Company Overview: EC Harris International Ltd.
EC Harris is an international construction project and built asset consultancy founded in 1911 in the United Kingdom. The founder of the company is Edward Charles Harris. Initially, the main purpose of business was the development of infrastructure and civil engineering, but the functional range expanded by 1990. Since then EC Harries also offered consultancy services in facility management.
We will write a custom Case Study on Al Wahda Master Development Project Management specifically for you
301 certified writers online
In 2011, under the guidance of EC Harris’ chief executive, Philipp Youell, the company merged with Arcadis, the international design and engineering enterprise headquartered in Amsterdam (Gardiner par. 2). The integration allowed EC Harris to acquire access to an extensive professional workforce and consolidate its position in the global market. However, EC Harris preserved its independence and remains an autonomously operating company within Arcadis.
EC Harris implements internalization policies and has branches in several European countries, Asia, and the Middle East. In the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the organizational offices are represented in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. The most prominent organizational projects include the Kingdom Tower project in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, and the Grand Millennium Al Wahda Hotel in Abu Dhabi.
Project Overview: Al Wahda Master Development, Abu Dhabi
Time, Costs, Scope
The Al Wahda Master Development (AWMD) is a large complex located in Abu Dhabi, the UAE. Its territory comprises the five-star Grand Millennium Al Wahda Hotel, which contains over 800 rooms and private apartments, twelve conference rooms, business meeting rooms, and several finest restaurants (“EC Harris Delivers Abu Dhabi’s Largest Hotel” par. 1). It also includes the biggest Abu Dhabi’s shopping mall with nearly 400 stores; a sports club, and other facilities for leisure and entertainment. The project development and facility construction unfolded between 2005 and 2012, and the total costs were more than £400 million (APM Project Management Awards 1).
One of the project managers was Jonathan Mullan, who has over 15 years of experience in Project Management Consultancy. Under his close supervision, the international team comprised of diverse people fulfilled its multi-task roles in the project development. The team included Americans, Chinese, Indian, German, Nepalese, Portuguese, South African, and other nationalities (APM Project Management Awards 2).
EC Harris’s developmental strategies included design elaboration and verification, engineering workshops, and risk management. The execution of formulated goals was fulfilled through the strict categorization of working roles and responsibilities, and by fostering and encouraging communication between the organizational units. It helped to strengthen team cohesion and ensure the dynamic integration of the working process.
The main risk on the way to the successful project delivery was the worldwide financial crisis that took place in 2008. It influenced the UAE’s development negatively, provoked the financial stagnation, and slowed down many ambitious construction projects in the country. During the crisis, EC Harris experienced challenges with cost-efficiency in materials purchase and supply (APM Project Management Awards 2). However, sufficient experience and its application in the risk management strategy helped the company to overcome these difficulties. The early planning practices allowed EC Harris to overcome severe negative influences on the construction process and achieve significant advancement.
Stakeholder management is effectively integrated into EC Harris risk management. Through compliance with multiple ethical standards and principles of transparency in business conduct, the company creates value for stakeholders. EC Harris follows environmental and housing standards in project development. Moreover, according to one of the general Arcadis’ business principles, the company provides a healthy and safe working environment for all employees (“Health and Safety” par. 2). In this way, risk management in the AWMD was aimed at the prevention of potential hazards and accidents while taking into consideration the expectations and preferences of international employees and clients.
The multiculturalism of the team may be regarded as one of the greatest challenges for the successful delivery of the project. In many of the UK-based projects, the failure to overcome cultural barriers in managerial groups interfered with the efficient fulfillment of tasks (APM Project Management Awards 3). However, open communication and clear coordination of staff members and stakeholders helped the AWDN’s managers to increase the efficiency of operation.
Nowadays, the AWMD project is perceived as one of the most significant and successful enterprises in Abu Dhabi. The factors which fostered success are the focus on quality and strict regulations in the implementation of cost, time, and scope management. In 2012, the executive group of the AWMD won the APM Project Management Award in the category of the Best Overseas Project of the Year (APM Project Management Awards 1).
It is possible to say that the major challenges EC Harris faced in the project development are coordination of the international work team, creation of stakeholder value, and risk management. While entering a new market, the expatriate managers always need to cooperate with the representatives of different cultures, and, in this way, the development of the cross-cultural communication skills is a necessity (Toh and Srinivas 698).
The managers also need to be capable of perceiving the cultural differences of the host country and adjust to these differences. The cultural adjustment is essential to the effective internal and external organizational operation.
Three of the critical factors influencing the success of the organizations in the international market are “market orientation,” “entrepreneurial orientation,” and “learning orientation” as the strategic approaches towards the efficient integration into the market (Gnizy, Baker and Grinstein 478). It means that the managerial group needs to investigate the external environment and culture, arrange adequate organizational supervision practices, and implement knowledge management activities for the dissemination of the accumulated information.
Risk management is one of the crucial supervision practices, and it includes goal-oriented activities for the achievement of risk reduction and attaining profitability increase in the unstable economic environment. It is observed that many risks emerge gradually; they are not immediate (Calandro 26).
Get your first paper with 15% OFF
Thus, monitoring the periphery helps to avoid significant loss. It is suggested that this stage of risk management can be better implemented by a group of professionals with different perspectives and techniques because the evaluation of the extensive peripheral information cannot be completed by a single person. When monitoring in risk management is fulfilled by a team, it is easier to find connections between the weak organizational spots and the disadvantageous positions (Calandro 26). Moreover, the consideration of multiple views helps to approach the issue creatively.
It is possible to say that the implementation of knowledge management practices interrelates with the development of corporate culture because it also helps to transfer organizational mission statements and values to all employees and it facilitates the adoption of these values through the communication of information. As a part of organizational culture, corporate values may encourage environmental protection, civil rights protection, promotion of equality, multidimensional development of local communities, infrastructures, and economies, etc. In this way, the company will effectively meet the social needs of both private and corporate customers.
In this way, the company may support the efforts of the local governments in their attempts to achieve progress in regional development. Through the fulfillment of these values, the companies represent themselves as good corporate citizens (Soo Sung et al. 5). Thus, through consideration of the interests of various groups of stakeholders, EC Harris can significantly increase its attractiveness and customers’ trust that will result in profitability growth.
“EC Harris Delivers Abu Dhabi’s Largest Hotel.” Middle East Company News. 2011. ProQuest. Web.
APM Project Management Awards 2012, Al Wahda Master Development, Abu Dhabi EC Harris International Ltd. Web.
Calandro, Joseph. “A Leader’s Guide to Strategic Risk Management.” Strategy & Leadership 43.1 (2015): 26. ProQuest. Web.
Gardiner, Joey. “EC Harris and Arcadis: Two Become One.” Building. 2011. Web.
Gnizy, Itzhak, William E. Baker, and Amir Grinstein. “Proactive Learning Culture.”International Marketing Review 31.5 (2014): 477-505.
Health and Safety. 2015. Web.
Soo Sung, Chang, David Choi, Kim Daeeop, and Jin Lee Woo. “Do Entrepreneurial Companies Make Good Corporate Citizens? Exploring the Relationships Between Entrepreneurial Orientation, Market Orientation, and Corporate Citizenship.” Journal of Enterprising Culture 22.1 (2014): 1-25.
Toh, Soo Min, and Ekkirala S. Srinivas. “Perceptions of Task Cohesiveness and Organizational Support Increase Trust and Information Sharing between Host Country Nationals and Expatriate Coworkers in Oman.” Journal of World Business 47.4 (2012): 696-705.