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A systems approach to assessing organisational viability – an oil and gas project based organisation case study

Awuzie, BO and McDermott, P 2014, A systems approach to assessing organisational viability – an oil and gas project based organisation case study , in: CIB International Conference 2014: W55/65/89/92/96/102/117 & TG72/74/81/83 Construction in a Changing World, 4 - 7 May 2014, Sri Lanka.

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Abstract

Extant literature highlights the increasing inability of Project-Based Organisations (PBOs) to meet infrastructure client’s expectations, particularly as it concerns the delivery of socio-economic outcomes during the delivery process. Viability is defined as connoting the ability of PBOs to withstand endogenous and exogenous influences to deliver on the client’s objectives. As its central proposition, this study holds that the prevalence of unclear communication channels and adversarial relationships among parties within such PBOs was capable of negatively affecting their degree of internal cohesion; posing strong challenges to their viability. This study forms part of an on-going multi-case study, system-oriented doctoral research however only a single case is reported in this particular study. This qualitative study seeks to assess a particular infrastructure delivery PBO, situated in a developing country, with the aim of identifying where such gaps likely to affect the internal cohesiveness of the PBO, existed. Whereas semi-structured interviews and project documents were used as data collection tools, the collected data was analysed qualitatively with the aid of the Nvivo software. Pre-set themes were used and the data obtained was analysed qualitatively. A systems approach -Viable System Model – (VSM) was used to assess the PBO’s viability. According the study’s findings, an absence of a prevalent common identity was observed among the various parties to the PBO. Contractors’ capabilities to deliver on time and to budget based on their expertise remained pivotal within the PBO thus abandoning the attainment of the Client’s pre-defined socioeconomic objectives. Cases of faulty and ineffective organisational architecture, functional and communication issues were observed. It was discovered that these observed anomalies impacted upon the internal cohesiveness of the PBO thus rendering it unviable. Based upon these findings, it was recommended that the VSM be adopted at the commencement of the PBO lifecycle and at intervals by project managers and other stakeholders for assessing the levels of organisational viability as is obtained in the use of AGILE in the IT industry.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Built Environment Sustainability and Transformation (BEST)
Journal or Publication Title: CIB International Conference 2014: W55/65/89/92/96/102/117 & TG72/74/81/83 Construction in a Changing World Book of Abstracts
Publisher: CIB Book of Abstracts ISBN 978-1-907842-54-2
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: Professor Peter McDermott
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 07:43
Last Modified: 03 May 2016 07:43
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/38828

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