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Implementing a new performance management system within a project-based organization: A case study

by M. Cheng, A. R. J. Dainty, D. R. Moore


Purpose: Effecting fundamental change in organizational practices and techniques is extremely problematic, particularly regarding human resource management (HRM) issues. A study exploring implementation of a new performance management system for improving individual project manager performance is presented. Methodology/Approach: The paper presents the findings of longitudinal research, carried out within a major construction organization, within which a new performance management system was developed and implemented. It analyses the ways in which resistance to change was manifested, and explores the actions necessary to circumvent barriers to its use as an organizational transformation tool based on a review of change strategies in other industries and sectors. Findings: Barriers to implementing new performance solutions stem from a lack of senior management commitment and support, ingrained working practices and an absence of appropriate training interventions. These are relatively straight forward to overcome within a robust implementation framework. Research limitations/implications: The empirical work upon which the assertions are based is grounded within a single case study. Further work is required to validate the findings within other firms. Practical implications: The posited approach provides a practical implementation methodology which may be transferable to other project-led organizations. Originality/value of paper: The practical implementation methodology proposed provides a point of departure for companies considering strategies for successfully implementing performance management tools.

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