Interaction between electronic communication and perceived success in UAE construction projects

Doctoral thesis English OPEN
El-Saboni, MA

The purpose of this research is to study the effectiveness of the electronic systems of\ud communication that are widely used during different phases of construction projects, and to\ud evaluate their contribution toward the success of projects. The mechanism of their interaction\ud with other factors leading to strategic benefits was investigated. A holistic approach was adopted\ud taking context and time into consideration in order to investigate the connection between the two\ud axes, with project success as a strategic dimension on one hand, and the mechanism of\ud communication media on the other.\ud The research was divided into two phases. Phase one was devoted to the identification of\ud project's success criteria and the success factors in the UAE environment, using a survey based\ud mainly on interviews with professional project managers. Phase two addressed the issue of\ud electronic communication through two case studies. The first case study is based on action\ud research looking at the effects of the use of simple electronic communication in construction\ud projects. The second case study was preceded by the selection of reliable ICT systems available\ud for construction projects in UAE. One of these selected systems, was implemented connecting\ud the main stakeholders in all phases of a major construction project in UAE, and became the\ud subject of investigation of this part of the research. This long-term critical case study proceeded\ud following-up the project progress. Interviews with key team members were undertaken to\ud observe the communicational behaviour towards decision making during the stages of design and\ud construction, and in the operation of this project.\ud The results acquired in the case studies have confirmed the benefits hypothesised. However, the\ud investigation continued to explain few unresolved results. An explanation has emerged through\ud pattern matching based on two communication theories, namely the two step flow theory of\ud Lazarsfeld, and the transition theory. A dynamic model has been put forward, linking the\ud aforementioned axes of success and communication, and making use of the risk management\ud process in order to activate, maintain, and formalise the mechanism of interaction between\ud project success and communication.\ud The outcome of this research can help construction management professionals plan and\ud implement strategic communication plans, leading to enhancement of opportunities for projects'\ud success. The findings of the case studies provided a good reference for implementation in the\ud UAE environment and a reliable starting point for scenarios of validation in other contexts. The\ud developers of electronic systems for project content management can benefit from this soft approach. The thesis is concluded by emphasising a multi-disciplinary interpretation when\ud considering the duality of project success and communication.
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