A critical evaluation to determine the impacts on leadership of existing large construction projects during the implementation of major organisational change in the industry. Assignments | Get Paper Help

1. Title
A critical evaluation to determine the impacts on leadership of existing large construction projects during the implementation of major organisational change in the industry.

2. Aims and Objectives
The research aims to critically evaluate the effects on the leadership of current existing large construction projects when implementing major organisational change within the construction industry.

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The objective is to gain a clear understanding of the principles of change management and its effective implementation in the construction industry, thereby assisting project leaders with current major construction projects to minimise disruption and “paralysis”.

More than 70% of all change efforts do not succeed, and this failure to change has been identified as the predominant reason fail (Hughes, 2011). Being personally heavily involved in large scale construction projects globally, every construction project is unique and has its own operating environment and sets of technical requirements. Coupled with the complexities of inevitable change, it can create an individual set of constraints which lead to what Hayes refers to as “paralysis” (Hayes, 2014). Change management underpins virtually all aspects of transformation that an organisation may experience and is fundamental in the successful delivery of projects. It leads to positive results when well strategized and communicated, although even with careful planning, change is evidently hard to integrate, accept and appreciate (Parikh & Lessem, 1994). The research will delve into these success factors within the change life-cycle, with a key objective to providing the correct change management support to project leaders being impacted by internal organisational change.

3. Main Research Question and Methodology
Main research question
Does the implementation of major organisational change affect the successful leadership of existing large construction projects in the industry?

Research Methodology
The primary data sources for this research will follow a multi method approach by way of a questionnaire and a set of interviews with project leadership personnel involved in the construction of major projects. Further and with reference to the Research Onion (Saunders et al. 2009), pragmatism philosophy through a deductive approach will be adopted taking a cross-sectional view and adopt a strategy by way of a case study. This qualitative data will be collated and analysed by utilising the ATLAS.ti program which will largely feed the findings for the research. The research findings will be cross referenced and compared against available research such as scholarly articles, subject journals and previous literature within the field.

More specifically, the following research questions will be addressed:
1. What are the current approaches to Change Management within organisation?
2. How is this organisational change implemented across the organisation?
3. What are the success factors in measuring the change?
4. What are the key limitations / barriers faced when implementing change to the current project you are managing?
5. What impacts / disruptions were identified when faced with this organisational change?
6. How was this change perceived by the direct workforce on the construction project?

There are several models that can be adapted to successfully implement change. Two of these models which are predominantly used in the industry are Kubler-Ross Model (KRM) and Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model. These two models will be analysed in detail whilst defining and adapting a suitable process tailored to the subject matter.

Figure 1: Adaption of Kübler-Ross Change Curve (Smith, et al., 2013)

Figure 4: Adaption of Kotter’s 8 Steps (Kotter, 2012)
The research will further delve into critical steps in manging and leading change based on previous works by Levinson and Rosenthal which emphasises that leading organisational change requires intelligent alignment in every aspect of the company; its talent and especially its leadership (Levinson & Rosenthal, 1986). These specific works from Levinson and Rosenthal, although fairly dated, provide an important foundation to base research on and compliments further enhancements to suit the industry.

4. Limitations and Delimitations
There is a plethora of research readily available on the subject of change of which a whole ‘change management’ industry has evolved over the last four decades. With it, the construction industry has been a key driver in instigating new processes and systems but fundamentally there is a lack of appreciation to current existing major construction projects. Previous research on the subject has shown limited dialogue within the industry which can be both opportunistic and restrictive.

As these questionnaires and interviews will be issued to senior leadership personnel, it is expected that there may be some resistance to answer all questions in detail or even return within the required timeframes. With this in mind, the interviews and questionnaire will need to be easily understood, to the point and simple to analyze. To achieve this, the data analysis itself will need to be expedited in a timely manner so conclusive and only relevant material can be extracted from the mass data. To assist with a high questionnaire hit rate, the senior personnel will be previous colleagues who have already been versed on what the aim of the research is, allowing for the time and required attention required for quality feedback.

As the research methodology is specifically targeted at larger construction projects, the findings themselves cannot be generalised across other industries where typically there is a standardised change management process to follow. It will however, highlight pitfalls and gaps to improve on where there may be an opportunity to conduct further research.

The research interviews and questionnaires will be specifically targeted at a group of senior project management to allow for more comprehensive and detailed answers due to their exposure to the subject matter. The target group will be spread across construction within various industries including mining, oil and gas, highway infrastructure and military infrastructure so as to collate quality opinions and data.

5. Bibliography
Hayes, J. (2014). The Theory and Practice of Change Management (4th ed.). Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.
Hughes, M. (2011). Do 70 Per Cent of All Organizational Change Initiatives Really Fail? Journal of Change Management, 11(4), 451-464.
Kotter, J. (2012). Leading Change (1st ed.). Boston: Harvard Business Review Press.
Levinson, H., & Rosenthal, S. (1986). CEO: Corporate Leadership in Action (1st ed.). Boston: Basic Books.
Parikh, J., & Lessem, R. (1994). Beyond leadership: balancing economics, ethics, and ecology. Cambridge: Blackwell.
Smith, P., Farmer, M., & Yellowley, W. (2013). Organizational Behaviour (1st ed.). New York: Routledge.

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