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Revisiting the construction of the Empire State Building: have we forgotten something?
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE). School of Engineering, Jönköping University, Jönköping, Sweden.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
2018 (English)In: Business Horizons, ISSN 0007-6813, E-ISSN 1873-6068, Vol. 61, no 1, p. 47-57Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What's past is prologue. Or is it? The construction of the Empire State Building (ESB) was not only the fastest erection of a skyscraper ever, but the construction company that took on the job allegedly began with no equipment or supplies that would be adequate for the job. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget; instead of 1 year and 6 months as anticipated, it only took 1 year and 45 days. The costs totaled $24.7 million instead of the estimated $43 million. So, we ask, how was this possible and is there something we could learn? Based on a review of existing literature describing the history and construction of the ESB, we outline strategic, operational, and contextual explanations for what appears to be a truly successful megaproject. We illustrate how, for example, inspiration from Henry Ford's assembly line technique, the uniqueness of the logistics during the construction period, the economic decline of the Depression, and early ideas of concurrent engineering and fast-track construction enabled the success. Our conclusion is that there are lessons to be learned in going back to basics when tackling a megaproject.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 61, no 1, p. 47-57
Keywords [en]
Empire State Building, Megaprojects, Project management, Empire State Realty Trust
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Business Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-142420DOI: 10.1016/j.bushor.2017.09.004ISI: 000423637100006OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-142420DiVA, id: diva2:1161375
Available from: 2017-11-29 Created: 2017-11-29 Last updated: 2018-06-09Bibliographically approved

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Jacobsson, MattiasWilson, Timothy L.

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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Output format
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