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Title: Self-organising networks in complex infrastructure projects : the case of London Bank Station Capacity Upgrade Project
Author: Almadhoob, Huda Mohamed Ali Hasan Husain
ISNI:       0000 0004 9352 9607
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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Managing large infrastructure projects remains a thorny issue in theory and practice. This is mainly due to their increasingly interconnected, interdependent, multilateral, nonlinear, unpredictable, uncontrollable, and rapidly changing nature. This study is an attempt to demystify the key issues to the management of large construction projects, arguing that these projects are delivered through networks that evolve in ways that we do not sufficiently understand as yet. The theoretical framework of this study is grounded in Complexity Theory; a theory resulted in a paradigm shift when it was first introduced to project management post-2000 but is yet to be unpacked in its full potential. The original contribution of the study is predicated on perceiving large construction projects as evolving complex systems that involves a high degree of self‐organisation. This is a process that transitions contractually static prescribed roles to dynamic network roles, comprising individuals exchanging information. Furthermore, by placing great emphasis upon informal communications, this study demonstrates how self-organising networks can be married with Complexity Theory. This approach has the potential to make bedfellows around the concept of managing networks within a context of managing projects; a concept that is not always recognised, especially in project management. With the help of social network analysis, two snapshots from Bank Station Capacity Upgrade Project Network were analysed as a case study. Findings suggest that relationships and hence network structures in large construction projects exhibit small-world topology, underlined by a high degree of sparseness and clustering. These are distinct structural properties of self-organising networks. Evidence challenges the theorisation about self-organisation which largely assumes positive outcomes and suggests that self-organising could open up opportunities yet also create constraints. This helps to provide further insights into complexity and the treatment of uncertainty in large projects. The study concludes with detailed recommendations for research and practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available