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Identifying Attributes of  Perception of Project Complexity: A Comparative Study between Two Projects  from the Manufacturing Sectors in China and Indonesia.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

There is a common belief amongst those who are involved in projects that as project complexity increases the difficulty to manage a project increases and thus the probability to succeed in project completion considerably decreases. Perception of complexity in a project usually refers to common criteria from traditional project management thinking such as the scale of the project; cost; duration; and the degree of risk to its owner. However, whether a project is perceived to be complex or not may not be purely a product of the size of the project. It may also be derived from the person’s experience in projects. The aim of this study is to identify attributes of perception of project complexity and observe whether experience is also a determining factor in perceiving a project as complex. The research is based on the assumption that a complex project may exhibit behaviour similar to complex adaptive system. This study proposes a theoretical framework based on projects understood as complex adaptive systems. A project experience matrix is developed which will be useful to help link degree and type of experience to perceptions of project complexity.

This study employs a comparative study between two cases to explore and compare the perception of complexity in each case. Qualitative and quantitative data were obtained through semi-structured interview and questionnaires, then analysed accordingly. The outcomes of this research attempted to find answers to the following questions: How do project managers and team members perceive a project as complex (project complexity)?” In answering this question we explored how project managers and team members perceived project complexity. The major question above was elaborated by some minor specific questions. These are: Which attributes of complex adaptive systems are attributed by project managers and team members to project complexity? Is project experience a determining factor to the perception of project complexity? Based on our sample we found no significant differences between attributes of complex adaptive systems and perception of project complexity; no significant association between depth and context of experience and perception of project complexity. We also found no significant differences between the Chinese and Indonesian samples.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Handelshögskolan vid Umeå universitet , 2009. , 90 p.
Keyword [en]
Perception of project complexity, attributes of complex adaptive system, project experience, types of complexity.
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-1972OAI: diva2:142603

Available from: 2009-01-22 Created: 2009-01-22 Last updated: 2010-03-16Bibliographically approved

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