The relevance of project management best practice and its application in the UK construction industry

McCann, AB 2017, The relevance of project management best practice and its application in the UK construction industry , DProf thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

Professional project management associations have produced practice standards that may be used by practitioners, professional services firms and clients. This research was undertaken to explore the relevance of these professional project management practice standards (PPMPS) and their application in the UK construction industry.

There is scant literature available on the PPMPS and therefore a deficiency of understanding about their compilation, scope and use in the UK construction industry. The industry faces many challenges including difficulties in retaining a skilled workforce and a mixed record of delivering public projects on time and within budget.

The use of a cross-sectional single case study research strategy was adopted and primary data was generated from professional services firms and clients using semi-structured interviews. This data was used to triangulate with research undertaken by the Author in 2014. The previous research explored how individual practitioners in the UK construction industry availed themselves of the PPMPS.

This research concludes that the PPMPS provides a de minimis benchmark for project management services and guidance to new entrants in to the profession. However, the limitations of the PPMPS include: they are not easy to access quickly, are not regarded as providing professional services firms with a commercial advantage, are not sufficiently promoted within the construction industry or to its clients, and that tacit knowledge and experience are more important than codified knowledge.

This research includes recommendations to improve project management best practice. Using structuration theory, it is proposed that professional services firms' and clients' In-house standards have the potential to become the de-facto PPMPS. The concepts of the "Semi-detached Professional" and "Bureaucratic project manager" are introduced as interpretations of the findings generated from the practitioners, professional services firms and clients to provide a new understanding of professionalism in project management.

Key Words: professional services firms, clients, professional project management practice standards, In-house standards, structuration theory.

Item Type: Thesis (DProf)
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Depositing User: AB McCann
Date Deposited: 16 Feb 2018 15:03
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2018 10:04
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/44576

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