The Management of Construction Projects Requires a Good Understanding and Correct Application of Organisational Theories

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“The management of construction projects requires a good understanding and correct application of organisational theories”.

The study and management of construction projects embraces a variety of organisational aspects. Its complexity encompasses the behaviour of people, a range of internal and external processes and interactions with the environment of which the organisation is part. Nevertheless the following work is concerned with an overall managerial approach to organisational theory and with this underlying theme does not intend to explore and specify any particular aspect but instead present a wider and overarching paradigm. This work aims to support the thesis set in the title and in so doing draws upon the range of information and thoughts compiled here from sources listed in the bibliography. The creators or founders of organized activities are the people who participate within them. The result is a self sustaining environment built up of organized actions. The founders of the organization define its mission, or domain of activity. For a given domain, the founders or authorized members of the organization will derive from a background specific tangible attributes and qualities adequate to undertake the program's actions. The organization is therefore the result of decisions that must be sanctioned by some form of power. Duncan (1996) explains the ability of ‘getting things done as understanding of both the formal and informal structures of all the organisations involved – the performing organisation, the customer, contractors…’ These exertions require appropriate use of power. Pfeffer defines power as ‘the potential ability to influence behaviour, to change the course of events, to overcome resistance, and to get people to do things that they would not otherwise do’ (Pfeffer cited in Duncan 1996: 24). Among the above suggestions and definitions another question arises and should be addressed in order to understand the essence of these matters, namely: what criteria should be used so as to be able to classify and select the characteristics of the organization. The ‘Chartered Institute of Building’ in ‘The Code of Practice for Project Management’ expounds that “organisation structure sets out unambiguously and in detail how the parties to the project are to perform their functions in relation to each other in contributing to the overall scheme” CIOB (1992). Fryer maintains that the purpose of organisation structure is ‘to ensure that work is allocated rationally, that there are effective links between roles, that employees are properly managed and that activities are monitored […] it becomes necessary to set out a clear plan of who does what, otherwise the managers lose sight of the whole picture and jobs are forgotten or done twice’ (Fryer 2004: 36). Therefore, relating to the above, it must be stated that the analysis criteria of types of relationships are there substantially between the people and the organizations, expressing itself on the one hand in the nature of power, on the other - in the nature of the subordination of the power to the participants of the organization. Drummond additionally suggests some alternative approaches that certainly would imply even more criteria for analysis to consider i.e. interpretative and critical perspectives. (Drummond cited in Mullins 2007: 4). Yates (2011) also states that the culture of an organization evolves over time from a variety of sources and lists the following influence factors: history, size, technology, goals and objectives, environment, people. Yates explicates the importance and extensiveness of the factors that conveniently form the basis for analysis. Duncan also expounds an extensive influence that culture has on the project: ‘every project must operate within a context of one or more cultural norms. This area of influence includes political, economic demographic, educational, ethical, ethnic, religious and other areas of practice, belief, and...
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