Managing construction projects in the United Arab Emirates to gain competitive advantage
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AuthorsAl Shamsi, Sultan Khamis
MetadataShow full item record
AbstractA 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.
PublisherUniversity of Wolverhampton
TypeThesis or dissertation
DescriptionA thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements of the University of Wolverhampton for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
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A Model for Predicting the Performance of Project Managers in Mass House Building Projects in GhanaAhadzie, Divine Kwaku (University of Wolverhampton, 2007)Presently, within the human resource management (HRM) genre and including the construction management discipline, the identification and development of appropriate performance measures is seen as the only viable means for validating and engendering managerial excellence. There is also a growing awareness that appropriate predictive modelling practices can help engender the identification and development of these measures. Against the background that project-based sectors of the construction industry in developing countries need to adopt a proactive approach towards recognising and embedding performance measures in HRM practices, this thesis addresses the development of a model for predicting the performance of project managers (PMs) in mass house building projects (MHBPs) in Ghana. A literature review of the significance of performance measures in the HRM genre is first presented including an evaluation of the methodologies for measuring the performance of PMs. This is followed by a review of research and development in the management of human resources in the construction industry in developing countries including Ghana. Informed by the literature, an appropriate theoretical framework is adopted which draws on the organisational psychology theory of job performance, the conventional wisdom in project success criteria and an emerging framework of project lifecycle. Subsequently, a competency-based multidimensional conceptual model is developed. The conceptual model reflects both the elements of performance behaviours and outcomes in predicting the performance of PMs at the conceptual, design, tender, procurement, construction and operational phases of the project lifecycle. Adopting positivism as an appropriate research paradigm, structured questionnaire survey is used to elicit the relevant data from property developers in Ghana for the construction phase of the project lifecycle. Subsequently the data is analysed using one-sample t-test, factor analysis and multiple regression analysis (stepwise). From a broad range of competency-based measures used as independent variables, it is found that, the best predictors of the PMs’ performance at the “construction phase” of MHBPs are: job knowledge in site layout techniques for repetitive construction works; dedication in helping works contractors to achieve works programme; job knowledge of appropriate technology transfer for repetitive construction works; effective time management practices on the house-units; ability to provide effective solution to conflicts while maintaining good relationships; ease with which the PM is approachable by works contractors; and volunteering to help works contractors solve personal problems. These independent variables explained 74.4% of the variance in the model (at p < 0.0005). Validation of the model confirmed its goodness of fit and hence predictive accuracy. The findings suggest that at the construction phase of MHBPs, PMs who exhibit these behavioural competencies are likely to achieve higher levels of performance. Accordingly, PMs who aspire to achieve better managerial performance outcome on MHBPs should strive towards developing and improving these competencies. It is contended that the developed model could be used by property developers for the selection and recruitment of potential PMs and also for developing appropriate training requirements towards best practice improvement in the implementation of MHBPs. While the study focuses on Ghana, there is the potential for the model to be adopted for use by other developing countries towards the advancement of improved HRM activities in project management practice.
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