Nuno A P Gil

Nuno A P Gil
The University of Manchester · Manchester Business School (MBS)

22.12
 · 
PhD in Engineering - Civil and Environmental Engineering

About

87
Publications
24,870
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
758
Citations
Introduction
I'm a design scholar with a particular interest in exploring the value of using collective action structures to supplement other forms of organizing economic exchanges eg markets, hierarchies, alliances . My research is predominantly empirical and has focused on capital-intensive infrastructure development projects (so-called ´megaprojects´). My work develops theory, conceptual frameworks, and methods for communicating with strategic actors how they can achieve collective ends in the absence of well-defined property rights and efficient markets. Recently, I have started to study how strategic actors can form new forms of organizing to tackle other grand societal challenges of our time , e.g., Africa development, slum upgrades, poverty alleviation
Research Experience
November 2004 - present
The University of Manchester
Position
  • Professor of New Infrastructure Development
January 2001 - July 2001
University of California, Berkeley
Position
  • Teaching Assistant

Publications

Publications (87)
Technical Report
Full-text available
This is a teaching case study useful to discuss alternative organizational designs to structure trans-border infrastructure development projects, eg pipelines, railways, and organizing to cope simultaneously with differing institutional environments. The setting is the Turkmenistan-China Gas pipeline, a project for ever associated with the first an...
Book
Full-text available
Africa’s rapid population growth and urbanisation has made its socioeconomic development a global priority. But as China ramps up its assistance in bridging Africa’s basic infrastructure gap to the detriment of institutions building, warnings of a debt trap have followed. Building upon an extensive body of evidence, the editors argue that developin...
Article
Full-text available
This study sheds light on polycentric forms of organizing and corresponding performance implications. Organizations with a polycentric architecture supplement their internal hierarchical decision-making structures with egalitarian, local structures to encourage collaboration with independent stakeholders. We ground our study on the planning stage f...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Cost overruns are a pervasive phenomenon for many construction and engineering projects. Common experience is that the larger the project, the larger the potential overrun. In the case of London Crossrail – one of the most ambitious infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK– overruns on just three stages of the project have been found to ra...
Book
Full-text available
This report summarizes the insights of a three-year study on “megaprojects”—the project-based organizations purposely formed to develop capital-intensive infrastructure. Our aim was to further our understanding of what form of organizing work a megaproject is and investigate the extent to which we could trace empirical regularities in the performan...
Book
Full-text available
This report summarizes the insights of a three-year study on “megaprojects”—the project-based organizations purposely formed to develop capital-intensive infrastructure. Our aim was to further our understanding of what form of organizing work a megaproject is and investigate the extent to which we could trace empirical regularities in the performan...
Book
Full-text available
What is a megaproject? Why do they perform the way they do? What the powerful forces at play that can explain empirical regularities including scope screep, cost escalation, and delays? To what extent context matters, and if so, why and how? In this book (work-in-progress) Nuno Gil and Jeff Pinto are seeking to address these questions by looking at...
Thesis
Full-text available
A 3-paper PhD thesis submitted to the University of Manchester for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in the Faculty of Humanities by Dr. Colm Lundrigan. Supervisor and co-author: Nuno Gil
Research
Full-text available
This case study examines Uganda's efforts to plan and build the country's first toll road, a much needed road connecting the capital city, Kampala, with Entebbe, the location of Uganda's main international airport. The promoter is Uganda National Road Authority (UNRA), an agency that at the time of the case was under the global spotlight due to pro...
Research
Full-text available
This study discusses strategic capabilities necessary to improve the performance of the promoters of new developments of large infrastructure so-called megaprojects. To get to the end goal, promoters must assemble vast networks of resource-rich, autonomous actors and share with them direct control over high-level design decisions for indivisible co...
Data
Full-text available
This case study documents the turn around of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA), the local government of Kampala, Uganda's capital. The context is one of scarcity of even the most basic infrastructure in a city which saw its population double to almost 2 million in less than 10 years, and is projected to host 10 million people by 2040. The traff...
Chapter
Full-text available
This study adopts a collective action perspective to study the planning of large infrastructure developments so-called ‘megaprojects’. The research is grounded on the analysis of make-or-break issues that beset four megaprojects in the UK. I first argue that megaprojects are organizational networks that at the core create large arenas of consensus-...
Data
Full-text available
This is a translation for practitioners of the article The (Under) Performance of Mega-projects: A meta-organizational Perspective. Press coverage for this article can be found here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/management/why-megaprojects-are-bound-to-balloon/article24330245/
Technical Report
Full-text available
This is the second case study as part of a research project on developing infrastructure in struggling democracies. The case is presented in Harvard style format, although it is also part of the empirical database informing the research. Specifically, this case sheds light on the challenges facing LAMATA, a semi-autonomous public agency established...
Article
Full-text available
This short article is a translation for practitioners of the working paper: The (Under) Performance of Megaprojects: A meta-organization perspective. Global press coverage of the article can be found here: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/management/why-megaprojects-are-bound-to-balloon/article24330245/
Article
This study links evolution in organizational structure to ambiguity in the definition of performance in the context of organizations formed to develop long-lived infrastructure: so-called 'mega-projects'. Based on a longitudinal, inductive analysis of three mega-projects in London, we argue that a mega-project is a meta-organization with two symbio...
Article
Full-text available
This teaching case study illuminates the challenges of developing a large infrastructure asset -- a £4.2bn 25km sewerage tunnel under central London -- in a context where: i) the private sector shows limited appetite to incur the risks of cost and time overruns during construction; and ii) the government has decided it will not directly finance the...
Article
Full-text available
The part B of this case brings us forward to February 2015 when procurement of the design and construction capabilities is now resolved, but procurement of private finance has been delayed to after the national elections. Hence part B illuminates the political nature of the latter problem, and more broadly, of the government attempts to reinvent a...
Article
Full-text available
This mixed-methods study investigates a dilemma that interorganizational groups formed to develop long-lived capital assets invariably face at the project front-end: either invest in flexible design structures that cope economically with change in requirements, this is design to evolve—at risk the extra costs will not pay off if the uncertainties f...
Article
Full-text available
This study links evolution in organizational structure to ambiguity in the definition of performance in the context of organizations formed to develop long-lived infrastructure: so-called ‘mega-projects’. Based on a longitudinal, inductive analysis of three mega-projects in London, we argue that a mega- project is a meta-organization with two symbi...
Article
This inductive study discusses the sustainability of highly-fragile, consensus-oriented developments which rely on voluntary contributions of resources. We ground our study on a fine-grained dataset of interorganizational controversies that arose during the planning of four mega infrastructure projects in the UK. We use Design Structure Matrices to...
Article
Full-text available
This teaching case study introduces students to the challenges of developing a national infrastructure system in India, the world's largest democracy. The setting is the development of a network of dedicated freight corridors deemed critical to enable the further diversification of India's agrarian economy into manufacturing. The case provokes disc...
Article
Full-text available
This teaching case study introduces students to the challenges of developing a national infrastructure system in the UK, a country widely known for its stringent planning regime. The setting is the development of a high speed rail network set to connect London to the northen regions while reinforcing rail capacity in the country and catalysing urba...
Article
Full-text available
The part B of this teaching case study moves the discussion around High-speed 2 to the end of 2013 after the Hybrid Bill was deposited in Parliament. It brings a change in leadership, and exposes students to new challenges in terms of trying to regain legitimacy for the scheme in the eyes of the third parties, and rebuild cross-party support after...
Article
Full-text available
This study empirically investigates the relationship between design structure and organization structure in the context of new infrastructure development projects. Our research setting is a capital program to develop new school buildings in the city of Manchester, UK. Instead of creating a controlled, hierarchical organization, which would mirror t...
Article
We argue that a design commons can be an advantageous organizational form under two salient conditions: 1) high “subtractability” because different claimants have mutually exclusive beliefs or preferences with respect to the design form, and 2) low “excludability” in the sense that the designed artifact must be shared. Our paper is based on an empi...
Data
Capital design for evolvability is the protocol by which a single, indivisible asset can be designed to cope with change and remain affordable. It addresses a perennial dilemma that capital project organisations face at the front-end: either invest in flexible designs to cope economically with change—at risk the investment will not pay off if uncer...
Data
Full-text available
Megaprojects, formed to develop a vast array of capital assets, are ubiquitous in today’s society. But organization science has yet to qualitatively distinguish them from other modes of organizing. Through a longitudinal study of the development of three megaprojects—London’s Olympic Park, London’s Crossrail, and Heathrow airport’s Terminal 2—we ar...
Article
Andy Mitchell Programme Director at Crossail Limited, the government backed organization tasked with delivering Crossrail a major metropolitan railway, faces what he describes as a 'perfect storm' of problems. The Crossrail scheme is significantly over budget, there is an election approaching, and the recent financial crisis has put public spending...
Article
Megaprojects, formed to develop a vast array of capital assets, are ubiquitous in today’s society. But organization science has yet to qualitatively distinguish them from other modes of organizing. Through a longitudinal study of the development of three megaprojects — London’s Olympic Park, London’s Crossrail, and Heathrow airport’s Terminal 2 — w...
Article
Full-text available
With the 2012 Olympic Games awarded to London the newly appointed executives of the interim Olympic Delivery Authority (iODA) must simultaneously resolve a number of problems created by the Olympic bidding process. With a fixed delivery deadline the iODA have inherited designs for venues that may not be viable, conflict over the right to use the la...
Article
Steven Morgan, Capital Programme Director at the British Airports Authority, attempts to introduce a procurement model for the companies' latest major infrastructure scheme - the redevelopment of Terminal 2 at Heathrow Airport. The case offers the opportunity to examine the evolution of BAA's procurement strategy over time, and consider the pros an...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report consolidates the insights from two even ts – a discussion dinner and a half-day workshop - organized by the Centre for Infrastructu re Development (CID) in London. The motivation for producing these events stems from a recognition that engagement between management and organization scholars and industry i n the broad arena of new infras...
Article
We propose a conceptual framework to analyze technology adoption in mega infrastructure projects, and assess their potential to innovating large socio-technical systems. Drawing on an in-depth empirical analysis of Heathrow airport's Terminal 5 project, we find that innovation hinges on technology adoption decisions that are governed systematically...
Article
Prior work has affirmed the importance of studying project management in multi-project environments. A challenge in these settings pertains to the need to share skilled resources across concurrent projects when project management is schedule-driven and resource capacity is fully committed. To probe into this problem, we use a system dynamics simula...
Article
We explore how risk management and design flexibility interplay in major (infrastructure) projects, using the £4.2bn Terminal 5 project to expand London's Heathrow airport. By juxtaposing these two conceptual frames, we unearth the conditions under which they can be complements for managing the tension between efficiency and effectiveness central t...
Article
In recent years, a considerable interest in and literature regarding relational contracting and trust have emerged in the project management field. Though there are distinct and important differences in the nature of these two phenomena, their central premises underscore an important movement in re-evaluating inter-organizational relationships (par...
Article
This study sheds light on how project managers can use language as a resource for communicating with local communities and stakeholders alike, and protect the legitimacy of their decisions and actions. The verbal accounts produced by a senior project management team are examined in-depth. The accounts address the claims raised by residents affected...
Article
Full-text available
In recent years, infrastructure promoters have become interested in translating the Toyota lean management paradigm into new infrastructure development projects. This approach assumes client and project suppliers are willing to work cooperatively. To enable this prerequisite, clients have started to experiment with relational contracts. An empirica...
Article
Full-text available
When business strategists use option-like thinking to inform investments in physical infrastructure, developers need to operationalize leaving the options open at project implementation. This study defines safeguard as the design and physical development work for ensuring, or enhancing, the embedment of an option in the project outcome. Safeguards...
Chapter
IntroductionBackground MethodologyImplementing innovations in the built environment: empirical evidenceImplicationsReferences
Article
This multiple-case study induces alternative strategies to coordinate the overlap of tasks to detail and physically execute base building with tasks to conceptualize the business-critical fit out. Base-building subsystems provide service space for occupancy, whereas fit-out subsystems make the space functional. Our empirical findings on problem-sol...
Article
Environmental changes are common during development of large engineering (infrastructure) projects. To accommodate them when they occur, developers design and physically execute the upstream base building with preliminary information about the downstream business-critical fit-out. Base-building subsystems provide service space for occupancy, wherea...
Article
Full-text available
We develop a methodology to evaluate the usability of prototypes for supporting digital socialization within geographically dispersed, or “virtual”, engineering design teams. Socialization converts individual into group tacit knowledge to enhance collaborative work. Extant theory in computer-supported collaborative work (CSCW) underpins IDRAK, a pr...
Article
This study investigates the implementation of design reuse and buffers in developing the infrastructure of high-tech production facilities Design reuse entails using the same systems architecture from one project to the next. Design buffers involve building slack into a proven systems architecture to absorb foreseeable change requests. Choosing the...
Article
In the field of knowledge management research, socialization means to convert individual into group tacit knowledge. This process matters from the outset of an architecture, engineering, and construction AEC project to enhance collaborative work. Face-to-face meetings and phone calls undoubtedly facilitate socialization. However, meetings can be ha...
Article
This study defines a project safeguard as the design and physical development work needed to ensure, or enhance, the embedding of a real option in complex products and systems (CoPS). Safeguards operationalize optionlike strategic thinking at implementation. I examine safeguarding investments through an in-depth multiple-case study of 12 options em...
Article
Full-text available
This study investigates how the selection environment and modularity affect innovation in private infrastructure development. Our findings stem from an in-depth empirical study of the extent ten process innovations were implemented in an airport expansion programme. Our findings suggest that developer and customers can each occasionally champion or...
Article
Full-text available
A problem facing the management of large engineering design projects is: Why do clients often adopt an early commitment strategy on design decision-making when they want to speed up project delivery, yet allow late changes to the project definition to accommodate the resolution of (un)foreseen external uncertainties? Empirical findings illustrate t...
Article
Engineering design projects are delivered by temporary organizations that bring together a group of firms from the early design stages. Exchanges of tacit knowledge across firms' boundaries through processes of socialization are important. However, physical cross-firm socialization opportunities are limited. Our research investigates digital social...
Article
Full-text available
Four factors make the delivery of semiconductor fabrication facilities ('fabs') increasingly challenging: technical complexity of the product design, need to compress the project delivery time, need to reduce upfront costs, and frequent but hard to anticipate changes in the course of project delivery. The various strategies that practitioners emplo...
Article
Full-text available
Intelligent construction components for integrating product design, delivery process, and life-cycle performance. Information and communication technology (ICT) can enable high-value delivery, performance, and maintenance of components for engineering and construction projects. This work presents a literature review on the capabilities of Radio Fre...
Article
A project delivery process simulation is presented based upon empirical studies in the design-build environment of semiconductor fabrication facilities ('fabs'). The model captures key tasks and decisions in design, procurement and construction, as well as design criteria changes along the delivery of a R&D fab utility system. Simulation shows that...
Article
Full-text available
This work explores the effectiveness of design postponement in the concept development of large-scale engineering projects. Our empirical research shows limited use of postponement in semiconductor fabrication facility (fab) projects despite evidence that the customer inevitably requests design criteria changes in the projects life. We simulate fab...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge here is defined as applying to the body of facts gathered by study, observation, and experience, as well as to the ideas inferred from those facts. Knowledge connotes an understanding of what is known. Whereas explicit knowledge has been formalized and codified, tacit knowledge may exist only in the heads of individuals. Know-how here mea...
Article
This paper presents a process simulation model representative for design development of a building system in an unpredictable environment. Unpredictability means that design criteria are prone to change as design development unfolds. The model was implemented with a discrete-event simulation engine based on event graphs. Events capture moments when...
Article
In unstable environments, characterized by frequent client-driven changes in design criteria and by huge pressure to compress project delivery times, practitioners must search for innovative ways to structure the design-build process. Involving specialty contractors from project inception onwards, helps to satisfy client needs. Based on empirical r...
Article
Full-text available
Specialty contractors have knowledge to contribute to the early design of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) products. In current practice, however, they are seldom involved in early design, but evidence suggests that their early involvement is increasing. Lean construction theory advocates such involvement. The practice of involving...
Article
Specialty contractors have knowledge to contribute to the early design of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) products. In current practice, however, they are seldom involved in early design, but evidence suggests that their early involvement is increasing. Lean construction theory advocates such involvement. The practice of involving...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a process simulation model representative for design development of a building system in an unpredictable environment. Unpredictability means that design criteria are prone to change as design development unfolds. The model was implemented with a discrete-event simulation engine based on event graphs. Events capture moments when...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper describes a process, implemented using two simulation engines that adopt, respectively, the event scheduling paradigm and the activity scanning paradigm. The process being modeled is design development in an unpredictable environment. Unpredictability means that criteria are prone to change during design, thereby interrupting ongoing wor...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper presents a process simulation model representative for design development of a building system in an unpredictable environment. Unpredictability means that design criteria are prone to change as design development unfolds. The model was implemented with a discrete-event simulation engine based on event graphs. Events capture moments when...
Article
Full-text available
This paper presents a process simulation model representative for design development of a building system in an unpredictable environment. Unpredictability means that design criteria are prone to change as design development unfolds. The model was implemented with a discrete-event simulation engine based on event graphs. Events capture moments when...
Article
Full-text available
This paper discusses what knowledge specialty contractors may contribute to the early design of architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) products. In current practice in the United States, specialty contractors are seldom involved in the early design effort, but their early involvement is increasing. The paper reports on research that focu...
Article
Full-text available
Construction projects are typically delivered by temporary organizations that bring together from the early design stages a group of firms, including the client, design consultants, contractors, and product suppliers. Socialization, i.e., the conversion of individual tacit into group tacit knowledge through informal processes such as conversations...
Article
Full-text available
Three factors – technical complexity of the product design, need to compress project delivery, and external-driven changes in design criteria – make the project delivery of semiconductor fabrication facilities (fabs) a challenging problem. Empirical findings on strategies to cope with this problem support a comparative study of two project manageme...
Article
Full-text available
Democratizing innovation looks at users as a source of innovation. Here, we explore whether democratizing innovation can be extended into social infrastructure development and, if so, how to make it work. Our longitudinal empirical study explores the involvement of head teachers and heads of faculty in new school development processes. The local au...
Article
Full-text available
Little is known about how to involve the customer in product development when businesses develop and operate complex products and systems (CoPS). Customers can be internal business units or external businesses leasing or owning parts of a CoPS. We draw from theoretical constructs in the field of innovation to empirically investigate the co-developm...
Article
Our underlying research question investigates the role of specialist contractors in project - based industries - supposedly equivalent to specialist suppliers in manufacturing industries - in delivering technologically innovative and complex products. Descriptive statistics based on patent counts in the project-based construction industry reveal th...
Article
The importance of knowledge sharing between project participants is well recognized. In particular, management theory advocates knowledge-sharing between assemblers/system integrators and specialist suppliers/contractors from the early design stages in product development projects. Yet while the exchange of explicit knowledge happens through manual...
Article
Full-text available
We investigate how the selection environment and flexibility (novelty, modularity) jointly affect process innovation in complex products and systems. We draw on a multiple case study of the implementation of ten innovations in projects forming part of an airport expansion programme. Our findings suggest that innovations succeed contingent upon the...

Network

Cited By

Projects

Projects (2)
Project
This is a forthcoming edited book (Cambridge Press, 2018) that aims to sketch the rudiments of a theory as to how to achieve collective ends with limited resources. Resources are broadly defined so as to include finance, capabilities, and institutions. All chapters in the book are empirical, and aim to illuminate this struggle to get things done with limited resources by providing evidence on the challenges of developing critical infrastructure projects in Africa.
Project
Forthcoming book with MIT Press in 2018. The book develops a design theory that traces back the performance of project-based organisations emerging and operating in pluralistic settings to the designed administrative structures that enable and constrain collective action in these organisations. These are designed structures that prescribe the allocation of resources and decision-making, and how to resolve disputes within these complex arenas of consensus-oriented collective action. The book is empirically informed by data on capital-intensive infrastructure development projects , the so-called 'mega-projects' occurring both in advanced and developing economies. But the aim of the book is to develop a theory that illuminates the challenges and opportunities of designing organisations to achieve complex designed goals in pluralistic settings where the authority to make decisions is distributed across multiple heterogeneous actors with conflicting goals and knowledge-based processes