دارایی های مدیریت پروژه و ارتباط آن با توانایی مدیریت پروژه در شرکت
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : International Journal of Project Management, Volume 25, Issue 6, August 2007, Pages 560–568
According to the Resource Based View of the firm, strategic assets contribute to a firm’s competitive advantage. Strategic assets are characterized as Valuable, Rare, Inimitable, and they involve Organizational Support. These four characteristics have been theorized to result in competitive parity, temporary competitive advantage, or a sustainable competitive advantage for a company. This paper examines the relationships between key project management assets and these project management process characteristics using data from a survey of North American Project Management Institute® members. Findings from an analysis of the data suggest that intangible project management assets are a source of temporary competitive advantage while tangible project management assets are not. These findings highlight the importance of identifying and managing intangible project management assets for practitioners and scholars of project management.
Project management, including the tools, techniques, and knowledge-based practices applied to manage the creation of products and services, is becoming an increasingly accepted and applied discipline across industry sectors. This paper is motivated by the belief that practitioners and scholars of project management can benefit from understanding how project management can be leveraged as a source of competitive advantage for a company. To this end, the paper presents an analysis of the relationship between key project management assets and the project management capability of the firm drawing on the Resource Based View of the firm from the field of strategic management and using data gathered from an online survey of a random sample of North American Project Management Institute® members. In the Resource Based View of the firm, a company has a bundle of assets (resources) such as human resources (individual skills and knowledge), financial resources (money), physical resources (equipment), social resources (network of contacts), and organizational resources (structure, processes, and relationships) . Assets can be tangible (concrete and physical) or intangible (tacit, unspoken but understood; e.g., knowledge-based assets) . Only a subset of a company’s assets, classified as strategic assets, is a source of its competitive advantage . These strategic assets that contribute to competitive advantage involve explicit and tacit knowledge , ,  and  that is embedded in a company’s unique internal skills, knowledge, resources, and ways of working  and . The VRIO framework of competitive advantage has emerged from this perspective as a useful way of characterizing strategic assets  and . In this framework, strategic assets are those assets which are Valuable (economically important, that is, they make money for the company), Rare (unique, meaning that few companies have these resources), Inimitable (hard to copy, meaning that it can be costly to duplicate them and difficult to figure out what other companies are doing to have such strategic assets), and they have Organizational Support (strong management support and processes and systems to support the assets). This paper reports on findings from a study that was designed to examine project management using the Resource Based View of the firm and the VRIO framework. It addresses the following question: How are tangible and intangible project management assets related to the project management capability of the firm? Tangible and intangible project management assets are the independent variables and project management capability is the dependent variable in this paper. Drawing on the VRIO framework, process capability is defined in this study as the achievement of the characteristics valuable, rare, inimitable, and having organizational support in the project management process (VRIO characteristics). The sections of the paper that follow provide an overview of the literature, a theoretical model and associated hypotheses linking project management assets to the achievement of VRIO characteristics of the project management process, the data collection and analysis methodology, a discussion of the results, conclusions, and the implications of the findings for practice and future research.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
This section discusses the factor analysis results, the correlations between the emergent factors, and the structural equation model linking these factors. 5.1. Factor analysis results Four project management factors were identified for the independent variables, three representing tangible assets and one representing intangible assets. Labels used below for these four factors reflect the items in each factor. These four factors explained 52% of the total variance of the original variables. These four factors are listed below. 1. Project management maturity (tangible) reflected the use of project management practices (e.g., a project management office, tools and techniques, methodology, standards, and processes), the use of program and portfolio management practices, and the addressing of the efficiency and effectiveness of practices (14 items; Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.953; explains 14.1% of variance). 2. Sharing know-how (intangible) included the different ways in which tacit knowledge was shared (e.g., sharing knowledge informally, mentoring, stories, brainstorming, and shadowing) (11 items; Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.867; explains 13.1% of variance). 3. Training and development (tangible) involved managerial support for training and development and included development of project manager competences, support for PMP® certification, and a career path for project managers (8 items; Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.931; explains 12.5% of variance). 4. Sharing know-what (tangible) included codified knowledge-sharing practices and reflected the use of databases, systems, intranets, best-practices databases, and processes for sharing knowledge (7 items; Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.939; explains 11.9% of variance). The emergence of the second independent factor (Sharing Know-How) is a significant finding of this research, highlighting the importance of tacit knowledge in a discipline where there is a focus on tangible factors and a prevalence of codified project management practices. Two additional factors were extracted as independent variables. These two factors represent undervalued sharing of know-how and knowledge and correspond to the lack of practices, incentives, and support for sharing know-how and knowledge. While these two factors explained an additional 7.3% and 5.1% of the variance respectively, they had a lower number of items and Cronbach’s Alpha compared to the four asset factors. We, therefore, did not include these two factors in our examination of the relationship between project management assets and project management process capabilities. Three factors were identified that comprised the dependent variable (achievement of the VRIO characteristics in the project management process). These were Valuable, Rare, and Organizational Support. A fourth expected characteristic from the VRIO framework, Inimitable, did not emerge as a factor because it consisted of only two items and the Cronbach’s Alpha was low. The item that describes project management as difficult to copy was, however, found included in the Rare factor, leading to the tentative conclusion that there is an overlap between these two, Rare and Inimitable characteristics of project management assets . The remaining three factors explained 55% of the total variance of the original variables. These three factors are listed below. 1. The Valuable factor involved survey items on project management providing economic value (e.g., improving business performance, increasing profitability, and responding to environmental threats and opportunities) (9 items; Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.929; explains 25.1% of variance). 2. The Organizational support factor involved survey questions on management support, adequate resources for the discipline, and project management being an organization-wide undertaking (10 items; Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.841; explains 21.3% of variance). 3. The Rare factor involved survey items that showed project management to be unique, controlled by a few firms, and difficult to copy (3 items; Cronbach’s Alpha of 0.690; explains 8.7% of variance). The rotated component matrices from the factor analysis are available in a prior publication . 5.2. Correlations between emergent factors The correlation coefficients between the seven factors that emerged from the factor analysis are shown in Table 1. Correlations between 0 and 0.20 show weak to negligible relationships; correlations between 0.20 and 0.40 show weak to low relationships; correlations between 0.40 and 0.70 reflect moderate relationships; correlations between 0.70 and 0.90 show strong and high relationships; and correlations between 0.90 and 1.0 reflect very strong and very high relationships . All fours project management asset factors correlate positively and significantly with all three VRIO factors. These findings are in line with the theoretical expectations of the VRIO framework. The high correlations observed among the asset variables would point to the need for extensions of the VRIO framework that explore the moderating influence of one or more asset factors on the relationship between the other asset factors and the outcomes. This is beyond the scope of the current paper. 5.3. Structural equation model In the theoretical model presented in Fig. 1, the six hypotheses stated define the relationship between tangible and intangible assets and the four VRIO characteristics. These six hypotheses are further elaborated in the emergent structural model in Fig. 2 when linking the four project management asset factors (Project Management Maturity, Training and Development, Sharing Know-What, and Sharing Know-How) and three VRIO factors (Valuable, Organizational Support, and Rare) The project management factors that represent tangible project management assets are shown in solid grey ovals and the one that represents intangible project management assets is shown in a dotted grey oval. The VRIO factors are represented using solid white ovals. The solid arrows show hypothesized and empirically supported relationships (∣t-statistic∣ > 2) and the dashed arrows show hypothesized but not empirically supported relationships. The absence of a line between variables implies a lack of a hypothesized effect. Path coefficients and t-values are provided for each significantly path in Fig. 2. Five of the nine paths corresponding to the hypotheses H1a, H2a, H2c, H3, and H5 were empirically supported in our study: Three practical measures of fit were used to evaluate the adequacy of the model: the goodness-of-fit index (GFI values greater than 0.90), the adjusted goodness-of-fit index (AGFI values greater than 0.80), and the root mean squared of residuals (RMSR values less than 0.10). A resulting GFI of 0.969, AGFI of 0.858, and RMSR of 0.032, indicate that the model provides an adequate fit for the data. Project Management Maturity significantly predicts the project management process being Valuable as expected, but contrary to expectations, Training and Development and Sharing Know-What did not. In project management maturity models, training and development and sharing of explicit knowledge are assets that contribute to process maturity, however, as stand-alone assets they may not contribute to the process being valuable. The relationship among asset factors is worth exploring in more detail through further study. We find that Project Management Maturity and Sharing Know-What result in Organizational Support, but Training and Development does not. It is possible that budgetary constraints and no immediately visible returns may result in a lack of management support for training and development processes . Again, these findings point to a need to examine the relationship among asset factors. Sharing Know-How significantly predicts the project management process being Valuable and Rare in keeping with the literature and our conceptual framework, but it did not predict the project management process having Organizational Support. Sharing Know-How predicting the project management process being Rare is an important finding because it supports the hypothesis that intangible assets predict the VRIO characteristic of Rare, which is essential for competitive advantage. It is of interest that Sharing Know-What significantly predicted the project management process as having Organizational Support, but Sharing Know-How did not. While theory recognizes the importance of intangible assets, it appears from our empirical study that sharing of tacit knowledge is not recognized or is undervalued in current project management practices. There were no relationships theorized between tangible project management assets (Project Management Maturity, Training and Development, and Sharing Know-What) to the project management process being Rare in keeping with the VRIO literature and our conceptual framework in Fig. 1. We did, however, test a structural model with these links included and verified that these paths were not empirically supported. We also compared the goodness of fit measures for the model with the additional paths between tangible asset factors and rare with our theorized model in Fig. 2. The comparison between the goodness of fit indices is provided in Table 2. 5.4. Conclusions and implications for practice This study was an exploratory examination of project management assets as a source of competitive advantage using the VRIO framework from the Research Based View of the firm and data from an online survey with North American Project Management Institute® members. This research is an important step towards an improved understanding of the elements of tangible and intangible project management assets. In addition, this research is a necessary step towards further analysis of the relationship between these assets and the project management capability of the firm, and a better understanding of project management as a source of competitive advantage. The VRIO framework suggests that while an investment in tangible assets is important for achieving competitive parity, these assets are not a source of temporary or sustained competitive advantage. While the VRIO framework has been extensively tested empirically, we believe a major contribution is testing it in the project management context. Empirical support of the VRIO framework in the project management context through this research is an important contribution. In addition, this research contributes by underscoring the importance of intangible project management assets in a discipline which has largely been focused on tangible assets. The key finding of this empirical work is that Sharing Know-How, an intangible project management asset factor, significantly predicts the project management process being Rare. This paper highlights the importance of identifying and managing intangible project management assets for project management practitioners and executives. It is recommended that companies constantly assess their investment in both the tangible and intangible assets that constitute a project management process in order to determine which intangible project management assets should be developed internally to achieve the characteristic of rarity and inimitability.