Does project culture matter? A comparative study of two major hospital projects

Zuo, Jian, Zillante, George, Zhao, Zhenyu, & Xia, Bo (2014) Does project culture matter? A comparative study of two major hospital projects. Facilities, 32(13/14), pp. 801-824.

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Purpose - Cultural issues in the construction industry have attracted growing attention from both practitioners and academia. However, there are few studies on culture issues at the project level. The influence of project culture has not traditionally been on the research radar. This research aims to investigate the impacts of project culture on the performance of construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach - A case study approach, utilising questionnaire surveys, in-depth interviews and review of project documents, was employed to investigate project culture and its associated impacts in two major hospital projects.

Findings - The results indicated that project culture played an important role in achieving harmonious relationships between project participants and better project outcomes in terms of schedule, functionality, satisfaction with the process, satisfaction with the relationships, environmental issues addressed commercial success, further business opportunities and overall performance. Case 1 outperformed Case 2 in these performance indicators. Similarly, it became clear that the project’s culture should be developed from the outset and sustained during the project period. Furthermore, it was also highlighted that the project culture should be translated to all levels of the supply chain i.e. sub-contractors and suppliers.

Practical implications – The findings enabled the client to understand the role of project culture and actively commit towards the development and maintenance of the project culture from very early on. It also helps project teams to understand how to deal with cultural issues at the project level.

Originality/value- This study is one of limited empirical studies that offer in-depth insights of how project culture affects the performance of construction projects. It is also the first study of hospital projects on the research topic.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 64205
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Project culture, hospital projects, project performance, construction industry
DOI: 10.1108/F-02-2013-0014
ISSN: 0263-2772
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 11 Nov 2013 03:59
Last Modified: 27 Oct 2014 08:06

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