Publications

ACADEMIC JOURNALS

Here you will find information about the research publications I have been involved with. Throughout my research, I have had the opportunity to work on many interesting projects that have enriched my understanding and paved the path towards my successful Scientist career. I am proud to showcase my hard work with the list of publications below.

Building Trust within Virtual Projects

JULY 2021

The world is becoming more digitized and digitalized; thus more virtual projects. This paper explores and discusses some issues in building trust in virtual project teams, like cultural differences, geographical distance, language barriers, time zone and how that effects the creation and maintaining of trust in that type of project teams. Nevertheless, to what extent is trust needed in the building of virtual teams? Moreover, how can we define it in this situation, is it created or already existing? In addition, if it is created should we think about how to maintain it? And to what extent the virtual teams experience swift trust and how can that help to achieve the goals correctly or may affect negatively on the project success? We may also list some negative or positive effects of type of leadership on the building of the trust among the individuals of those teams. We should notice that these kinds of teams may have only electronic mediation between them, so what is the effect of virtual communication tools on them and how does that contribute in the trust building or maybe opposite case lead to trust shattering?
Furthermore, as the subject of virtual project is recent one from the academic perspective, how can we interpret that, is it something that existed before but now comes to the surface because most organizations are adopting it, or is it something that we created to be used in the nowadays organizations? However, let us focus more about trust in virtual projects and teams, its existence, and building and sustaining it.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Governance -The Jungle Context

JUNE, 2021

This article presents briefly the theory of the concept “good governance” as promoted by the international development communities, addition from the author in his contemporary standpoint, emphasizing the implications of governance and management in an underdeveloped country (Algeria, in this paper case); which he considers as a jungle setting (based on his own experience and perception). Knowing that the World Bank comes with this concept first, this explains the extent to which it is embedded in the neoliberal development approach. The good governance concept is discussed with regard to its peculiar understanding of participation and democracy. The article discusses the pillars (principles) of the good governance and its base which is trust (value). In addition, a discussion about Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), digitalization and digitization which are a must to insure the implementation of the good governance due to the increase of complexity (i.e. systems complexity, social, economic, financial, etc.). In the discussion part, the paper presented the administrative and political systems in Algeria in brief. The author criticized the current status-quo, where he described the injustice in the governing way. Then, he gives suggestions for radical reforms and radical changes within the Algerian administrative and political systems. In its conclusions, the article stresses the need to consideration the good governance approach to development and local politics according to the culture of the Algerian society, which is summarized concisely in the “Declaration of the 1 st November 1954”, which considers social equity, political protest, social mobilization and politicization as essential conditions for social transformation and democratic vivacity. Actually, Algerian political and administrative systems are using the concept of bad, ugly, antiquated, old-fashioned, outdated, archaic governance in managing the affairs of the Algerian citizens and the country as a whole. Anyone can see the outcomes easily!

System Thinking, Evaluations and Learning–Experience from Road Construction Megaproject in Algeria

MAY, 2018

Ex-post evaluation is starting to be recognized in the Algerian different government institutions (eg, ministries); and evaluation is becoming part of any program or project for two main reasons, justify the legitimacy of the programs and projects, and collect lessons learned for the next similar programs and projects. On the other hand, academicians believe that programs and projects can be improved by conducting proper evaluations and extracting lessons learned. Program/Project evaluation is comprehensive evaluation, which mainly applies to ex-post evaluation. This paper will look closer at an ex-post evaluation of an Algerian highway megaproject based on PESTOL model, this evaluation is already conducted in the period of 2014–2016. Considering ex-post evaluation of projects has many purposes and among them is linked to learning and knowledge sharing and transfer. In this regard, the paper describes very briefly the approach used to the post project evaluation. In addition, link it to learning and to other types of evaluations–ie, ex-ante, monitoring, midterm, terminal evaluations, and using system-thinking approach, and proposes a framework for learning in projects by evaluations. This paper is based on qualitative case study approach.

The top 10 universal delay factors in construction projects

APRIL, 2018

Purpose
Projects often face delays and unnecessary use of time due to various factors and reasons, and hence suffer from unfavourable consequences. The purpose of this paper is to identify the universal delay factors from an intensive literature review, complemented by delay factors in major Norwegian construction projects based on empirical data.
Design/methodology/approach
The study in which this paper is based includes an intensive literature review, and semi-quantitative open survey questionnaires. This paper addresses frequency and type of delay factors in construction projects, in Norway based on the survey, and worldwide based on the previous studies.
Findings
From the study, the causes of delays facing the Norwegian construction industry are: poor planning and scheduling; slow/poor decision-making process; internal administrative procedures and bureaucracy within project organisations; resources shortage (human resources, machinery, equipment); poor communication and coordination between parties; slow quality inspection process of the completed work; design changes during construction/change orders; sponsor/owner/client lack of commitment and/or clear demands (goals and objectives); late/slow/incomplete/improper design; office issues; and users’ issues. And the top 10 universal delay factors are: design changes during construction/change orders; delays in payment of contractor(s); poor planning and scheduling; poor site management and supervision; incomplete or improper design; inadequate contractor experience/building methods and approaches; contractor’s financial difficulties; sponsor/owner/client’s financial difficulties; resources shortage (human resources, machinery, equipment); and poor labour productivity and shortage of skills.
Research limitations/implications
When it comes to the identification of delay factors in major Norwegian projects, the research is based on a sample of 202 respondents from an open survey questionnaire. It should be noted that analysing a large population of respondents that have been asked open questions can be challenging due to the vague findings it might lead to. Also, when it comes to the identification of the universal delay factors, there were different methods used by different authors, within different context. Similar future studies in Norway based on qualitative and quantitative methods will give better verification for the findings.
Practical implications
This paper has documented the critical delay factors/causes in Norway. The results of this study will help project managers, in Norway and elsewhere, to be aware and know about the potential causes of delay in their construction projects, which will help to identify the possible risks in the early phases of the project. Another practical implication is to make project managers and policy makers conscious that delays are quite universal, making it necessary to identify them as a first step.
Social implications
The identification of delays factors and causes can permit projects to implement mitigation actions to avoid delays, thus allowing delivering schools, hospitals and other necessary infrastructure on schedule or ahead of schedule to society.
Originality/value
This paper highlights most (almost all) of the studies in the literature, including to the study done in Norway, concerning the delay factors in construction projects and large construction projects in general. This wide review of relevant literature will save time other academicians from having to conduct similar studies. This study will assist both academic and professional experts providing more insight about the delay causes in large-scale construction projects.

“Superfast!” managing the urgent: case study of telecommunications infrastructure project in Algeria

APRIL, 2018

Purpose
With the aim of furthering the understanding of project speed and how to manage the urgent project, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the management challenges involved in delivering a telecommunications infrastructure project in a period of much shorter duration than a similar project. The authors wanted to understand the reasons behind the urgency and how the project management team succeeds in delivering in such a tight time window. Finally, the authors assessed the consequences (negative and positive, during and after the project delivery), knowing that the project was considered a success at its delivery, but not that it was successful at the post-project evaluation.
Design/methodology/approach
A case study based on qualitative research interviews with management team including the client, the main contractor and some related stakeholders, combined with case archives and internal documentation from the case project.
Findings
The urgency of a project or programme may lead to some negative consequences and impacts. The success seen in a short- and mid-term view is not enough to justify making acceleration decisions: thus holistic thinking and a long-term sustainable approach are needed to ensure continuity and profits.
Research limitations/implications
This research is based on a single case study. There are some limitations regarding how urgent and unexpected the case was managed in comparing to normal case. A second limitation is that there is no clear definition of what are normal practices such that we can say what are a normal case and an urgent case.
Practical implications
There are some lessons learned from this case study about managing the unexpected and the urgent. Practitioners can obtain insight into positive and negative consequences of fast project delivery from this case.
Originality/value
This study is unique in its content and context, since it presents the first-hand insight into a case study that seemed to be successful to some extent (short-term impact); however, negative consequences appeared within a few years of its delivery.

Impact of trust, commitment, and openness on research project performance: Case study in a research institute

FEBRUARY, 2018

This study focuses on three important shared values—trust, openness, and commitment—and examines the impact of these values on project performance and outcomes, specifically for science and innovation research projects. To this end, 12 in-depth interviews were conducted with researchers, research managers, and research leaders at the largest research institution in Scandinavia. The findings indicate that the three values (trust, openness, and commitment) are practiced at this research institution and are essential to effective teamwork. The findings also show that trust and openness promote shared understanding, and encourage commitment.

Causes of delay and their cures in major Norwegian projects

JANUARY, 2018

Several projects encounter delays and unnecessary use of time as a result of to various factors and hence suffer unfavorable consequences. The Norwegian construction industry is no exception. There are factors causing delays in Norwegian construction projects which have many negative effects on all parties, including the projects’ outputs and outcomes. This paper will identify the main time issues (delay factors) in major Norwegian construction projects and the recommended solutions. The methodology on which this paper is based includes an intensive literature review, open questionnaires and unstructured interviews with practitioners. The paper addresses frequency and type of delay factors in major Norwegian construction projects and their solutions. It is based on an open questionnaire, which gave the opportunity to discover new delay factors and possible remedies: thus we encourage similar studies in other countries to uncover other possible delay causes and solutions.

Defining project efficiency, effectiveness and efficacy

JUNE, 2017

Purpose
This paper studies how the concepts of efficiency, effectiveness and efficacy are used in project management literature. The concepts relate to the degree of success or failure of projects and the degree to which the results are achieved. The purpose of this paper is to review the use of the concepts of efficiency, efficacy and effectiveness in project management literature and among practitioners.
Design/methodology/approach
The study is based on an extensive literature review, initially from the International Journal of Managing Projects in Business. The first phase involved searching the words “efficiency”, “effectiveness” and “efficacy” in all articles of the journal, and then quantifying the results. This was followed by a qualitative search of the same articles with the aim of understanding how the terms “project efficiency”, “project efficacy” and “project effectiveness” are used. A further intensive literature review was then conducted in other literatures in the field of project management, including, but not limited to, International Journal of Project Management and Project Management Journal. Finally, the authors complemented the review by including theories from deep searches of Google Scholar and Google Books using the parameters “project efficiency”, “project effectiveness” and “project efficacy” and checked how the three concepts are used in other fields.
Findings
This research reveals there is wide diversity in interpretations of the three concepts among research scholars and practitioners, which makes it challenging to apply these three concepts appropriately and clearly. As a consequence, the authors propose a model for describing these concepts.
Research limitations/implications
This research is based on an academic and non-academic literature review. It identifies a number of inconsistencies in existing literature regarding the three concepts.
Practical implications
This review enriches understanding of project management. Clarifying the understanding of project efficiency, project effectiveness and project efficacy will help and support organisational improvement. A clear and aligned view of these concepts can also be a basis for measurements based on possible developed indicators.
Originality/value
This paper highlights the gap in the literature concerning the practical use and interpretation of the concepts “project efficiency”, “project effectiveness” and “project efficacy”.

Categorization of organizational factors and their impact on project performance

JULY, 2017

The new era of project management has tendency to move away from the linear and predictable practice in projects to one that embrace the complex nature and role of the human element and interrelations. This tendency would make projects to become complex nonlinear systems. Though projects incorporate other elements such as technology, tools, methods and models, the human element can be characterized as the most important element in projects. All organizational factors can be seen as various manifestations of the human element. This paper will list a set of possible shared values – values that affect project performance positively or negatively.

The Black Swan–Knowing the unknown in projects

JULY, 2016

A “Black Swan” is produced when the gap between what we know and what we think we know becomes dangerously wide (Taleb, 2007). This concept is closely related to uncertainty and learning. A Black Swan event is usually a surprise, at least to the observer. However the Black Swan event very much depends on the observer. What may be a Black Swan surprise for a turkey is not a Black Swan surprise to its butcher; so the main objective is to “avoid being the turkey” by exploring and identifying areas of vulnerability in order to avoid surprises. In projects, while some may disagree, almost all failures, even catastrophic ones, are not really Black Swan events but a series of failures that alone may have a negative impact on project outcomes but combined lead to catastrophic failure. However it is surprising how often experienced project teams ignore the early warning signs and move forward into the project lifecycle despite serious problems in many areas that are keys to project success. This will ultimately lead to the Black Swan event materializing. That is when it is too late to take any preventive actions. This paper will characterize the Black Swan concept in projects and describe its nature and identify organizational mechanisms that can be useful in dealing with Black Swan surprises in projects. This study is mainly based on literature study, however carries out an assessment on examples of Black Swan events in order to better clarify the concept under study.

“Need for Speed”: framework for measuring construction project pace–case of road project

JULY, 2016

The construction industry relies on time-to-delivery to gain competitive advantages and increase profit margins. The aim of this paper is to develop a framework for measuring construction project speed. This will be done by identifying a range of key performance indicators (KPIs). This identification of KPIs helps set a benchmark for measuring the speed of a construction project. In this paper, a conceptual framework is presented to reflect the idea behind the use of performance measurement in measuring the speed of construction projects, and then a performance measurement system tailored to a real case of a road construction project.

PESTOL-Framework for «project evaluation on strategic, tactical and operational levels»

APRIL, 2015

The paper focuses on the development of the ex-post conceptual holistic framework for Project Evaluation on Strategic, Tactical and Operational Levels, the PESTOL model, by reviewing different definitions of project success and/or failure and combining the findings with the logic framework. The model reflects the project life cycle by considering all project phases, such as identification and conception. To demonstrate the relevance of the developed model, the authors applied it to a project case, the Algerian East–West Highway megaproject. The project has attracted media attention and a number of media discussions of the project have been limited to the completion of the project in a short-term perspective. In this regard, the discussions have been notably associated with delays and expenditures coming in over budget, referring to project efficiency. One reason for the media focus on these aspects alone is that they can easily be measured. The relevance of the project and its effects - whether it attains its goals and objectives measured in terms of effectiveness, including impact and sustainability - can only be verified at a later stage, after the project has delivered its results. These are much broader aspects and are therefore difficult to measure.

Time-thieves and bottlenecks in the Norwegian construction projects

JANUARY, 2015

Utilizing time effectively and efficiently is one of the important factors that can determine the success of achieving desired results of projects. Nevertheless, several projects come across delays and unnecessary use of time due to various reasons, and hence suffer from unfavorable consequences. Construction industry is not exceptional. There are elements that “steal” time in construction projects; and, there are bottlenecks that cause delays. This paper will present the first findings from the SpeedUp project survey conducted in seven public and private organizations in autumn 2014 in Norway. The purpose with the study was to establish –what arethe most common factors extending project life cycle or makingproject going slower than planned. We have conducted a broad literature review that aimed to establish – what are the most common delays factors mentioned in the literature and the result from the literature review has been analyzed against our data from the survey. This paper will present the ten most common “time-thieves” and “bottlenecks”revealed in the SpeedUpproject survey. It willidentify the major “time-thieves” and “bottlenecks”seen from owners, consultants and contractors views.This identification can be seen as a mapping process that will lead to find out possible causes as well as possible efforts, those can be carried out in order to deal with slow pace and delays in construction projects. This study on “time-thieves” and “bottlenecks” in the construction industry will contribute to shade light on important improvements areas for the construction industry.

When stakeholders shape successes or bring failures–a case study of an Algerian megaproject

JANUARY, 2015

An Algerian highway megaproject has been assessed – to what extent and how it is successful – based on five measures; the main success was more on the tactical and strategic levels measured in terms of effectiveness, relevance, impact and sustainability. Many internal and external stakeholders contributed to the failure of this megaproject at the operational level measured in terms of efficiency. This paper will list all possible external and internal stakeholders of this megaproject and subsequently identify the relationship between each stakeholder and the five measures. A stakeholder mapping and the interpretation of a power / interest matrix are used to identify and analyze the relationship between stakeholders and the effect of their actions at each level of the megaproject. The case shows that an early involvement of the key stakeholders will contribute positively to all the five measures.

Barriers and challenges in employing of concurrent engineering within the Norwegian construction projects

JANUARY, 2015

The desirability to deliver construction projects within the schedule or more even longer ahead of it is questioned. Nevertheless, most of the construction projects are delivered behind of schedule and even exceed it to more than conceived. So the necessity to find new methods, processes and techniques to challenge the delivery time of the construction projects becomes more than a simple requirement. Overlapping the sequential activities is one way to reduce the delivery time of the project. The manufacturing industry has predicted this fact and established concurrent engineering principles. This paper will inspect the initiative done to involve concurrent engineering principles in the Norwegian oil and gas projects then in the construction projects. It will investigate the work done in the theory, and practice in construction projects compared to the oil and gas projects that have been conducted by a construction firm in Norway.

Problems associated with defining project success

JANUARY 25, 2025

The paper establishes the relation between the problems associated with defining the project success criteria at the project initiation phase to the potential challenges when it comes to the project execution and close out. A targeted literature review identified; 1) basing the definition on narrow set of criteria, 2) using ambiguous criteria, 3) having competing or conflicting criteria, 4) in adequate or incomplete set of criteria, 5) using unrealistic criteria and 6) Considering all the criteria as equally important (not-ranked criteria) as the most important problems in defining the success criteria. The study relates and analyse the effects of these problems and their inheritance in the execution and evaluation phases of the projects. A web-based survey in the Norwegian industry initiated to investigate the effect of six success criteria definition problems on the: (1) Lack of top management support (2) Lack of alignment in the project organization to project success criteria during execution phase. (3) Subjectivity of measuring the achievement of the targeted success criteria at closeout and evaluation phase. The survey managed 155 respondents with a very high data reliability. The survey revealed and further testified the literature findings that there is very strong correlation between these problems related to defining project success criteria. The research also indicated thatthese problems are mostlyrelated to poor or inadequate stakeholder‘s involvement during initiation phase, lack of alignment of the organizations to project success and poor top management support.

Project evaluation holistic framework–application on megaproject case

JANUARY, 2015

This paper is about developing a holistic framework for project evaluation; it is applied in a case study of an Algerian highway megaproject. This project has attracted the attention of all the local media and even many of the international media. Several media discussions on the project are limited to the completion of the project itself seen in a short-term perspective. In this regard, the discussions were notably associated with delays and expenditures coming in over budget, which is project efficiency signified by aspects such as time, cost and the scope. One reason that made the media focus only on these aspects is that they can easily be measured and are usually the first criteria against which the project can be assessed. The relevance of the project and its effects, whether it attains its goals and objectives measured in terms of effectiveness, including impact and sustainability – all these four measures can only be verified at a later stage, after the project has delivered its results. These are much broader aspects and are therefore difficult to measure. This paper is about developing an ex-post evaluation framework model. This is achieved by going through the different definitions of the measures of project success or failure and then reflecting on them with respect to the whole project life cycle by considering all the process groups in the project (i.e., conception phase, front-end analysis phase, planning and design phase, engineering phase, procurement phase, construction phase, closing phase and operating phase). This would provide us with a holistic way of evaluating projects.

Megaprojects-Challenges and lessons learned

MARCH, 2013

Projects have become popular work form in modern organizations. Megaprojects can be seen as the wild beasts in the project world, they are hard to tame, known for their complexity, vast size, expensive cost, and long time frame. These projects bring big changes in the geography of countries and life of people. Some of these megaprojects become landmarks for a country and bring significant prosperity, but some become unforgettable catastrophes. One of the definitions of megaprojects is that they are the projects in which the cost exceeds one billion US dollars. Examples of megaprojects include, “Channel tunnel”, “London Olympics 2012” and “Ormen Lange offshore project”. Though several pitfalls and challenges have been pointed out with respect to managing megaprojects, the relevance and the need of carrying out this kind of projects attract both the industries (practitioners) and academics. There are many significant issues that must be addressed in connection with managing megaprojects. This paper focuses on the different initiatives taken to date, presents them and tries to find the area of the missing expertise to understand the characteristics and the management of megaprojects.

An overall framework for understanding changes in megaprojects–a Norwegian approach

SEPTEMBER, 2012

Projects are also one of the means to make a change in this world; however, they themselves cannot escape from undergoing changes. During the last decades there has been intensive research about managing change in projects. Several researchers indicate that change should always be avoided and project team should be proactive in dealing with it. However, change is not always deleterious; some changes are beneficial and can also lead to new opportunities. The focus of this paper is on changes in megaprojects. These have a very significant impact on the society as a whole. These projects are known for their characteristics, such as large scope, high cost capital, long duration, with high complexity and uncertainty. Furthermore, they are open to dynamic environment. These characteristics are some of the major reasons why these projects are exposed to continuous change in their scope, cost, plan, etc. Many of these projects are famous for their inefficiency (cost overrun, time delays, and quality defect) in producing the intended output. They even fail occasionally to meet the desired outcome measured in terms of their effectiveness. Scholars suggest several reasons for the failure. Their suggestions point out the importance of looking at factors such as flexibility, complexity, uncertainty and stakeholder management. This paper considers all these factors and presents a project change model that illustrates the dynamic of changes with respect to effectiveness and efficiency. This paper provides a comprehensive literature study accompanied with empirical results obtained from Norwegian companies. The study related to this paper is based on interviews, case study, and surveys, and it presents a Norwegian approach to managing changes in megaprojects.

Thanks for your interest in my published work. For any inquiries, please contact me.