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Special Issue "Project Management and Sustainable Development"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Urban and Rural Development".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 March 2018)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Prof. David Bryde

Professor of Project Management & Director of Research & Knowledge Transfer, Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University, Redmonds Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, L3 5UG, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: project management; sustainability; relationship management; managing temporary (multi) organisations
Guest Editor
Dr. Christine Unterhitzenberger

Senior Lecturer in Project Management, Liverpool Business School, Liverpool John Moores University, Redmonds Building, Brownlow Hill, Liverpool, L3 5UG, UK
Website | E-Mail
Interests: project management; project performance; relationships; psycho-social

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The role of project management is crucial in ensuring that sustainability-related goals and targets are met when undertaking new developments through projects in areas such as construction, infrastructure, oil and gas exploration, to name but a few. In this Special Issue, we will focus on a new sub-area of project management, where besides the traditional success criteria for projects, such as cost, time, quality, overall satisfaction, etc., there is a need to meet criteria relating to economic, social and environmental aspects. The Special Issue will present a body of works that has new knowledge regarding project management approaches, structures, processes and procedures to undertake sustainable development. Suitable topics include, but are not limited to, minimising waste, ecological impacts and carbon footprints, lean and green approaches to projects, psycho-social aspects in projects, i.e., engagement of stakeholders, fair treatment of teams, managing project supply chains, defining and measuring sustainability-related project performance, setting project management strategies and bridging the gap between policy and practice at the project level.

Prof. David Bryde
Dr. Christine Unterhitzenberger
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sustainability
  • Projects
  • Project management

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Addressing Organisational Pressures as Drivers towards Sustainability in Manufacturing Projects and Project Management Methodologies
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 2098; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10062098
Received: 9 April 2018 / Revised: 7 June 2018 / Accepted: 12 June 2018 / Published: 20 June 2018
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Abstract
The concept of sustainability continues to rapidly grow in interest from disparate academic and industrial fields. This research aims to elucidate further the implications of the sustainability drivers upon project management methodological approaches specifically in the manufacturing industry. This paper studies the three
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The concept of sustainability continues to rapidly grow in interest from disparate academic and industrial fields. This research aims to elucidate further the implications of the sustainability drivers upon project management methodological approaches specifically in the manufacturing industry. This paper studies the three prevalent dialogues in the field of sustainability, relevant to the environmental and social aspects of the Triple Bottom Line, and utilises Institutional Theory to propose organisational pressures as affecting sustainability efforts in industrial manufacturing project management. Furthermore, the literature bodies of Lean and Life Cycle Analysis in manufacturing project management guided our reflection that the various drivers of sustainability put forward that do not consider the distinctive organisational pressures fail to address institutional and systemic project management issues holistically. The authors further conduct and draw on a systematic literature review on the constructs of sustainability in the manufacturing industry and their adopted methodologies, evaluating academic articles published from the year 2001 to 2017. The findings indicate that normative pressures prevail over coercive and mimetic pressures and are seen as the main drivers of sustainability in the manufacturing industry. In an incremental reductionist approach, project management knowledge areas are analysed, and the study posits that Stakeholder and Communications Management are two of the knowledge areas that need to integrate the above pressures to achieve cohesive sustainable industrial results. The principle contribution is to offer a new conceptual perspective on integrating project management knowledge areas with Institutional Theory pressures for more sustainable project management methodologies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Management and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Project-Based Governance Framework for an Agri-Food Cooperative
Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1881; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061881
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 31 May 2018 / Published: 5 June 2018
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Abstract
In a context that approaches the limits of environmental and social problems, and in view of the challenges that the agri-food sector faces today, the need to produce more food, linking environmental sustainability and human health, constitutes a means for sector organizations to
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In a context that approaches the limits of environmental and social problems, and in view of the challenges that the agri-food sector faces today, the need to produce more food, linking environmental sustainability and human health, constitutes a means for sector organizations to turn these new conditions into opportunities to achieve their strategic objectives in project governance. The objective of this study is to analyze the governance of an agri-food cooperative comprised of farmers with more than 40 years of experience. In addition, we propose, based on the findings obtained, a plan for the organization to integrate the culture of the projects and project management in its governance system. This paper is based on a conceptual framework that takes into account the systemic nature and dynamics of social and organizational interactions, with the aim of moving towards sustainability within the agri-food system, through the analysis of an empiric study in the agriculture cooperative sector in the southeast of Spain. The findings show that working by projects offers a novel and effective governance model for the sector, and that integrating expert and experienced knowledge, working with people, is a fundamental condition for moving towards sustainability. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Management and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Using Certification as a Tool to Develop Sustainability in Project Management
Sustainability 2018, 10(5), 1408; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10051408
Received: 15 March 2018 / Revised: 26 April 2018 / Accepted: 28 April 2018 / Published: 3 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (534 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Sustainability is a field of growing interest in Project Management (PM). Literature on Sustainability in PM is abundant at a theoretical level; however, it is necessary to explore hands-on approaches for designing models and practices. The purpose of this study is to introduce
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Sustainability is a field of growing interest in Project Management (PM). Literature on Sustainability in PM is abundant at a theoretical level; however, it is necessary to explore hands-on approaches for designing models and practices. The purpose of this study is to introduce management systems as a practical tool for Sustainability in PM. Management system certifications are used as an indicator of the implementation of Sustainability practices, and thus, the impact of Sustainability on the success of projects is analyzed. The methodology for this study includes the analysis of the correspondence between Sustainability and five recognized management system standards (ISO 9001, ISO 14001, ISO 50001, UNE 166002 and OHSAS 18001) and experimental research based on data delivered by CDTI (Center for Industrial Technological Development) including relevant and objective information about R&D&I Projects in the energy sector. This study analyzes the impact of four variables (duration, budget, year of funding and certifications to management systems) on the success of the project. The conclusion is the significant positive impact of having management system certifications on the success of company projects analyzed in the Spanish energy sector, which may be of interest to PM practitioners in order to consider Sustainability as a factor for success. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Management and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Toward a Stakeholder Perspective on Social Stability Risk of Large Hydraulic Engineering Projects in China: A Social Network Analysis
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1223; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041223
Received: 23 March 2018 / Revised: 13 April 2018 / Accepted: 14 April 2018 / Published: 17 April 2018
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Abstract
In China, large hydraulic engineering projects have made a great contribution to social economic development; at the same time, they also lead to social risks that affect social stability. The pluralism of stakeholders in large hydraulic engineering projects and the complex interrelationship among
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In China, large hydraulic engineering projects have made a great contribution to social economic development; at the same time, they also lead to social risks that affect social stability. The pluralism of stakeholders in large hydraulic engineering projects and the complex interrelationship among stakeholders are the important factors affecting social stability risk. Previous studies of social stability risk have mainly focused on risk identification and risk assessment, without considering the relationships among stakeholders and their linkages of risks. For large hydraulic engineering projects, this paper investigated the relevant risk factors and their interrelationships through a literature review and interviews that represented stakeholder perspectives. The key social stability risk factors were identified based on social network analysis. A multi-channel project financial system, a perfect interest compensation mechanism, an efficient prevention mechanism of group events, and a complete project schedule control system were proposed to mitigate the social stability risks. This study combined stakeholder management with risk management by using social network analysis, providing reference for the social stability risk management of large engineering projects in China. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Management and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Integrating Sustainability into Construction Engineering Projects: Perspective of Sustainable Project Planning
Sustainability 2018, 10(3), 784; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10030784
Received: 5 January 2018 / Revised: 28 February 2018 / Accepted: 5 March 2018 / Published: 13 March 2018
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (407 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the balanced requirement of environmental, economic and social objectives in projects intensifying, the need for integrating sustainability with project management has drawn attention in both academia and practice. Especially for large complex construction engineering projects, how to achieve sustainability-related objectives in project
[...] Read more.
With the balanced requirement of environmental, economic and social objectives in projects intensifying, the need for integrating sustainability with project management has drawn attention in both academia and practice. Especially for large complex construction engineering projects, how to achieve sustainability-related objectives in project practices has been endowed with an irreplaceable significance. This study explores the use of project planning practices for integrating sustainability into project management practices of construction engineering projects. Sustainable project planning, as the main instrument of sustainable project management, was put forward and measured to help project managers and practitioners understand what it is and how to carry it out in construction engineering projects. Qualitative methods based on content analysis of interview data of project managers from construction engineering projects, as well as quantitative method on account of exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis of statistical data, were used to define and assess the construct of sustainable project planning (SPP). Results indicate that SPP as a project planning practice combine the principles of sustainability should consist of three dimensions—managerial control, risk response, and work consensus—to guarantee sustainable construction and predict project success of construction engineering projects. This study shed light on academics and practices concerning the sustainable management of project planning activities and the achievement of sustainable-related objectives in construction engineering projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Management and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle The Three Pitfalls of Sustainable City: A Conceptual Framework for Evaluating the Theory-Practice Gap
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2311; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122311
Received: 18 October 2017 / Revised: 15 November 2017 / Accepted: 2 December 2017 / Published: 15 December 2017
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Abstract
Over the last three decades the environmental, economic and social crisis and the challenges and possibilities offered by new technologies have become the drivers of plans and projects for sustainable cities. In the face of a wide experimentation, the aim of this paper
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Over the last three decades the environmental, economic and social crisis and the challenges and possibilities offered by new technologies have become the drivers of plans and projects for sustainable cities. In the face of a wide experimentation, the aim of this paper is to answer the question: what progress is implemented by the goal of sustainable city? To this end, I hold it is important point at the watershed between the declared intended goals of the projects realized to date and the results on the ground. To analyze this discrepancy, I have identified a common theory-practice gap in the form of the three pitfalls of sustainable city, which bring about economic and ethical conflicts and risks creating socio-spatial utopias. The three pitfalls are: (1) the idea of the city as a business; (2) the oversimplification of urban complexity; (3) the quest for the ideal community. This conceptual framework has two purposes. First, it helps to systematize the existing literature on the sustainable city project, focusing on few selected issues. Second, it offers a project evaluation framework, useful both for the management of resources and for the planning of urban space. To pinpoint these pitfalls in projects for sustainable cities could allow us to adopt a holistic approach to the city project and practice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Management and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle Ambidextrous Leadership and Sustainability-Based Project Performance: The Role of Project Culture
Sustainability 2017, 9(12), 2336; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9122336
Received: 21 November 2017 / Revised: 5 December 2017 / Accepted: 10 December 2017 / Published: 14 December 2017
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Abstract
Most studies in the project management field emphasized the effects of leaders or managers, but these effects have rarely been examined at the project level. To cover this research gap, this study applies organizational ambidexterity theory to examine the effects among ambidextrous leadership,
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Most studies in the project management field emphasized the effects of leaders or managers, but these effects have rarely been examined at the project level. To cover this research gap, this study applies organizational ambidexterity theory to examine the effects among ambidextrous leadership, ambidextrous culture and sustainability-based project performance. Using a valid sample of 217 project leaders and members from Chinese construction projects, the method of multiple linear regression was adopted to assess the direct relationship among ambidextrous leadership, ambidextrous culture and project performance. Moreover, the bootstrapping technique through structural equation modeling, has been used to analyze the mediating effect of ambidextrous culture. Additionally, the sample data was divided into different groups according to the median value of the variables to conduct the ANOVA and to assess the within-group differences. The results indicated a positive and direct relationship that ambidextrous leadership has on project performance and ambidextrous culture. In addition, there was also a mediating impact of ambidextrous leadership on project performance via ambidextrous culture. Thus, ambidextrous leadership combined with transformational leadership as well as transactional leadership likely has a stronger positive impact on project performance through fostering the adaptive culture and consistent culture. Our findings contribute to an in-depth understanding of the role of the leader and culture for project outcomes. The project-based organization in construction projects could train project leaders’ ambidextrous leadership behavior to facilitate the formation of an ambidextrous culture and to increase project performance. Moreover, this study enriches the existing literature on leadership and project management by highlighting the important path of ambidextrous leadership and ambidextrous culture on the performance at the project level and going beyond the single leadership behavior or single culture. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Management and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle A Multi-Objective Trade-Off Model in Sustainable Construction Projects
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1929; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9111929
Received: 9 October 2017 / Revised: 20 October 2017 / Accepted: 23 October 2017 / Published: 26 October 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2158 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Based on the consideration of the relative importance of sustainability-related objectives and the inherent nature of sustainable construction projects, this study proposes that the contractor can balance the levels of efforts and resources used to improve the overall project sustainability. A multi-objective trade-off
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Based on the consideration of the relative importance of sustainability-related objectives and the inherent nature of sustainable construction projects, this study proposes that the contractor can balance the levels of efforts and resources used to improve the overall project sustainability. A multi-objective trade-off model using game theory was established and verified through simulation and numerical example under a moral hazard situation. Results indicate that effort levels of the contractor on sustainability-related objectives are positively related to the outcome coefficient while negatively to the coefficients of effort cost of the relevant objectives. High levels of the relative importance of sustainability-related objectives contribute to high levels of effort of the contractor. With the variation in effort levels and the coefficient of benefit allocation, the project net benefit increases before declining. The function of project benefit has a marked peak value, with an inverted “U” shape. An equilibrium always exists as for the given relative importance and coefficients of the effort costs of sustainability-related objectives. Under this condition, the owner may offer the contractor a less intense incentive and motivate the contractor reasonably arranging input resources. The coefficient of benefit allocation is affected by the contractor characteristic factors and the project characteristic factors. The owner should balance these two types of factors and select the most appropriate incentive mechanism to improve the project benefit. Meanwhile, the contractor can balance the relative importance of the objectives and arrange the appropriate levels of effort and resources to achieve a sustainability-related objective. Very few studies have emphasized the effects of the relative importance of sustainability-related objectives on the benefits of sustainable construction projects. This study therefore builds a multi-objective trade-off model to bridge this research gap. This study sheds significant theoretical and practical insights regarding the objective management of sustainability-related objectives, as well as insights into the improvement of performance in sustainable construction projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Management and Sustainable Development)
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Open AccessArticle R&D Project Selection Incorporating Customer-Perceived Value and Technology Potential: The Case of the Automobile Industry
Sustainability 2017, 9(10), 1918; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9101918
Received: 29 September 2017 / Revised: 16 October 2017 / Accepted: 19 October 2017 / Published: 23 October 2017
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Abstract
As user-centric innovation has recently emerged as a successful way of developing new products, services, and concepts, it is worth considering the perspectives of potential technology users during R&D project selection processes. Nevertheless, little effort has been made to reflect customer-perceived value in
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As user-centric innovation has recently emerged as a successful way of developing new products, services, and concepts, it is worth considering the perspectives of potential technology users during R&D project selection processes. Nevertheless, little effort has been made to reflect customer-perceived value in establishing selection criteria, with the focus mainly on technological potential instead. Therefore, this study aims to develop an R&D project selection model incorporating not only technological potential but also customer-perceived value. For this purpose, a new R&D project evaluation model and process is proposed, and its feasibility is tested by potential users in a real scenario. The automobile industry is suitable for our evaluation model because it is a B2C and system-based industry where customer needs are critical to market success and a number of R&D projects are proposed every year. Finally, a supporting tool is developed to help interact with various evaluators and visualize the evaluation results, as customer involvement is recommended for accurate project evaluation from the perspective of technology users. This study is one of the earliest attempts to reflect customer-perceived value in R&D project selection, and practically, the research outputs are expected to be useful to automobile manufacturers in creating value from R&D projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Management and Sustainable Development)
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Review

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Open AccessReview What Is Going on with Stakeholder Theory in Project Management Literature? A Symbiotic Relationship for Sustainability
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1300; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041300
Received: 31 March 2018 / Revised: 19 April 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 23 April 2018
PDF Full-text (1840 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Nowadays the advance towards sustainability poses a global challenge for modern society as well as for companies. Professionals and academics continually redefine business processes and design management mechanisms in a more appropriate way in order to allow companies to balance economic activity with
[...] Read more.
Nowadays the advance towards sustainability poses a global challenge for modern society as well as for companies. Professionals and academics continually redefine business processes and design management mechanisms in a more appropriate way in order to allow companies to balance economic activity with the environmental and social impact that they generate. Under this complex and dynamic scenario, creating a product, providing a service, or achieving a given result requires a different interpretation of the efficiency paradigm and an adequate socio-environmental intelligence. In the context of project management, sustainability-related knowledge, skills, and suitable tools are necessary to face this challenge. Moreover, its close relationship with stakeholder theory presents an alternative to approach that purpose. This article attempts a systematic review of the literature on stakeholder theory in project management during the past nine years, with the aim of providing a comprehensive view of this relationship, revealing its impact and influence on sustainability, and finding new research paths. We highlight the potential benefits derived from this relationship, either as an instrument for the promotion of corporate social responsibility and inclusive policies, as a means for the generation of shared value and technological innovation, or as a key factor in the strategy and business management of a given project. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Project Management and Sustainable Development)
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