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Research done on organizational culture shows that culture is evident in most organizations. Various factors influence or affect culture of construction project organizations. These will include elements of organizational, operational, professional, and individualistic sub-cultures within the CPO. Researchers have made several hypotheses that try to explain how these factors influence organizational culture. The research carried in the article sought to test the validity of these hypotheses using data from construction projects in the UK (Ankrah, Proverbs, & Debrah, 2008).
To carry out the research, a mixed approach was used which consisted of both quantitative and qualitative techniques. The first stage of research involved using semi-structured interviews on experienced practitioners in the industry. NVivo NUDIST software was employed for coding, organizing, linking, and exploring the transcripts for themes and sub-themes in line with the analysis guide. The second phase referred to as a quantitative stage involved a survey research design based on the findings from the literature and interviews.
The questionnaire survey was conducted on a sample drawn from a database of contractors listed in the UK Kompass register. In the pilot survey, 551 questionnaires were mailed out to participants for completion (Ankrah, Proverbs, & Debrah, 2008).
The research showed that there was an association between contextual factors and cultural outcomes. It was seen that as projects continued growing, there was a tendency of organizations to become more performance oriented. Therefore, as a study goes further, there is a need for greater care to ensure that things do not go wrong, and accountability is not compromised. Factors that affect the objectives of a CPO include time, cost, and quality. These factors become more stringent as the project becomes complex (Ankrah, Proverbs, & Debrah, 2008).
The complexity of a project affects the identification of goals and objectives. It is, therefore, important that CPOs focus their energies on getting closer to the client. Arguments have been made on how problems of coordination, communication and control could be solved. The best solution offered in the research was that people had to work together. It was found that factors advocated for by the Office of Government Commerce were not implemented, and that made it hard for CPOs. Clients become more influential as a workforce orientation increases. However, clients are capable of making workforce orientation hard (Ankrah, Proverbs, & Debrah, 2008).
When the main contractor becomes influential in the study, the project orientation decreases. This leads to increased subcontracting, decreased identification with the project and reduced waste elimination. To avoid problems, the main contractor has to exert greater control over the activities of subcontractors. A significant finding of the research was that there was no evidence to support the view that different procurement routes resulted in different cultural orientations.
Expectation from the research was that there would be evidence of a difference between cultures found in various projects procured under a number of ways. Because of the lack of such an evidence, the article suggests that “real cultural change heralded by approaches like partnering needs to be fully embraced.” People involved in the project should be actively involved in culture change, and this can be achieved through training and enhancing teamwork in the organization (Ankrah, Proverbs, & Debrah, 2008).
The research focused on exploring the hypothesized relationships that exist between cultural orientations and key features of a project. From the research, the factors influencing the culture dimensions in an organization include the project size, complexity, participants, client, and the main contractor. Other factors will be cost, location, and the number of variations made. Construction projects vary and, therefore, the cultural orientation will be different.
Future research on the subject should focus on solving conflicts, which exist between project cultures and cultural organization. If such studies are carried out, they will help in resolving conflicts and questions that exist between organizational culture and projects (Ankrah, Proverbs, & Debrah, 2008).
Ankrah, N.A., Proverbs, D., & Debrah, Y. (2008). Factors influencing the culture of a construction project organization. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 16(1), 26-47. Web.