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    ABSTRACT: Project management is widely seen as delivering undertakings on time, on budget, and on scope. This conceptualization fails, however, to address the front end and its management. Addressing the front end moves the discipline to a second, more strategic level. This article proposes a third level of conceptualization: the institutional level, where management is focused on creating the conditions to support and foster projects, both in its parent organization and its external environment. Management here is done for and on the project rather than in or to it. We show that management at this level offers an enlarged research agenda and improvement in performance.
    Project Management Journal 11/2011; 42(6):20 - 32.
  • Managing the Professional Practice: In the Built Environment, 03/2011: pages 125 - 142; , ISBN: 9781444392364
  • Managing the Professional Practice: In the Built Environment, 03/2011: pages 11 - 42; , ISBN: 9781444392364
  • Managing the Professional Practice: In the Built Environment, 03/2011: pages 103 - 124; , ISBN: 9781444392364
  • Managing the Professional Practice: In the Built Environment, 03/2011: pages 273 - 285; , ISBN: 9781444392364
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    ABSTRACT: The hold-up problem in the presence of asset specificity poses great transaction hazards. Therefore, having a sound understanding of this problem is an important managerial issue. The purpose of this research is to apply the perspective of transaction cost economics (TCE) to the analysis of three major disputes that arose in the Channel Tunnel project during 1988–94. A special form of asset specificity is identified for construction projects: process specificity. This yields additional insights into the root causes of the hold-up problem. Three parameters, including ungovernable uncertainty, degree of lock-in and amount of money under dispute, are identified. It is shown that the observed connection between bargaining power as specified by this TCE model and the outcomes of dispute resolution is in line with the theoretical predictions. The lesson learnt from this project is that clients should not stretch the protective strength of a lump-sum contract too far and that the hold-up problem can indeed in some circumstances be regarded as both serious and unsolved by existing administrative structures and governance.
    International Journal of Project Management. 05/2007;
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    ABSTRACT: A unified theory of the management of projects does not exist. Projects are context-specific and located in open-systems. While this is now widely acknowledged, research methodologies often continue to overlook this. This paper addresses methodological issues that have yet to be fully resolved in research in projects and their management and evaluates how these issues have a direct and indirect impact upon research and practice. We argue that the pursuit of explanations that rely upon identifying general patterns based upon cause and effect marginalises the particular, while a focus upon the particular frustrates the emergence of common patterns, shared meanings and normative recommendations. The paper reviews research practice in the light of project management paradigms and their more general epistemological underpinnings.
    International Journal of Project Management. 01/2007;
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    ABSTRACT: Private Public Partnerships and the Public Finance Initiative engage private organisations in providing public services through long-term concessions. The paper examines management of these projects concerning the relationships between the primary parties: Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) and constituent members, and the relationship of the SPV with the client. The objectives are to establish how relationships are managed between private sector organisations within the concession, and between the private organisations and public sector client. The management of relationships is explored through concepts of relational contracting and relationship management. How relationship management links to project management is also explored. Trust and confidence are used as measures of relationship conditions, which are mapped against thirty relationship management dimensions. An evaluation is provided concerning relationship management for PFI/PPP projects, the primary conclusion being that greater strategic and tactical consideration is given to the proactive management of relationships. Adoption will foster collaborative working that goes beyond reactive behavioural adjustment to new procurement conditions, conceptually a shift from relational contracting to proactive relationship management principles.
    International Journal of Project Management. 01/2007;
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    ABSTRACT: Since project based organizations are a typical configuration in the architecture industry, two streams of research are relevant for architecture practices. (1) Team management, as architecture design and production originate from collaborative networks among multiple actors, but results from empirical studies have been inconsistent regarding which variables are predictive of team performance and project success. (2) Project management, as management in organizing practices has grown in recent years, even if existing research has difficulty with linking performance attributes to specific factors such as organizational form, company culture or strategy. Based on these premises, the paper focuses on architecture competitions which are a currently debated topic and one of the most important rituals to acquire work. The aim is to explore how competitions are part of the practice's business strategy and how teams work on competitions' proposals. We analyse and compare two case studies of middle-sized architectural practices (around 30-40 employees), one in Italy and one in the UK, competing for work through competitions. Preliminary findings suggest that architectural competitions can serve both exploration and exploitation strategies and are based on a collaborative design process.
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