Infrastructure Engineering - Research Publications

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    Initiation of capital projects in industries having an operational focus: an Australian stevedoring case example
    Aldaghlas, H ; Hui, FKP ; Duffield, CF (Emerald, 2020-12-15)
    Purpose: The initiation phase of capital projects is critical as this is where the highest number of options exist for modifying the project with minimal expenditure. Government and large organisations frequently involved in major capital projects have extensive procedures for this phase, yet organisations having an operational focus (like major container terminal stevedores), that only occasionally undertake capital projects face the dilemma of the trade-off between project planning and the management of operations. This research reported in this paper investigated the impact of industry operational considerations on the initiation of capital projects. Design: In addition to an extensive literature review, a living research investigation of real projects initiated by a stevedoring company operating in Australia has been observed; the primary author of this paper spent six months as a participant/observer and witnessed the initiation of 12 capital projects. The collected data was qualitatively analysed using a four-step coding method. Findings: The findings confirm that project initiation is a challenge for organisations who only spasmodically undertake capital projects and available project management frameworks do not necessarily consider the impact of such an organisation's culture. Issues identified that may have a negative impact on the initiation phase include lack of workplace trust, high individualism, ineffective interdepartmental communication, lack of resources and engineering and safety complexity. Originality: The study investigated an underexplored industry within the context of project initiation, using the Australian stevedoring as a case study. This initial investigation suggests that a tailored project management framework is needed for the initiation phase of projects to reflect the unique nature of the stevedoring industry and by inference other industries that have a strong operational focus.
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    Initial Investigation into the Effectiveness of Australian Ports’ Governance and Management Structures
    Al-Daghlas, H ; Hui, K ; Duffield, C ; Duffield, C ; Hui, K ; Wilson, S (Open Book Publishers, 2019)
    The ninth chapter considers effectiveness of port governance and management structures in Australia. It briefly reviews Australian port reform, before considering private, local and international investment in Australia; the make-up of investors in major city ports in Australia; and the need to carefully assess foreign investment in critical infrastructure. Asset recycling in Australia is discussed. Factors identified from focus group discussions (in Australia) with key port stakeholders that help improve or act as obstacles to governance/policy, and that help improve or hinder management structures in ports, are also presented.