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Megaproject Planning and Management: Essential Readings, vols 1-2



Megaproject Planning and Management: Essential Readings contains the seminal articles from the growing body of research on megaproject planning and management along with an original introduction by the editor, Bent Flyvbjerg. The leading and most cited authority in the field, Flyvbjerg has used crowdsourcing and 25 years of experience to cherry-pick from several hundred articles and books the writings that define the field. This volume will be an indispensable source for those wishing to speak with authority about how megaprojects are prepared, delivered, and fought over. The target audience is students, academics, practitioners, and media pundits alike, as well as communities affected by megaprojects.
[MINI: Megaproject Planning and Management Bent Flyvbjerg 2.5.12]
Introduction Bent Flyvbjerg
1. Paul O. Gaddis (1959), ‘The Project Manager’, Harvard Business Review, 37
(3), May-June, 89-97 [9]
2. Peter W. G. Morris (1994), ‘The 1960s: Apollo and the Decade of
Management Systems’, in The Management of Projects, Chapter 5, London,
UK: Thomas Telford, 38-88 [51]
3. Christophe Midler (1995), ‘“Projectification” of the Firm: The Renault Case’,
Scandinavian Journal of Management, 11 (4), 363-75 [13]
4. Paul R. Josephson (1995), ‘“Projects of the Century” in Soviet History:
Large-Scale Technologies from Lenin to Gorbachev’, Technology and Culture,
36 (3), July, 519-59 [41]
5. Sylvain Lenfle and Christoph Loch (2010), ‘Lost Roots: How Project
Management Came to Emphasize Control Over Flexibility and Novelty’,
California Management Review, 53 (1), Fall, 32-55 [24]
6. John E. Sawyer (1952), ‘Entrepreneurial Error and Economic Growth’,
Explorations in Entrepreneurial History, 4 (4), 199-204 [6]
7. Albert O. Hirschman (1967), ‘The Principle of the Hiding Hand’, Public
Interest, 6, Winter, 10-23 [14]
8. Don H. Pickrell (1992), ‘A Desire Named Streetcar: Fantasy and Fact in Rail
Transit Planning’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 58 (2), Spring,
158-76 [19]
9. Bent Flyvbjerg, Mette K. Skamris Holm and Søren L. Buhl (2002),
‘Underestimating Costs in Public Works Projects: Error or Lie?’, Journal of
the American Planning Association, 68 (3), Summer, 279-95 [17]
10. Bent Flyvbjerg, Mette K. Skamris Holm and Søren L. Buhl (2005), ‘How
(In)accurate Are Demand Forecasts in Public Works Projects?: The Case of
Flyvbjerg, Bent, forthcoming, ed., Megaproject Planning and
Management: Essential Readings, vols. 1-2 (Cheltenham, UK and
Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar).
Volume 1
Transportation’, Journal of the American Planning Association, 71 (2), Spring,
131-46 [16]
11. Bent Flyvbjerg, Mette K. Skamris Holm and Søren L. Buhl (2004), ‘What
Causes Cost Overrun in Transport Infrastructure Projects?’, Transport
Reviews, 24 (1), January, 3-18 [16]
12. Zur Shapira and Donald J. Berndt (1997), ‘Managing Grand-Scale
Construction Projects: A Risk Taking Perspective’, Research in Organizational
Behavior, 19, 303-60 [58]
13. Jon Teigland (1999), ‘Mega-Events and Impacts on Tourism; The Predictions
and Realities of the Lillehammer Olympics’, Impact Assessment and Project
Appraisal, 17 (4), December, 305-17 [13]
14. Robert A. Baade and Victor A. Matheson (2004), ‘The Quest for the Cup:
Assessing the Economic Impact of the World Cup’, Regional Studies, 38 (4),
June, 343-54 [12]
15. John Horne (2007), ‘The Four “Knowns” of Sports Mega-Events’, Leisure
Studies, 26 (1), January, 81-96 [16]
16. Edward W. Merrow (2011), ‘Project Outcomes’, in Industrial Megaprojects:
Concepts, Strategies, and Practices for Success, Chapter 3, Hoboken, NJ: John
Wiley and Sons, 37-50 [14]
17. Peter Hall (1980), ‘Towards Prescription’, in Great Planning Disasters,
Chapter 13, London, UK: George Weidenfeld and Nicolson Limited, 249-76
18. Terry Williams and Knut Samset (2010), ‘Issues in Front-End Decision
Making on Projects’, Project Management Journal, 41 (2), April, 38-49 [12]
19. Hugo Priemus (2010), ‘Mega-projects: Dealing with Pitfalls’, European
Planning Studies, 18 (7), July, 1023-39 [17]
20. Hans de Bruijn and Martijn Leijten (2007), ‘Megaprojects and Contested
Information’, Transportation Planning and Technology, 30 (1), February, 49-69
21. Chantal C. Cantarelli, Bent Flyvbjerg, Bert van Wee and Eric J. E. Molin
(2010), ‘Lock-In and its Influence on the Project Performance of Large-Scale
Transportation Infrastructure Projects: Investigating the Way in which
Lock-In can Emerge and Affect Cost Overruns’, Environment and Planning B:
Planning and Design, 37 (5), 792-807 [16]
22. Martin Wachs (1990), ‘Ethics and Advocacy in Forecasting for Public
Policy’, Business and Professional Ethics Journal, 9 (1 and 2), 141-57 [17]
23. Bent Flyvbjerg (2006), ‘From Nobel Prize To Project Management: Getting
Risks Right’, Project Management Journal, 37 (3), August, 5-15 [11]
24. Bent Flyvbjerg, Massimo Garbuio and Dan Lovallo (2009), ‘Delusion and
Deception in Large Infrastructure Projects: Two Models for Explaining and
Preventing Executive Disaster’, California Management Review, 51 (2), Winter,
170-93 [24]
25. Daniel Kahneman (2011), ‘The Outside View’, in Thinking, Fast and Slow,
Chapter 23, New York, NY: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 245-54, notes [10]
26. W. Richard Scott (2012), ‘The Institutional Environment of Global Project
Organizations’, Engineering Project Organization Journal, 2 (1-2), March-June,
27-35 [9]
27. Ryan J. Orr and W. Richard Scott (2008), ‘Institutional Exceptions on Global
Projects: A Process Model’, Journal of International Business Studies, 39 (4),
June, 562-88 [27]
28. Roger Miller and Brian Hobbs (2005), ‘Governance Regimes for Large
Complex Projects’, Project Management Journal, 36 (3), September, 42-50 [9]
29. Nils Bruzelius, Bent Flyvbjerg and Werner Rothengatter (1998), ‘Big
Decisions, Big Risks: Improving Accountability in Mega Projects’,
International Review of Administrative Sciences, 64 (3), September, 423-40 [18]
30. Barbara S. Romzek and Melvin J. Dubnick (1987), ‘Accountability in the
Public Sector: Lessons from the Challenger Tragedy’, Public Administration
Review, 47 (3), May-June, 227-38 [12]
31. Erik Swyngedouw, Frank Moulaert and Arantxa Rodriguez (2002),
‘Neoliberal Urbanization in Europe: Large-Scale Urban Development
Projects and the New Urban Policy’, Antipode, 34 (3), July, 542-77 [36]
Total: 606
[MINI: Megaproject Planning and Management Bent Flyvbjerg 2.5.12]
An Introduction to both volumes by the editor appears in Volume I
1. Kirsi Aaltonen and Jaakko Kujala (2010), ‘A Project Lifecycle Perspective on
Stakeholder Influence Strategies in Global Projects’, Scandinavian Journal of
Management, 26 (4), December, 381-97 [17]
2. Audley Genus (1997), ‘Managing Large-Scale Technology and Inter-
Organizational Relations: The Case of the Channel Tunnel’, Research Policy,
26 (2), May, 169-89 [21]
3. J. Scott Sutterfield, Shawnta S. Friday-Stroud and Sheryl L. Shivers-
Blackwell (2006), ‘A Case Study of Project and Stakeholder Management
Failures: Lessons Learned’, Project Management Journal, 37 (5), December, 26-
35 [11]
4. Hilary Schaffer Boudet and Leonard Ortolano (2010), ‘A Tale of Two
Sitings: Contentious Politics in Liquefied Natural Gas Facility Siting in
California’, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 30 (1), September, 5-21
5. Doug McAdam, Hilary Schaffer Boudet, Jennifer Davis, Ryan J. Orr, W.
Richard Scott and Raymond E. Levitt (2010), ‘“Site Fights”: Explaining
Opposition to Pipeline Projects in the Developing World’, Sociological
Forum, 25 (3), September, 401-27 [27]
6. Bent Flyvbjerg (2012), ‘Why Mass Media Matter to Planning Research: The
Case of Megaprojects’, Journal of Planning Education and Research, 32 (2),
June, 169-81 [13]
7. Benjamin C. Esty (2004), ‘Why Study Large Projects? An Introduction to
Research on Project Finance’, European Financial Management, 10 (2), 213-24
8. Tom Copeland and Peter Tufano (2004), ‘A Real-World Way To Manage
Real Options’, Harvard Business Review, March, 90-99 [10]
Flyvbjerg, Bent, forthcoming, ed., Megaproject Planning and
Management: Essential Readings, vols. 1-2 (Cheltenham, UK and
Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar).
Volume 2
9. Bent Flyvbjerg (2013), ‘Quality Control and Due Diligence in Project
Management: Getting Decisions Right by Taking the Outside View’,
International Journal of Project Management, 31 (5), July, 760-74 [15]
10. Aidan R. Vining and Anthony E. Boardman (2008), ‘Public-Private
Partnerships: Eight Rules for Governments’, Public Works Management and
Policy, 13 (2), October, 149-61 [13]
11. Matti Siemiatycki (2009), ‘Delivering Transportation Infrastructure Through
Public-Private Partnerships: Planning Concerns’, Journal of the American
Planning Association, 76 (1), Winter, 43-58 [16]
12. Graeme A. Hodge and Carsten Greve (2009), ‘PPPs: The Passage of Time
Permits a Sober Reflection’, Institute of Economic Affairs, 29 (1), March, 33-39
13. Morag I. Torrance (2008), ‘Forging Glocal Governance? Urban
Infrastructures as Networked Financial Products’, International Journal of
Urban and Regional Research, 32 (1), March, 1-21 [21]
14. P. D. Henderson (1977), ‘Two British Errors: Their Probable Size and Some
Possible Lessons’, Oxford Economic Papers, 29 (2), July, 159-205 [47]
15. Mendel Giezen (2012), ‘Keeping it Simple? A Case Study into the
Advantages and Disadvantages of Reducing Complexity in Mega Project
Planning’, International Journal of Project Management, 30 (7), October, 781-90
16. Jerry Ross and Barry M. Straw (1993), ‘Organizational Escalation and Exit:
Lessons from the Shoreham Nuclear Power Plant’, Academy of Management
Journal, 36 (4), August, 701-32 [32]
17. Helga Drummond (1998), ‘Is Escalation Always Irrational?’, Organization
Studies, 19 (6), November, 911-29 [19]
18. Ramiro Montealegre and Mark Keil (2000), ‘De-Escalating Information
Technology Projects: Lessons from the Denver International Airport’, MIS
Quarterly, 24 (3), September, 417-47 [31]
19. Tyrone S. Pitsis, Stewart R. Clegg, Marton Marosszeky and Thekla Rura-
Polley (2003), ‘Constructing the Olympic Dream: A Future Perfect Strategy
of Project Management’, Organization Science, 14 (5), September-October,
574-90 [17]
20. Christopher M. Gordon (1994), ‘Choosing Appropriate Construction
Contracting Method’, Journal of Construction Engineering and Management,
120 (1), 196-210 [16]
21. Thayer Scudder (1973), ‘The Human Ecology of Big Projects: River Basin
Development and Resettlement’, Annual Review of Anthropology, 2, 45-55
22. Paul K. Gellert and Barbara D. Lynch (2003), ‘Mega-Projects as
Displacements’, International Social Science Journal, 55 (175), March, 15-25
23. François Molle and Philippe Floch (2008), ‘Megaprojects and Social and
Environmental Changes: The Case of the Thai “Water Grid”’, Ambio: A
Journal of the Human Environment, 37 (3), May, 199-204 [5]
24. Paul Charest (1995), ‘Aboriginal Alternatives to Megaprojects and their
Environmental and Social Impacts’, Impact Assessment, 13 (4), 371-86 [16]
25. Rob Vanwynsberghe, Björn Surborg and Elvin Wyly (2012), ‘When the
Games Come to Town: Neoliberalism, Mega-Events and Social Inclusion in
the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games’, International Journal of Urban
and Regional Research, 1-20 [20]
26. Mike Hobday (1998), ‘Product Complexity, Innovation and Industrial
Organisation’, Research Policy, 26 (6), February, 689-710 [22]
27. Werner Rothengatter (2008), ‘Innovations in the Planning of Mega-Projects’,
in Hugo Priemus, Bent Flyvbjerg and Bert van Wee (eds), Decision-Making
on Mega-Projects: Cost-Benefit Analysis, Planning and Innovation, Chapter 11,
Cheltenham, UK and Northampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 215-38
28. James Barlow (2000), ‘Innovation and Learning in Complex Offshore
Construction Projects’, Research Policy, 29 (7-8), August, 973-89 [17]
29. Andrew Davies, David Gann and Tony Douglas (2009), ‘Innovation in
Megaprojects: Systems Integration at London Heathrow Terminal 5’,
California Management Review, 51 (2), Winter, 101-25 [25]
30. Nuno Gil, Marcela Miozzo and Silvia Massini (2011), ‘The Innovation
Potential of New Infrastructure Development: An Empirical Study of
Heathrow Airport's T5 Project’, Research Policy, 41 (2), March, 452-66 [15]
31. Peter Hall (1980), ‘Sydney’s Opera House’, in Great Planning Disasters,
Chapter 6, London, UK: George Weidenfeld and Nicolson Limited, 138-51,
notes [14]
32. Alan Altshuler and David Luberoff (2003), ‘The New Politics of Highways’,
in Mega-Projects: The Changing Politics of Urban Public Investment, Chapter 4,
Washington, DC: Brookings Institution, 76-122 [47]
33. Roger Vickerman (1997), ‘High-Speed Rail in Europe: Experience and Issues
for Future Development’, Annals of Regional Science, 31 (1), 21-38 [18]
34. Janis van der Westhuizen (2007), ‘Glitz, Glamour and the Gautrain: Mega-
Projects as Political Symbols’, Politikon, 34 (3), December, 333-51 [19]
35. Joseph S. Szyliowicz and Andrew R. Goetz (1995), ‘Getting Realistic About
Megaproject Planning: The Case of the New Denver International Airport’,
Policy Sciences, 28 (4), November, 347-67 [21]
36. Karen Bakker (1999), ‘The Politics of Hydropower: Developing the
Mekong’, Political Geography, 18 (2), February, 209-32 [24]
37. Susan S. Fainstein (2008), ‘Mega-Projects in New York, London and
Amsterdam’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, 32 (4),
December, 768-85 [17]
38. Xuefei Ren (2008), ‘Architecture as Branding: Mega Project Developments
in Beijing’, Built Environment, 34 (4), December, 517-31 [15]
39. Greg Andranovich, Matthew J. Burbank and Charles H. Heying (2001),
‘Olympic Cities: Lessons Learned from Mega-Event Politics’, Journal of
Urban Affairs, 23 (2), Summer, 113-31 [19]
732 pp
[Total: 1338]
... e central proposition is that actors in network positions with higher social capital are likely to have more relationships with new partners in the following time period [30]. If used appropriately, measures such as structural holes, bridges (e.g., betweenness), density, and closeness are indicators to measure social capitals [46]. Based on the metrics from previously analysed cases, it can be seen that the same organisations occupy key positions in skyscraper interorganisational collaboration and business networks. ...
... Megaprojects can be viewed as a complex network of actors, or heterogeneous stakeholders, which include project owners, design firms, and contractors. A lack of prior experience within a megaproject team may further increase the risk of project failure [28,32,46,47]. Key to improving a megaproject's performance lies in constructing an efficient and collaborative team and having an effective organisational network [28,48]. ...
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Megaprojects are implemented by different organisations, such as owners, consultants, and contractors. Gradually, these organisations and their connections can form business networks that influence both the market position of individual organisations and project performance. Previous research on large-scale projects mainly focused on static and homogeneous networks that were constructed by one individual project and/or carried out over one-off collaboration. However, this neglected the consideration of project network diversity, as well as repetitive, dynamic, cross-project coopetition relationship (i.e., collaboration and competition) and long-term business networks formed by key actors. Here, we chose Chinese skyscrapers over 300 meters that were built from 1996 to 2015 as typical megaproject cases and analysed the formation and evolution of megaproject business networks from the perspective of interorganisational coopetition. We identified the key actors involved and empirically studied their dynamic network positions over time. The main contributions of this study are threefold. First, we found that past collaboration experience has direct and dynamic impacts on the formation of megaproject business networks. Second, we identified key actors in the interorganisational business network and unveiled their dynamic positions with clear patterns. Third, we highlighted the temporal-spatial effect on the formation and development of business networks, alongside developments in the megaproject market. The findings of this study also provide practical applications for owners to choose collaboration partners and to build high-performance teams and for suppliers to enter and sustain the business in the megaprojects networks.
... Previous findings show that not the perception of every destination attributes impact on tourists' destination choice equally; some destination attributes may play a more important role than others [18]. However, this all would be affected by other variables and includes the nation's mega infrastructures that are playing a wider role, transformational, cost a billion dollars or more impacts of a million people [19]. Therefore, this study would find out the impacts of mega-projects on the current image of destination Ethiopia in terms of cognitive, effective and unique image hoping such projects will help a nation to eliminate misconception and stereotypes developed with early atrocious events happening to the country. ...
... Although, mega projects that defined as large-scale, complex ventures that typically cost a billion dollars or more, take many years to develop and build, involving multiple public and private stakeholders, are transformational, and impact millions of people [42], attracting a lot of public attention because of substantial impacts on communities, environment, and budgets [43] also affect perception of tourists. Hirschman (1995) calls such projects as "privileged particles of the development process [19]. He and points out that often they are "trait making," that is, they are designed to ambitiously change the structure of society, as opposed to smaller and more conventional projects and considered as a preferred delivery model for goods and services across a range of businesses and sectors [44]. ...
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Megaprojects are believed to help the growing interest in destination competitiveness that affects perceived mixture of tourists' attraction elements and experiences. However, no studies have been done to examine the possible effect on the destination image. Particularly, no empirical findings exist in the Ethiopian context that assess how mega projects affect a given destination image. Hence, this paper intended to identify the impact of megaprojects on a destination branding and then proceeds to examine their significance as perceived by tourists. 400 usable responses were used to proceed for further analysis. Both descriptive and inferential statistical techniques were used to test the possible effect of mega projects on the destination image. The results reveal that the cognitive, affective and unique image of destination branding dimensions was significantly affected by megaprojects existed in the country. It also shows mega projects, i.e., energy, train and transport, industrial expansion and park development, education and housing projects were significant predictors of the cognitive, affective and unique image of Ethiopia and have a direct correlation each other with dependent (destination image dimensions) variables. Therefore, stakeholders that work on destination branding in Ethiopia can use those mega projects existed in the country as tools to promote the nation endowed resources that will have a multidimensional benefit in terms of attracting investment and changing the nation image in general.
... The construction of long-span bridge with high technical difficulty involves numerous risks [35], [36]. Identifying and preventing potential risks is important for long-span bridge engineering management. ...
As a powerful forward-looking risk management technique, FMEA has been widely used for reliability and security analysis in engineering management fields. In practice, the implementation of FMEA involves the participation of multiple members with distinct knowledge, experience, and cultural background, thus, FMEA is a typical multicriteria group decision-making problem. However, the existence of the aggregation discrepancy issue in FMEA problems with group decision-making leads to collective evaluation conflicts that bring about decision bias for further risk management. This article proposes an AADFMEA method based on multiple-objective optimization to promote the accuracy and reliability of collective assessment information in FMEA members, in which the 10-point qualitative scale is used for evaluation. Additionally, the AADFMEA method responds to the different individual cognitions to a specific evaluation value from multiple members by constraining the risk prioritization to derive more reasonable collective risk evaluation information. Finally, two case studies are presented to show that the AADFMEA method has a good application value, and the simulation analysis was conducted to verify the effectiveness of the proposed AADFMEA approach.
... It can, hence, be concluded that "megascience", at least in the analytical meaning of the word as developed by Hoddeson et al (2008) and further refined by Hallonsten (2016a: 62-4), is a particle physics phenomenon. A related concept is "megaprojects", which has gotten its own subspecialism of macrosociology, much by the work of Flyvbjerg (2003Flyvbjerg ( , 2008Flyvbjerg ( , 2014Flyvbjerg ( , 2017. The literature on megaprojects is rich in detail and analytical ambitions, but never deals specifically with megaprojects in science, although at least some of the projects typically identified as Big Science, and some of the largest projects consecrated to RI status by ESFRI and the European Commission, certainly fit the definition of megaproject as provided by Flyvbjerg (2017: 2): "large-scale, complex ventures that typically cost $1 billion or more, take many years to develop and build, involve multiple public and private stakeholders, are transformational, and impact millions of people". ...
... Megaprojects are a particular type of projects that normally cost a complex investment of USD 1 billion and up, involve multiple public and private stakeholders and take many years to develop and build (Flyvbjerg 2014a;Brockmann et al. 2016). The examples of megaprojects include, but are not limited to airports, expressways, high-speed rail lines, dams, power plants, offshore oil and gas platforms, national information and communication technology systems, the development of new aircraft, large cruise and container ships, and the complex logistics systems used to run giant companies like Walmart and Amazon (Lopez del Puerto and Shane 2014; Hu et al. 2015a;Zhai et al. 2017). ...
The aims of this study are (1) to check the prevalence of cost overrun in megaprojects, (2) to investigate the efficacy of cost control in megaprojects, (3) to identify the popular tools and techniques used for cost control, (4) to find out the key knowledge areas highly relevant to cost control in megaprojects and (5) to make a comparison of these results between mega and general projects. To achieve these goals, a comprehensive literature review was conducted first, followed by a questionnaire administered to 32 Singapore-based construction companies having experiences in megaprojects. The results showed that: on average 44.22% of megaprojects in Singapore experienced cost overrun, which is about 6% higher than that for general projects; megaprojects are facing a lower efficacy in cost control than general projects; ‘S-curve’, ‘forecasting techniques’, ‘cost control software products’ and ‘Work Breakdown Structure’ are the popular tools and techniques used for cost control in megaprojects, and they are used more frequently in megaprojects than in general projects. Finally, six knowledge areas were found highly relevant to cost control in megaprojects, demonstrating higher relevance to cost control in megaprojects than in general projects.
The understanding of the interactions between megaproject and social impact assessment disciplines is crucial and an effective implementation of a multi-dimensional perspective has been positively correlated with project success and failures avoidance. Current literature aims to encompass this role, extending the analysis of the impacts to the broader concept of stakeholders and local communities impacted by the project. The aim of the Authors is that these preliminary findings can inspire further and deeper research on these topics, looking for and integrated approach to include all of them into a cohesive framework for managing the social pillar in megaprojects management. The literature review leads to the identification of three different research areas related to the issue of the evaluation of the megaprojects from a social perspective: a first one related to the issue of power and equality that looks coherent with the critical management agenda both from a methodological and theoretical point of view; a second one related to the concept of social space as a construct to adopt in order to enlarge the alternatives in the evaluation process; the third one that depicts the role of technology and social media to manage stakeholders.KeywordsMegaprojectsSocial impactSustainabilityLiterature review
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Long-term infrastructure projects are often best judged with the benefit of hindsight. Many significant and important projects initially condemned as failures were later been regarded as great successes. Opinion can take years to deliver its final verdict. Megaprojects are the largest, most complex, and most inspiring forms of projects delivered around the world. They also have a poor track record for being delivered over-budget and late. In particular, Mega Transport Projects (MTP) regularly see cost blow outs of over 40%. The need for MTPs continues to grow, as more and more people live in urbanised cities and megaproject sponsors replace old and worn out transport systems with quicker, faster and more reliable transport systems. Due to the proliferation of megaproject cost blowouts there continues to be risk that sponsors of megaprojects are not receiving the optimal value out of the delivery mechanism deployed. Many contemporary studies have identified ‘project governance’ as one of the key areas for improvement with megaprojects
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Ecological economics has paid little attention to the assessment and evaluation of megaprojects – large, complex infrastructure projects often delivered via public-private partnerships, which entail deep uncertainties, considerable economic and political stakes, and significant impacts on society. Megaprojects proliferate, despite their problematic relation with sustainability. Developing approaches and methods for the appraisal of megaprojects therefore constitutes a major task for ecological economics. To provide a basis for an ecological economics approach to megaproject appraisal, this article first reviews the ‘mainstream’ and ‘alternative’ strands of megaproject appraisal literatures. It then explores the possible contributions to megaproject appraisal from two ideal-typical branches of ecological economics: ‘institutionalist deliberationism’ and the environmental justice approach. Both can help to ‘open up’ megaproject appraisal 1) beyond the ‘iron triangle’ of project appraisal criteria employed by the mainstream megaproject scholarship; 2) to a broader range of appraisal perspectives; and 3) towards ‘informal’ appraisal, i.e. the wider sociopolitical discourse including media interventions and NGO initiatives. Conclusions suggest four areas of further work: 1) integrating formal and informal appraisal; 2) role of appraisal and the appraiser in megaproject governance; 3) role of deliberation in the face of power asymmetries; and 4) the possibility of sustainable megaprojects.
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Megaprojects require investment of $1bn or more to build infrastructure, usually involving a complex system of production consisting of discrete, routine, and highvolume repetitive processes. Many of these processes can be progressively standardized and replicated to improve overall productive performance. This article presents the findings of research on design and production of London's Heathrow Airport Terminal 5 (T5). The findings were used to develop a conceptual framework—which we call the systems integration model—to identify the project and operational processes that contribute to success in delivering megaprojects. The systems integrator is the lead organization in a megaproject, responsible for establishing a governance structure, managing risk, and coordinating processes performed by a large network of external suppliers. Innovations based on the "recombination" and "replication" of processes can be introduced to improve megaproject performance.
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The Rogers Commission investigation of the space shuttle Challenger accident was too narrow in its focus; an institutional analysis is needed to supplement the concentration on technical and managerial causes of the tragedy. Using an institutional perspective, we contend that the accident was, in part, a manifestation of NASA's efforts to manage the diverse expectations it faces in the American political system. Four types of accountability (legal, political, bureaucratic, and professional) are commonly used by public agencies to manage expectations of them. Yet, the presence of multiple accountability systems is not without costs. This case study shows that many of NASA's technical and managerial problems resulted from efforts to respond to legitimate institutional demands. Specifically, we contend that the pursuit of political and bureaucratic accountability distracted NASA from its strength: professional standards and mechanisms of accountability. Furthermore, agency reforms now being implemented and considered compound trends away from the professional accountability approaches used by NASA during the 1960s. Such reforms are just as likely to exacerbate the dilemmas facing NASA as they are to improve the agency's performance.
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This article asks how planning scholarship may effectively gain impact in planning practice through media exposure. In liberal democracies the public sphere is dominated by mass media. Therefore, working with such media is a prerequisite for effective public impact of planning research. Using the example of megaproject planning, it is illustrated how so-called "phronetic planning research," which explicitly incorporates in its methodology active and strategic collaboration with media, may be helpful in generating change in planning practice via the public sphere. Main lessons learned are: (1) Working with mass media is an extremely cost-effective way to increase the impact of planning scholarship on practice; (2) Recent developments in information technology and social media have made impact via mass media even more effective; (3) Research on "tension points," i.e., points of potential conflict, are particularly interesting to media and the public, and are especially likely to generate change in practice; and (4) Tension points bite back; planning researchers should be prepared for, but not afraid of, this.
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A major source of risk in project management is inaccurate forecasts of project costs, demand, and other impacts. The paper presents a promising new approach to mitigating such risk, based on theories of decision making under uncertainty which won the 2002 Nobel prize in economics. First, the paper documents inaccuracy and risk in project management. Second, it explains inaccuracy in terms of optimism bias and strategic misrepresentation. Third, the theoretical basis is presented for a promising new method called "reference class forecasting," which achieves accuracy by basing forecasts on actual performance in a reference class of comparable projects and thereby bypassing both optimism bias and strategic misrepresentation. Fourth, the paper presents the first instance of practical reference class forecasting, which concerns cost forecasts for large transportation infrastructure projects. Finally, potentials for and barriers to reference class forecasting are assessed.
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Lock-in, the escalating commitment of decision makers to an ineffective course of action, has the potential to explain the large cost overruns in large-scale transportation infrastructure projects. Lock-in can occur both at the decision-making level (before the decision to build) and at the project level (after the decision to build) and can influence the extent of overruns in two ways. The first involves the `methodology' of calculating cost overruns according to the `formal decision to build'. Due to lock-in, however, the `real decision to build' is made much earlier in the decision-making process and the costs estimated at that stage are often much lower than those that are estimated at a later stage in the decision-making process, thus increasing cost overruns. The second way that lock-in can affect cost overruns is through `practice'. Although decisions about the project (design and implementation) need to be made, lock-in can lead to inefficient decisions that involve higher costs. Sunk costs (in terms of both time and money), the need for justification, escalating commitment, and inflexibility and the closure of alternatives are indicators of lock-in. Two case studies, of the Betuwe- route and the High Speed Link-South projects in the Netherlands, demonstrate the presence of lock-in and its influence on the extent of cost overruns at both the decision-making and project levels. This suggests that recognition of lock-in as an explanation for cost overruns contributes significantly to the understanding of the inadequate planning process of projects and allows development of more appropriate means.
Stakeholder theory is a useful framework for analyzing the behavioral aspects of the project management process, particularly the complicated process of project management within the Department of Defense (DOD). Projects can be beset by the agenda of various stakeholders within the organizational structure. When this occurs, the implementation of a strong project stakeholder management strategy is necessary to increase the likelihood of success. This is a case study of a failed DOD project, even though it was fully justified and badly needed. Stakeholder theory serves as the theoretical underpinning of this case analysis, which identifies the potential causes of the project failure. Project management lessons learned from the failure and a project stakeholder management strategy framework are presented to facilitate better decision making on the part of project managers to increase the likelihood of successful project management outcomes.
This paper presents a framework for building governance regimes for large complex projects. The framework is based on three sources: 1) a re-examination of a study of 60 large capital projects (Miller & Lessard, 2000), 2) the institutional, corporate, and project governance literatures and 3) interviews centered on the revision of the British Private Finance Initiative and on the development of the Norwegian project approval process. The literature tends to treat governance issues as being static, but project development processes and environments are dynamic. The governance regimes must adapt to the specific project and context, deal with emergent complexity, and change as the project development process unfolds. Learning to manage project governance regimes is difficult for organizations that are not involved in great numbers of large complex projects. The framework based on the progressive shaping of the project through the project development life cycle is designed to help overcome this dilemma.