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Self-Organising Networks in Complex Infrastructure Projects: The Case of London Bank Station Capacity Upgrade Project

Almadhoob, Huda Mohamed Ali Hasan Husain; (2020) Self-Organising Networks in Complex Infrastructure Projects: The Case of London Bank Station Capacity Upgrade Project. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

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.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Self-Organising Networks in Complex Infrastructure Projects: The Case of London Bank Station Capacity Upgrade Project
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2020. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett Sch of Const and Proj Mgt
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10094822
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