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Al Shamsi, S K (2019) Managing construction projects in the United Arab Emirates to gain competitive advantage, Unpublished PhD Thesis, School of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of Wolverhampton.

  • Type: Thesis
  • Keywords: best practice; competitive advantage; content analysis; developing countries; interview; project management; qualitative research; United Arab Emirates
  • URL: http://hdl.handle.net/2436/622666
  • Abstract:
    A tremendous growth has been experienced in United Arab Emirates (UAE) in the construction industry. It is also mirrored by the expansion and development of project management tools and techniques. The term project management prevails as a trending topic in the business world due to its vitality in the transformation process and execution of new business opportunities. However, regardless of the increasing importance of project management, still UAE construction industry is facing massive challenges in controlling their assignments since projects continue to fail in very high rate. Therefore aim of this research is to explore how the UAE construction organisations are managing construction projects to enhance competitive advantage. Given the relatively new and unexplored nature of the research problem, qualitative research method was adopted to collect and analyse data. Semi-structured interviews with 65 professionals were used to collect data which was then analysed using content analysis for inference and conclusion. The study concluded that a complex mix of political, economic, social, technological, legal, and environmental forces drives construction project management in the UAE. Therefore, understanding the macro-environmental factors that impact on the UAE construction project management is important. Furthermore, it is noted that understanding drivers is imperative for smooth project implementation. As revealed in the current study, the single most important driver for managing projects in UAE is to improve greater efficiency. In addition, the UAE project management education struggles with challenges such as there are too many knowledge areas in project management, and struggle to provide education to professionals from different background and learning styles. Therefore, the UAE project management training and education should lead to a more active/practical approach. The study concludes that adoption of digital technologies in the UAE construction industry is still at their infancy. Despite of the incremental significance of project management, yet, businesses are confronting encounters in controlling their assignments since projects keep failing in very high rate. A project management competency framework for managing construction projects was developed and validated. It is recommended to explore the level of embeddedness of construction project management between developed and developing countries. This should lead to a generation of benchmark data and best practices in addressing global construction project management issues.