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Title: A meta-analysis study of project and programme management complexity in the oil and gas sector of the Middle East and North Africa region
Author: Ziadat, Wael
ISNI:       0000 0004 7233 0535
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2018
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Projects and programmes are inherently complex; the interaction of people, systems, processes and data within a dynamic environment creates an intricate network of agents whose behaviour can be unpredictable and unexpected. The management of this complexity is ordinarily concerned with the implementation of tools and techniques to ensure that projects are completed within the desired cost and time, at the agreed level of performance and quality – this is often referred to as the †̃iron triangleâ€TM. However, the impact of a dynamic external environment on the †̃softâ€TM boundaries of the project domain can lead to extreme difficulty in attempting to forecast or predict outcomes and system behaviours. This thesis contends that there is a clear desideratum for a new paradigm in project management practice and research that moves beyond the traditionalist (reductionist) approach to one that embraces, rather than attempts to simplify complexity. The research described in this thesis seeks to uncover the characteristics of complexity, in the context of projects and programmes, in an attempt to uncover if complexity is a factor in the determination of †̃valuableâ€TM outcomes. Subsequently, and through the theoretical lens of complexity theory, this research seeks to highlight the importance of our understanding and treatment of complexity in the execution and management of projects and programmes. The research further seeks to demonstrate how complexity thinking may inform a more sophisticated understanding of how projects, programmes and portfolios delivered successfully (Ziadat, 2017). The context of the research is the oil and gas (O & G) engineering sector in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. A two stage qualitative and quantitative methodology is applied, based on deductive reasoning. The first stage involves the development of a questionnaire and a series of unstructured interviews to gain an understanding of the practical consideration that emerges from the literature review. The second stage of the research involves the application of meta-analysis to study the correlation between the complexity factors identified in the first stage, aiming for heterogeneity, identification of patterns and directing to achieve robust conclusions by using sensitivity analysis. The thesis proposes a new model of complexity factors for oil & gas engineering projects in the MENA region. The model is designed to facilitate the analysis of the project complexity landscape and to define requirements for oil & gas organisations involved with the delivery of projects and programmes to cope with different complexity factors within and across the MENA region. The outcomes include substantial relationship between technical and health, safety & environment complexity factors and project performance despite the mediation of project management complexity factors, yet the organizational complexity factors can be observed at a significant level when project management in complexity factors are considered as a mediator in the model (Ziadat, 2016).
Supervisor: Kirkham, Richard Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Emergence behaviour ; System Dynamics ; Complexity Theory ; Meta-analysis ; Engineering Complex Systems ; Oil and Gas Project Management ; Projects complexity and uncertainty