability strategies. Therefore, this study aims to investigate how the United Arab Emirates (UAE) sports sector is embedding sustainability for competitive advantage. A mixed methodology of research was adopted to collect and analyse data. Descriptive analysis was used to analyse quantitative data obtained from 124 completed online survey questionnaires. The results were further augmented by qualitative results derived from semi-structured interviews with 30 professionals from 20 sports organisations. As part of the analysis of the interviews, content analysis was employed. The unit of analysis adopted for this study is the ‘sports sector’ and the embedded unit is ‘individual employee’.
The study concluded that the UAE sports sector is still in the developing stage. The implementation of initiatives related to sustainability is relatively low in the UAE sports sector organisations. Therefore, there is a need to reshape the UAE sports sector organisations existing sustainability strategy in order to gain sustainable competitive advantage. To improve the UAE sports sectors sustainability performance, decision makers have to recognise and understand the concept of sustainability. The lack of leadership skills for successful deployment of sustainability initiatives is one of the most important challenges for the UAE sports organisation. Therefore, there is an urgent need to develop and deliver a bespoke leadership training programs to address, improve and measure the effectiveness of leadership skills for driving change towards sustainability. A sustainable assessment framework was developed and evaluated. This study has made significant contributions to knowledge since there is no previous research explored on embedding sustainability strategies in the context of UAE sports sector. Findings of this research are limited to the UAE sports sector context only, as such, the level of generalisability outside this context may be very limited.
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