A resource-based perspective of project success in public sector projects in Abu Dhabi.
Authors: Alameri, H.
Because of the conceptual level rather than the process or practices, many projects might have not been able to achieve their objectives and desired results. Therefore, project management research could be supported by strategic management theory and literature especially the Resource Based View (RBV). Furthermore, intangible resources that are made and organised during project realization are the factor on which differential performance of projects is dependent. In response to this need, this study aimed to understand the nature of the relationship between intangible resources and project success in public sector organizations by introducing a theoretical model that is applying the RBV theory application in Project Management. This model links and displays the influences of ‘intangible resource factors’ in one coherent model, introduces a theoretical model that can be challenged or considered by further research as a starting point in a research context, and supports project practitioners and project teams while working in the public sector. The objectives of the study are to identify key intangible resources that affect project success, identify how social, human, relational and organizational forms of intangible resource capital affect project success, and develop and validate a conceptual model that incorporates intangible resources and project success. To guide the entire study, a research question was defined as how intangible resource factors influence project outcomes.
This study has an exploratory focus as it seeks to find how intangible resources influence project success. Such a focus favours the use of a qualitative research design and the case study approach was particularly appropriate as it encompasses the holistic, in-depth study of a phenomenon using a variety of data sources and procedures. Ten cases were selected for study and allowed the emergence and interplay of various factors. While the ten project cases were the primary focus of the study, the units of analysis were the capital projects in the utility sector in Abu Dhabi. Four of the cases were used to drive the theory, and six cases were used to validate it. Two data collection techniques were employed: documentary data analyses and interviews. A total of 30 semi-structured interviews were conducted with project team members, carefully selected on the basis of their critical roles as project managers. Two data analysis techniques were employed: within-case analysis and cross-case analysis.
A key finding of this study is that the results set out from the concept where it is not essential for project leaders to have in-depth technical skills and knowledge since the usage of team members that are subject matter experts regularly can be an actual technique to source the mandatory capability. These study findings provide a review of the conventional wisdom of the past 40 to 50 years which can help top managers and practitioners to re-evaluate their activities. Another finding is the motivation misalignment that increases the generalizability of a previous study results to project management in the research context. The control and monitoring strategy findings in this study were also the subject of a previous study conducted to measure improvements of project outcomes. This study finding brings findings from other cases from the public sector and helped to answer how and why questions. Evidence from this study also found that relationship quality has a significantly positive influence on joint problem solving. The results given from this study have some theoretical implications as well as practical applications, as they give a clear pattern with regard to the effect of planning on creative problem-solving.