• A FRAMEWORK FOR GROUP LEADERSHIP IN THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY IN ABU DHABI

      AL SHAMSI, HAMAD AL ASRI (2015)
      The aim of the research was to evaluate the operational effectiveness and impact of joint leadership in construction projects in Abu Dhabi (AD). The research started with a thorough and critical review of literature on leadership and culture. The research took a quantitative approach and used a questionnaire to collect data. 145 questionnaires were sent to project managers in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), and 90 responses (62%) were obtained. The data was analysed by descriptive and inferential statistics and used Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) software. The results of the research indicated that the majority of participants were leaders, and had different styles. Irrespective of leadership style, most expressed satisfaction with joint leadership of projects and stated that it does improve project success. The study also showed that culture has a significant impact on the types of leaders in UAE construction as well as the operations, durations, costs, and quality of construction projects. Moreover, participants stated that culture has an influence on the design of construction buildings and other facilities. It was however opined that the use of joint leadership in construction projects requires clear clauses in project contracts in respect of roles and responsibilities, as well as providing training for cultural awareness which can improve project efficiency. Most participants agreed that project success in UAE construction is a direct function of the leadership style used. The outcome of the research was used to improve the construction project process framework of Abu Dhabi Police taking into the consideration the findings from the questionnaire. The next step was to test the framework through a focus group. 12 professionals were involved from the original questionnaire survey. The focus group discussion generated additional qualitative descriptions concerning the reasons behind the study participants‘ perceptions on (a) the likelihood of joint leadership of projects in UAE, (b) the impact of the concept of the project managers in UAE construction, and (c) the influences of UAE culture on construction projects. The improved framework developed was validated by a survey which had 12 questions. This was distributed to 10 project managers and leaders. The results showed that the improved framework will: reduce communication time; improve the choice of joint leaders (two project managers) for the same project; help UAE culture to be communicated better in project designs; help project managers with no engineering background through training; increase internal stakeholders‘ understanding of joint leadership in AD police projects; increase the understanding of the International Federation of Consulting Engineers (FIDIC) contract in AD police projects; assist AD police project managers‘ training to address effective and efficient leadership.
    • A FRAMEWORK FOR THE DEPLOYMENT OF TRAFFIC SAFETY TECHNOLOGIES IN ABU DHABI HIGHWAYS

      Al Junaibi, Musallem (2016-05)
      There has been a good effort made in Abu Dhabi for the last couple of years between government stakeholders to develop a road safety strategy, define rules and responsibilities, and gain a fully coordinated and integrated framework to deal with road safety. According to my point of view, the challenges that might be seen as a problem for the future development of Abu Dhabi can be the management and the usage of traffic safety technologies to reduce serious road traffic accidents. This study focused on the relationship between the use of traffic safety technologies and serious road traffic accidents on Abu Dhabi Highways. The motivation for this research is to implement correctly the traffic safety technologies in Abu Dhabi highways as a part of the need to adopt plans, programmes, and preventive measures to reduce or prevent the occurrence of traffic accidents in order to ensure the safety of individuals and property, in addition to preserving the security of the state and its human and economic components. The overall approach to this study is a mixed methodology, which combines quantitative and qualitative methods. A questionnaire is one method used in this regard, and is designed to be quantitative. In the quantitative method, comparing statistics of fatalities and injuries before and after installation of the speed cameras is used. As a result of this study and by making the connectivity between reviewing the results and findings of the literature review, identifying the questionnaire results, and exploring the before and after statistics led to findings which were used to develop a decision support framework that can be used to advise the regional safety strategy to be sustainable. The design framework was also validated through Abu Dhabi highways by a panel of experts, which was carried out using the focus group method, which was qualitative in nature. It is recommended from this research to invest much in traffic safety technologies, focus more on driver support systems and rapid response systems, improve driver behaviour as a priority in Abu Dhabi highways using traffic safety technologies, and integrate the compatibility of all of the above through an integrated system and specific performance indicators that are measured and followed up on an ongoing basis, and supported by geographic information systems (GIS).
    • Improving Capabilities and Strategic Fit in Governmental Agencies

      Alshebli, Abdulla (2016-03)
      The notion of Strategic Fit has been and remains to be one of the most important arguements in the fields of business strategy and strategic management. This research study examines the key concept of ‘strategic fit’ and its associated theories and seeks to investigate the causes that have created ‘strategic drift’ in Abu Dhabi’s governmental agencies in the infrastructure sector with the aim of improving their performance. However, for organisations, public or private, it still remains to be the most important notion and one that cannot be ignored because it is about the success of the organisation in its external environment where all competitive activity takes place. Thus, there are many underlying factors such as organisational culture, structure and organisational history that impact, or influence, the level of fit that organisations achieve. Therefore it is imperative that research is further undertaken on a deeper and wider level to fully understand the concept and importance of strategic fit and how it can be achieved. Hence, a research study in this area, especially in developing cities such as Abu Dhabi, is well justified and needed. The lack of strategic fit that has been witnessed in the Abu Dhabi’s infrastructure sector over the past few years continues to be, and it is a clear indication of a developing mismatch between the government and its policies and the agencies that implement them. However, this is clearly a major issue for the government going forward, if polices are developed with no clear understanding of the available resources and capabilities. Similarly, the study also seeks to determine why a strategic fit has not been achievable by the Abu Dhabi government. Though the government has developed policies to better serve its people, it continuously faces issues of policies not being implemented, or being implemented too late and targets not been met according to the original brief. It has been identified that there are numerous deficiencies between the various government agencies in the infrastructure sector in terms of keeping pace with governmental policies - consequently, resulting in strategic gaps with an increasing possibility of a possible strategic drift, if these issues are not addressed effectively and in a timely manner.The study further wishes to explore if strategic gaps have occurred as a result of inherent cultural, historical, political and/or structural aspects of the Abu Dhabi government and its numerous agencies – simply because these issues can be seen as preventative to change and progress which, in turn, can lead to strategic gaps and strategic drift in the long term. The research paradigm selected for this research study is that of the pragmatist approach and subsequently the key methodology employed throughout this research is that of the mixed methods. That mixed methods research is an intellectual and practical synthesis based on qualitative and quantitative research. Also, This research provides a summary of the important findings, proved hypotheses, achieved aim and objectives, and significant contribution to the knowledge of strategic management through the development of the “Community Innovation Scheme”, the “3-Spectrums of Change”, the “4Ms Change Model”; and the resulting framework model; the “Government Strategy Model”.
    • Risk management in fast-track projects

      Al Harthi, Bader Ahmed (2015)
      This thesis is about risk management in fast-track construction projects. The aim of the study is to identify the risks in the UAE construction industry, understand how they are dealt with, and propose more effective frameworks for risk management in fast-track construction. A mixed method approach was used to fulfil the objectives of the study. 65 questionnaires were distributed to professionals in the construction industry, including contractors, sub-contractors, project managers and private consultants. Their responses were analysed using statistical techniques, and the results taken for discussion to a focus group of eleven experienced construction managers and experts. Secondary data was also collected via literature reviews of print and website articles, and of books and documents from company, government and industry-specific databases. The findings show that risks in construction projects can be internal or external, and that in the UAE, owner- and design-related risks are seen as the most significant. Knowledge about risk management is present, but more needs to be done to eradicate the problems associated with poorly managed fast-track construction projects. Using the suggestion of the focus group, a framework for risk mitigation was developed based on the Alien Eyes’ risk and Qualitative Risk Management models. The study discusses the implications of risk management for practitioners and academicians in the construction industry. Poor risk management, which is usually the consequence of inadequate recognition of and/or responsiveness to risks and uncertainties, can have a devastating impact upon projects. It is hoped that practitioners applying the findings and suggestions in this study will see positive change, improved profitability and greater competitive advantage as a result.
    • Towards the reformation of Abu Dhabi to be an environmentally sustainable city

      Heesom, David; Al Kaabi, Saif (University of Wolverhampton, 2011)
      Abu Dhabi, the Capital City of United Arab Emirates, evolved through various stages since its formation. However, unlike other Golf cities, policy makers, planners, and designers sought to guide its growth and development towards a sustainable responsive city. Sustainability has become a central theme of policy and practice, and the design of the built environment is playing a major role towards this. Abu Dhabi developed the World renowned City of Masdar, as a model of sustainable development and design, and established the Estidama Rating System to enforce specific sustainable applications. This aim of this study is to examine the cost-effectiveness of shifting the development of Abu Dhabi from a conventional approach to a sustainable one. In particular, it sought to determine whether vernacular design and architecture could help to address the quest for a sustainable city. The methodology adopted for this research was based on quantitative and qualitative approaches. Three buildings were selected to determine the cost-effectiveness of the proposed sustainable solutions. 1. Masdar building was studied to represent what is classified as a sustainable prototype. 2. Educational Building of Abu Dhabi Police Academy, which has an open courtyard at the centre of the building, represents a vernacular design. 3. Administrative Building of Abu Dhabi Police Academy, which has a closed atrium in the centre without any skylight, represents a conventional building design. The research involved an environmental investigation of power consumption, carbon dioxide emissions, indoor and outdoor temperature, indoor and outdoor relative humidity, and levels of indoor carbon dioxide. Monitors were installed in the three prototype buildings for a period of time, and the results of the readings were compared and analysed. In addition, a questionnaire survey was used to determine the impact of the three buildings on sustainable lifestyles and attitudes. Ninety users of the three buildings responded to the questionnaire. Their responses were also compared and analysed. The results of the monitoring of the thermal performance, power consumption and carbon dioxide levels indoors confirmed that most indoor temperature readings were similar due to the use of air-conditioning in the three buildings. However, cooler temperatures were recorded in similar rates in the alleyways of Masdar and in the courtyard of the Police Academy Educational building. In some cases, courtyard spaces in the Educational Building in the Police Academy recorded even lower temperatures than those of Masdar. These readings were much higher than those of the outdoor exposed temperature, whether in Masdar or in the Police Academy outdoor spaces. Considering that the cost per square meter of the Masdar prototype was almost the double of the other prototypes, these findings challenged the cost-effectiveness of the prevailing Masdar City approach. The results also highlighted the importance of the architectural heritage of Abu Dhabi to address the sustainability agenda, including its implications on planning and building regulations. The findings of the questionnaire survey revealed that there were no significant differences between user responses of Masdar and the Police Academy buildings. These also questioned the cost effectiveness of the Masdar prototype. However, the results also confirmed that the lack of awareness of the sustainability agenda for the users of the three buildings, thus highlighting the wider implications on the sustainability agenda.