The alignment of strategic objectives within the context of Temporary Multi-Organisations
Haniff, Amos Peter
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Current research investigating the alignment of projects with organisational strategy has predominantly focused on formation and implementation of strategic objectives within the boundary of a single, permanent organisation. Within the construction industry, the temporary organisation, created by the client organisation to deliver the project, is formed from multiple organisations that are brought together, under contractual conditions, to engage in a single endeavour. This creates a situation whereby multiple strategic objectives, and hence, multiple perceptions of project success, are pursued at anyone time. The research, forming this thesis, investigates how the varied organisations that comprise a Temporary Multi-Organisation (TMO) seek to align multiple strategic objectives within the context of a single construction project, and realise project success. In achieving this aim, the study exposes a number of ambiguities and difficulties organisations face when seeking to realise strategic objectives through a TMO. Four cases of recently complete construction projects within the public sector were selected for empirical study. Qualitative data collected from interviews with actors across organisations participating in each TMO, was supported by secondary data comprising of project documentation from each case. The study finds that the strategy of the TMO, which evolves to realise project success, is guided by the varied strategic objectives of organisations participating in the project, and is influenced by the environmental conditions, procurement strategies, client complexity and leadership style of the client project manager, which together, influence the strategic behaviour of the TMO. This research contributes to theories of strategic fit and the theory of temporary organisations through a model of strategic alignment within the context of a TMO that explains the complex interactions, which occur when multiple organisations engage within a single construction project. The research also contributes to the understanding of project success through a model of identifying the varied and competing success criteria within a TMO. Finally, the research contributes to leadership theory, through analysis of leadership styles within the context of a TMO.