Commenced in January 2007
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Edition: International
Paper Count: 32131
Empirical Study on Causes of Project Delays

Authors: Khan Farhan Rafat, Riaz Ahmed


Renowned offshore organizations are drifting towards collaborative exertion to win and implement international projects for business gains. However, devoid of financial constraints, with the availability of skilled professionals, and despite improved project management practices through state-of-the-art tools and techniques, project delays have become a norm these days. This situation calls for exploring the factor(s) affecting the bonding between project management performance and project success. In the context of the well-known 3M’s of project management (that is, manpower, machinery, and materials), machinery and materials are dependent upon manpower. Because the body of knowledge inveterate on the influence of national culture on men, hence, the realization of the impact on the link between project management performance and project success need to be investigated in detail to arrive at the possible cause(s) of project delays. This research initiative was, therefore, undertaken to fill the research gap. The unit of analysis for the proposed research excretion was the individuals who had worked on skyscraper construction projects. In reverent studies, project management is best described using construction examples. It is due to this reason that the project oriented city of Dubai was chosen to reconnoiter on causes of project delays. A structured questionnaire survey was disseminated online with the courtesy of the Project Management Institute local chapter to carry out the cross-sectional study. The Construction Industry Institute, Austin, of the United States of America along with 23 high-rise builders in Dubai were also contacted by email requesting for their contribution to the study and providing them with the online link to the survey questionnaire. The reliability of the instrument was warranted using Cronbach’s alpha coefficient of 0.70. The appropriateness of sampling adequacy and homogeneity in variance was ensured by keeping Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin (KMO) and Bartlett’s test of sphericity in the range ≥ 0.60 and < 0.05, respectively. Factor analysis was used to verify construct validity. During exploratory factor analysis, all items were loaded using a threshold of 0.4. Four hundred and seventeen respondents, including members from top management, project managers, and project staff, contributed to the study. The link between project management performance and project success was significant at 0.01 level (2-tailed), and 0.05 level (2-tailed) for Pearson’s correlation. Before initiating the moderator analysis test for linearity, multicollinearity, outliers, leverage points and influential cases, test for homoscedasticity and normality were carried out which are prerequisites for conducting moderator review. The moderator analysis, using a macro named PROCESS, was performed to verify the hypothesis that national culture has an influence on the said link. The empirical findings, when compared with Hofstede's results, showed high power distance as the cause of construction project delays in Dubai. The research outcome calls for the project sponsors and top management to reshape their project management strategy and allow for low power distance between management and project personnel for timely completion of projects.

Keywords: Causes of construction project delays, construction industry, construction management, power distance.

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