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At the top of your paper provide the reference to your Journal Article. Use a scholarly source as described above. Utilizing a non-scholarly/non-peer-reviewed source will result in significant point deduction. Introduction Give a brief overview of the chapter of Kloppenborg covered for the week. Be sure to cite any reference to the text. Include the text in a reference section at the end. Summary (cite article when appropriate) Give a summary of the article or case study. Relevant Points (cite article when appropriate) Identify the relevant points of the article or case study that coincide with the chapter covered for the week. Critique Provide a balanced criticism of the article or case study. What were the strengths and weaknesses of the study? How do the findings support the field of project management? How could it have been altered to better support the field? Application of Concept(s) Apply the concept(s) to your career, field, industry, etc. Provide a real world application not a general statement. This section should demonstrate how you can take the findings of this article or case study and utilize them in a practical way in your career, field or practice. Make the application specific to your own experience. Do not just provide a general overview of the usefulness of the findings. Be specific; not general. References (this does not count toward the required paper length)Every paper typed in this course should be in APA formatting (title page, reference page, NO abstract page, in-text citations, running head, page numbers, Times New Roman 12 font, 1 inch margins, double-spacing, etc…).
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Journal of Construction in Developing Countries, 21(1), 1–18, 2016
Understanding Management Roles and Organisational Behaviours
in Planning and Scheduling Based on Construction Projects in
Oman
1*Hammad
Al Nasseri and Radhlinah Aulin2
Published online: 31 July 2016
To cite this article: Hammad Al Nasseri and Radhlinah Aulin. (2016). Understanding management roles and organisational
behaviour in planning and scheduling based on construction projects in Oman. Journal of Construction in Developing
Countries, 21(1): 1–18. doi: 10.21315/jcdc2016.21.1.1
To link to this article: http://dx.doi.org/10.21315/jcdc2016.21.1.1
Abstract: There are many challenges associated with the construction processes of planning
and scheduling. These challenges are relevant to all project parties or stakeholders and
therefore management roles or organisational behaviours of those parties have to be
properly considered and assessed. With this in mind, this study is aimed at assessing
practitioners’ perspectives on the current significance and applicability of a set of criteria or
factors concerned with management roles and organisational behaviours of the different
parties based on construction projects in Oman. The study has adopted a quantitative
approach in which a questionnaire-based survey was chosen and conducted to gather
responses from construction projects in Oman. A total of 67 valid responses were analysed
based on the rankings and means of the respondents’ perspectives on the significance and
applicability of the identified factors to current practice. The overall findings indicated that
all investigated factors should be critically considered as equally important to the
development process of planning and scheduling. Nevertheless, the findings implied that a
management priority should be given to the most important factors significantly affecting
project planning and scheduling. The study provides some useful recommendations on how
to improve project management roles and organisational behaviours in planning and
scheduling on the part of key project parties.
Keywords: Project control, Management roles, Organisational
Scheduling, Project parties, Oman
behaviour, Planning,
INTRODUCTION
The complexity of planning and scheduling tasks requires rigorous effort in terms of
the effectiveness of the project team, especially with regard to the project
management roles and organisational behaviours that are key factors for the
success of project objectives (Mubarak, 2010; Ahuja and Thiruvengadam, 2004).
This is because planning and scheduling should be managed and controlled in
the most effective way by all team involved for a successful project performance
(Kerzner, 2013). Therefore, the understanding of the impact of such roles and
behaviours on work performance can provide tangible benefits to the success of
the project (Yang, Huang and Wu, 2011). In this respect, a good alignment
between the team’s working behaviours (or human aspects) with the technical
issues of a project will support the achievement of such benefits (Edum-Fotwe and
McCaffer, 2000). According to Eriksson (2010), the effectiveness of any
1Division
of Construction Management, Lund University, SWEDEN
Corresponding author: hammada@squ.edu.om

© Penerbit Universiti Sains Malaysia, 2016
Hammad Al Nasseri and Radhlinah Aulin
construction management process can be potentially improved by allowing for
complete perceptions and interests from all construction stakeholders. For
instance, Jaffar, Tharim and Shuib (2011) considered factors such as poor
communication among the project team, lack of effective leadership and
reluctance in controlling the project tasks execution and completeness as
unintentional behaviours resulting in project disputes in terms of slow productivity
and increased cost. A study by Cheung et al. (2003) implied that the consideration
of behavioural aspects in the construction process still appears to be not
sufficiently explored in current practices. More specifically, González et al. (2014)
argued that there is a need to promote new management changes in project
planning by clearly defining project management roles and their relevant impacts
on the project performance. In addition, such management roles and behaviour,
as well as other project technical issues should be effectively harmonised by all
stakeholders involved in a project (Too and Weaver, 2014). In this regard, project
stakeholders should be able to clearly identify and define all scheduling tasks,
related resources and constraints for better project outcomes (Sears, Sears and
Clough, 2010). According to Turner (1999), improving the performance of a project
requires a competent management team that can monitor and control the
project activities at both planning and operational levels of the project. Turner
further argued that the competence of project management team in setting out
a project plan, monitoring the work progress, estimating the schedule variance, as
well as taking all necessary corrective actions are significant for the success of
project planning (Turner, 1999).
This study was conducted based on the Oman construction projects. In this
respect, the contribution of the construction industry to Oman’s gross domestic
product is forecasted at a growth rate ranging from 5% to 10% by 2020, which
represents a high proportion of the country’s economy (Islam and Khadem, 2013;
Oxford Business Group, 2014). According to the Oman regulation systems, large
public projects of estimated cost above OMR 3 million (USD 1 = OMR 0.385) are
floated and awarded by the Oman tender board in a form of unit-cost or lumpsum contracts or other sorts of measurements (Oman Tender Board, 2014). There
are, however, some exceptions for governmental authorities to manage certain
types of projects internally through design-build contracts. All bidders participating
in private and public projects, however, should follow the Oman Standards for
Building and Civil Engineering Works as a regulated procedure. According to
Oxford Business Group (2014), Oman, amongst many other developing countries,
has also experienced some delays and improper cost control in a number of
construction and infrastructure projects. Of course, all improper management
issues causing these delays needed to be urgently addressed in a way that
increased practitioners’ awareness of what was lacking in their current practices.
Despite this being the case, few academic studies conducted on the Omani
construction industry revealed a common concern in the need for more
evaluations of the current situational problems (or risk factors) pertaining to project
disputes in terms of a lack of effective quality management, cost control systems
and time performance measurements (Albalushi, Usman and Alnuaimi, 2013;
Mohsin, 2011; Abu Hassan, Khalid and Onyeizu, 2011; Alnuaimi et al., 2009; Bakar et
al., 2012). But then, such performance measurements should also be focused on
the other aspects concerned in the project management roles and organisational
behaviours that might lead, if not properly understood and addressed, to
2/PENERBIT UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA
Management Roles and Organisational Behaviours in Oman
ineffective planning and scheduling systems. To support this argument, it can be
postulated that the effective consideration of such management roles and
organisational behaviours in project planning and scheduling will help overcoming
the occurrence of contractual disputes related to project planning during
execution.
Summarising the above literature, there are far fewer examples to be
considered when assessing the different project management roles and
organisational behaviour attributed to key project stakeholders at particular
stages such as planning and scheduling. These roles and behaviours should be
considered and applied properly by all project stakeholders (or parties) involved in
a project. Otherwise, insufficient considerations of such roles and behaviours will
result in ineffective planning and scheduling, and thus low quality project
execution. So, the originality of this study is based on its attempt to assess project
management roles and organisational behaviour in construction planning and
scheduling. This is important because giving a specific focus to the different roles
and behaviours related to particular project tasks of planning and scheduling can
be more worthwhile than looking at a project holistically. Consequently, this will
improve the effectiveness of the implementation and control of these tasks; thus,
enhancing their practical performance.
This study, therefore, aimed at addressing this lack of knowledge by
identifying and assessing a set of factors concerned with management roles and
organisational behaviour of the key project parties using the Oman construction
projects. The primary goal was to answer the following research question: What
are the management roles and organisational behaviours of project parties that
should be critically considered for effective planning and scheduling?
In order to explore this research question, the following objectives were set:
1.
2.
To identify and examine project management roles and organisational
behaviours of the key project parties involved in planning and scheduling
To provide new insights on how to improve the efficiency of such roles and
behaviours in planning and scheduling.
The expected outcomes might provide useful insights for construction
stakeholders and practitioners towards critically understanding and sufficiently
addressing management roles and organisational behaviours for more effective
planning and scheduling.
LITERATURE REVIEW
In addition to the above literature, there are a number of research studies studied
and assessed various factors pertained to different project parties, which are
considered as major reasons for poor project performance. However, some of
these factors can be considered as team management roles and behaviours that
should be independently investigated. In connection to this view, Nepal, Park and
Son (2006) argued that project scheduling has a strong interaction with other
metrics of a project and therefore is assumed to involve other management
factors that to be critically considered. More specifically, Walker (2011) stated that
organisational behaviour in the construction industry is still an issue that
PENERBIT UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA/3
Hammad Al Nasseri and Radhlinah Aulin
unquestionably needs more explicit exploration in practice. Latterly, this claim has
been confirmed by Kreiner (2013) who argued that the effectiveness of the
construction process can be best understood and improved by properly
understanding the project management team and their organisational behaviour.
In summary, there seems to be a need for specific research studies on the
understanding and assessment of project management roles and organisational
behaviour in planning and scheduling in the context of construction projects. As
noted earlier, much previous research, however, has paid more attention to the
evaluation of the success and failure factors affecting project performance with
regard to time and cost constraints (Assaf and Al-Hejji, 2006; Ahadzie, Proverbs
and Olomolaiye, 2008; Ghosh and Jintanapakanont, 2004; Sun and Meng, 2009).
Nevertheless, a number of these research studies have highlighted some initiatives
regarding the assessment of potential effects of various factors, pertaining to the
main participants (project managers, clients, contractors and consultants) in a
project, on the success of project performance (Oyedele, 2013; Bari et al., 2012;
Enshassi et al., 2007; Jaffar et al., 2011; Mbachu and Nkado, 2007; Doloi et al.,
2012; Cooke-Davies, 2002; Sunindijo, Hadikusumo and Ogunlana, 2007; Hwang,
Zhao and Goh, 2013). In a more recent study by Davis (2014), it is found, however,
that there was no common agreement in perspectives among the different
project stakeholders regarding the significance of these factors to their projects.
This insignificant variation among stakeholders’ view can be attributed to variability
in project management roles and organisational behaviours currently adopted in
project planning and scheduling. A summary of examples of investigated factors
related to key project stakeholders or parties is presented in Table 1. As mentioned
earlier, however, this study is trying to pay a more particular focus on the
assessment of project management roles and organisational behaviours of the key
project parties involved in the implementation and control of planning and
scheduling.
Project Manager-Related
Attributes
Table 1. Summary of Findings of Some Relevant Research Studies
Examples of Investigated Factors
Selected Literatures
1.
2.
3.
4.
Ahadzie, Proverbs and Olomolaiye
(2008); Assaf and Al-Hejji (2006);
Belassi and Tukel (1996); Enshassi et
al. (2007); Mbachu and Nkado
(2007); Cooke-Davies (2002)
Incomplete inputs of scope
Aggressive designed schedules
Incompetent planning
Misunderstanding of the project
specifications
5. Poor decision-making
6. Ineffective communication
7. Ineffective leadership
8. Insufficient identification of
boundary conditions
9. Reworked plans
10. Shortage of resources
(continued on next page)
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Management Roles and Organisational Behaviours in Oman
Contractor-Related Attributes
Consultant-Related Attributes
Client-Related Attributes
Table 1. (continued)
Examples of Investigated Factors
Selected Literatures
1.
2.
Poor organisation structure
Inaccurate regulations by client’s
representatives
3. Centralised management
4. Project financing and interim
payments
5. Uncontrolled variation orders
6. Less involvement in planning
7. Lack of team training
8. Ambiguity of requirements
9. Access restriction to site information
conditions
10. Lack of conflict management plan
Ahadzie, Proverbs and Olomolaiye
(2008); Assaf and Al-Hejji (2006);
Enshassi et al. (2007); Hwang, Zhao
and Goh (2013); Doloi et al. (2012)
1.
2.
3.
4.
Complexity of design
Inaccurate cost estimate
Planning errors
Insufficient consideration of
stakeholders’ needs
5. Incompetent technical team
6. Improper inspections
7. Use of obsolete design criteria
8. Unreliability of schedules
9. Lack of control methods
10. Insufficient coordination
11. Unrealistic resource forecast
12. Ignorance of non-technical aspects
in design
Faridi and El‐Sayegh (2006); Assaf
and Al-Hejji (2006); Enshassi et al.
(2007); Ibironke et al. (2013)
1.
2.
3.
Faridi and El‐Sayegh (2006); Ghosh
and Jintanapakanont (2004); Assaf
and Al-Hejji (2006); Ibironke et al.
(2013); Mbachu and Nkado (2007);
Enshassi et al. (2007)
Faulty implementation of plans
Lack of control over sub-contractors
Delays in procurement and delivery
schedules
4. Improper use of equipment and
construction testing
5. Unreliable progress reports
6. Lack of partnering and
interdisciplinary
7. Financial constraints
8. Weak motivated and lowproductivity team
9. Improper rescheduling of actual
works
10. Lack of new technology
PENERBIT UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA/5
Hammad Al Nasseri and Radhlinah Aulin
METHODOLOGY
Identification of the Study Variables
In view of the literature review and the subsequent discussions, the current
practices in project planning and scheduling, not least in Oman, take very little
account of stakeholders or practitioners’ perspectives regarding the
understanding of project management roles and organisational behaviours
currently embraced in the development, implementation and control of project
planning and scheduling. Considering this lack of knowledge indicated in the
literature and by using experiences of the researcher in the construction industry
and subsequently utilising brainstorming, a screened list of 44 factors was identified
and designed. The identified factors were presumed to contribute to the project
management roles and organisational behaviours of the four main parties, usually
involved at a certain level of participation in project management tasks of
planning and scheduling. Out of a total of 44 defined factors, 14 criteria related to
project managers’ roles and behaviour in planning and scheduling, 10 to clients’
roles and behaviours, 10 to contractors’ roles and behaviours and 10 to
consultants’ roles and behaviours.
Data Collection Methods
The study has adopted a questionnaire-based survey, which is considered a
positivist tool for gathering data about research problems where their relevant
theory seems to be inadequately investigated in practice (Neuman, 2005). In this
study, the questionnaire was distributed manually (hand-delivered copies) and
electronically (mail-delivered copies) to groups of people engaged in a number
of public and private construction organisations in Oman. The questionnaire tested
the strength of the participant perspectives on the significance of the adopted
factors based on a Likert-type point scale of 1 to 7 , where 1 represents the lowest
level of disagreement (strongly disagree) and 7 represents the highest level of
agreement (strongly agree). The questionnaire was responded by 67 participants
out of about 120 distributed copies; which is 55.8% response rate which can be
considered as a reasonable response rate. Table 2 presents the analysis of the
respondents’ profiles.
Table 2. Background Profiles of Respondents
Characteristics
Work position
Senior engineers
Project managers
Junior engineers
Quantity surveyors
Responses
Frequency
(Count)
Percentage
(%)
26
22
17
2
38.8
32.8
25.4
3.0
(continued on next page)
6/PENERBIT UNIVERSITI SAINS MALAYSIA
Management Roles and Organisational Behaviours in Oman
Table 2. (continued)
Characteristics
Responses
Frequency
(Count)
Percentage
(%)
Qualifications
Degree
Master
Diploma
45
12
10
67.2
17.9
14.9
Years of experience
5–10
11–16
17–22
˃ 22
Not defined
18
14
19
14
2
27.0
19.5
28.4
19.5
3.0
Type of firm/organisation
Clients
Contractors
Project management
Consultants
28
22
13
4
41.8
32.8
19.4
6.0
Phases of project
respondents are currently
involved in
All
Execution
Planning and controlling
Execution and controlling
Initiating, planning and
execution
Controlling
Planning and execution
Initiating
Not defined
19
13
9
6
5
30.6
20.9
14.5
9.7
8.0
5
4
1
5
8.0
6.5
1.6
7.5
67.0

Total
Data Analysis Methods
The study has considered the relative importance index (RII) for testing the
collected data. Holt (2014) considered the RII as a suitable tool to provide more
accurate rankings of responses collected through a study-based Likert-scale
questionnaires than descriptive statistics. In this regard, Holt revised and modified
the RII models for the aim of providing more precise estimations of the intervals of
the rankings among the tested variables. Thus, the RII rankings and means of the
study variables were computed based on the following equations recently
developed by Holt (2014):
RII(7-point, adjusted model) = ([116.68 (∑ w ÷ 7N)] – 16.68)%
Eq. 1
Based on Holt (2014), where ∑ w (for a seven-point Likert-scale) = (7*n7 + 6*n6 + 5*n5
+ 4*n4 + 3*n3 + 2*n2 + n1)
RII(max range) = 1 – (1 ÷ Amax) = 0.86
RIImean = SQRT.(RII)
Eq. 2
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Hammad Al Nasseri and Radhlinah Aulin
Where RII = relative importance index, w = individual weight given to each
statement based on a seven-point scale (stems), Amax = the highest ranking point
used (7 in this study) and N = the total number of respondents used in the analysis.
It should be noted that the respondents were asked to rank the identified factors in
the study based on the relevance or applicability of these different factors to the
current practice of their construction projects. For the purpose of management
priorities and practical considerations of the most significant factors (roles and
behaviours), the data interpretation is based on the RII analysis of the top five
factors as discussed …
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