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Megaproject Management: The role of megaprojects in realizing sustainable development

Management School

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Dr C Cantarelli Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Megaprojects are large-scale, complex projects that typically cost US$1 billion or more, take many years to develop and build, involve multiple stakeholders (Flyvbjerg, 2014), and have substantial direct and indirect impacts on the community, environment, and budgets (FHWA in Capka, 2004). As such, megaprojects are a different type of project to manage (Flyvbjerg, 2014).

Megaproject management is an emerging area of study. Many studies have focused on construction risks but knowledge on other risks including operations and maintenance risks is becoming more important when taking a life cycle approach in managing megaprojects (Dimitriou et al., 2013). Furthermore, over the last years there has been an increased focus on improving public sector effectiveness for example by using private finance to fund public projects or by improving performance of projects to reduce waste of public resources.

Projects are often evaluated in terms of cost, time, and scope. With scope a particular challenge lies in measuring the benefits of megaprojects as they often come in years after the project has been implemented. Moreover, megaprojects often have an impact on the wider community and environment and a particular challenge is how to measure and include these organizational and societal outcomes in the evaluation (Fahri et al, 2015).

With an increasing concern about sustainability of our society, discussion has started about the role of megaprojects in realizing sustainable development. Incorporating sustainability requires a shift in focus from managing cost, time, and scope, to managing environmental, societal and economic impact (Silvius and Schipper, 2014).

Besides proposals that focus on these areas of risk management, public sector procurement, performance management and sustainable development, other areas of research with the focus on improving the planning and management of megaprojects will also be considered.


Capka, J.R. (2004) ‘Megaprojects – They are a different breed’, Public Roads, 68(1).

Dimitriou, H.T., Ward, E. J., and Wright, P.G. (2013). Mega transport projects - Beyond the ‘iron triangle’: Findings from the OMEGA research programme. Progress in Planning, 86, 1-43.

Flyvbjerg, 2014. What You Should Know About Megaprojects and Why: An Overview. Project Management Journal, 45 (2), 6–19.

Silvius, A.J.G. and Schipper, R.P.J. (2014) Sustainability in Project Management Competencies: Analyzing the Competence Gap of Project Managers. Journal of Human Resource and Sustainability Studies, 2, 40-58

Fahri, J., Biesenthal, C., Pollack, J. and Sankaran, S., 2015. Understanding megaproject success beyond the project close-out stage, Construction Economics and Building, 15(3),48-58.
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