In recent years, the nature of competition within different business environments has led to increasing the need for the integration of all team members within a given project management process. Many organizations have seen project team integration as a means and significant strategy that can facilitate more cooperative, active, and collaborative teamwork.
The following paper presents the current knowledge concerning the concept of project team integration and how it affects the performance of projects and innovation. The paper argues that effective team integration can lead to successful completion of projects and may yield several benefits including creativity and novation within the project team. The paper starts by outlining the current knowledge on project integration. It highlights and discusses the essential elements and determinants of an integrated project team. The paper has also emphasized the impact of project team integration on the success of activities, and it argues that project team integration results in inefficiencies and cost savings that can enhance the performance of a project. The integrated project team is also highly motivated due to the right organizational structures and cultures. The paper proceeds and provides three case studies on project team integration and innovation.
The group members have presented the cases: Abu Dhabi International Airport expansion project, The Al Wahdi Master Development Project, and the Dubai Culture Village project. What follows is an analysis of cross-case studies that combines the three cases to come with a single case of project team integration. The last section of this paper consists of recommendations and conclusion. To increase the performance of integrated project team, the UAE project managers should contemplate implementing project alliancing or collaborative contracting approaches.
Recent years have seen the recognition of innovation as an essential activity for any firm wishing to create and sustain a competitive advantage in the current rapidly changing and challenging business environment. The long-term survival of an enterprise organization closely relates to its ability to introduce better production into the market successfully. Holland and others (2000) coined the term ‘innovate or die’, to imply that firms that fail to introduce new products or improved product features may become less successful in the competition and, what is more, lose business. According to Morton, Eigenbrode, and Martin (2015, p. 116), one-way to achieving novelty is through assembling teams with diverse functional expertise and knowledge. Teams are a central feature of the modern innovation renaissance. Although the role of groups in an organization is not a new phenomenon, they have gained importance as a primary unit of any organizational structure. Faster developments and shortening lifecycles require flexible forms of organizations such as teams. According to Mueller (2015, p. 58), cross-functional teams provide the background and setting where individual different expertise and knowledge interconnect and efficiently integrate. The following paper presents the current knowledge concerning the concept of project team integration and its impact on the performance of projects and innovation. The paper argues that effective group integration can lead to successful completion of activities and may yield several benefits including creativity and novation within the project team.
Project Team Integration
The traditional project development processes create ineffective methods as they do not lead to successful delivery of projects. Consequently, an integrated project team has developed facilitation and the efficient delivery of innovative projects. According to Pimenta, Da Silva, and Tate (2014, p. 8), the primary reason for establishing project team is to ensure the satisfaction of work distributed among team members.
Integration refers to merging different cultures, objectives, disciplines, needs, and organizations into one unit with a common purpose, procedures, and cultures. Identity integration relates to the perception of team members concerning their compatibility or conflict between two different identities disciplines, skills, and experience (Zhang & Zhou 2012, p. 801). For example, in a project team identify integration refers to the team members’ perception of compatibility between the different functional groups such as suppliers, clients, and project developers.
An integrated project team refers to a collaborative working system among all the individuals and groups involved in the daily delivery of a project. According to Newell, Huang and Tansley (2006, p. 232), an integrated project team (IPT) consist of a group of professionals who represent diverse disciplines with particular skills, knowledge, and the abilities necessary to support a successful completion of activity. An integrated project team comprises the supply team consultants and the client’s project team, specialist suppliers and consultants. An integrated project group interconnects the activities of design and construction and values the input of all the parties involved in the supply chain.
Determinants of Project Team Integration
Groups from different organizations and projects must be in a position to cooperate and coordinate so that they can utilize their experience and knowledge to ensure effective transfer and sharing of information throughout the lifecycle of a project. According to Baiden and Price (2011, p. 132), success of any project is heavily dependent upon the extent to which the experience and knowledge of different individuals integrate together. However, integration can be harder to achieve in teams where the individuals possess different and diverse skills, experience, and knowledge, yet they have never worked together. Issues such as the lack of collaboration, poor communication, inadequate participation, and inconsistent shared vision from team members may also render the process of integration more difficult (Sun, Mollaoglu, Miller & Manata 2015, p. 88). Indicators such as commitment from top management, effective communication, no-blame organizational culture, trust, and respect are some of the most important behavioral factors that ensure a team is effectively integrated.
Figure 1: The determinants of project team integration
Free-flowing communication within the project team encourages the culture of a group by organizing on-site and off-site events that can assist relationship building and understanding of individual styles of communication. Furthermore, Baiden, Price, and Dainty (2006, p. 18) suggest that a free flowing communication within the project team ensures a mix of experience and capabilities, and fosters an open and collegial working environment.
A single team focus and objective are the other indicators of an integrated project group that ensures co-location and creates a project atmosphere of one team one goal. In addition, Ibrahim, Costello, and Wilkinson (2013, p. 142) suggest that single team focus enables every project group member to contribute towards the completion of a project and that the members must strictly adhere to the project objectives and to always review project deadlines.
Trust and respect ensure original team interaction. The project leader should involve everyone by seeking his or her advice and opinions. Every team member should be honest and open. The establishing of the trust and respect should be from the first day of the operations. Newell, Tansley, and Huang (2004, p. 49) illustrate that free communication is an essential element required to build trust and to ensure that every project team member is aware of the objectives. Moreover, Pinto and Pinto (1990, p. 209) illustrate that attributes such as openness, leadership, trust, honesty, collective understanding, and shared vision are essential elements of team integration. Approaches such as co-located team help to create healthy atmosphere having a more collaborative approach.
The enhancement or establishment of appreciation and acknowledgment of team members are essential for the improvement of integrated project teams. According to Petersen, Handfield, and Ragatz (2005, p. 376), the ability to function within mixed groups require that project team members should be aware of the different cultural backgrounds and the different capacities they have to fulfill the objective of a project. Tiwana and Mclean (2005, p. 23) illustrate that well-functioning integration project team is one whose members understand the purpose of integration and realize their different responsibilities and authorities as part of the team.
Impacts and Value of IPT on Project Performance
Integrated project team approach allows each project team to possess knowledge that can enable them to collaborate and identify problems while also proposing solutions to them, thus reducing the amount of rework that would have cost an organization many resources. Ibrahim, Costello, and Wilkinson (2013, p. 142) illustrate that an integrated project team also adds value to an organization by increasing the profitability of an organization. Therefore, an integrated project team eliminates wastage during the process of project delivery, thereby ensuring that activity is cost effective. According to Walz, Elam, and Curtis (1993, p. 67), accompanying knowledge with the necessary authority during product decisions enables Integrated project teams to make trade-offs between the competing demands more quickly and make the changes in the design as required. The implication of this argument is that IPT enables faster completion of projects. According to Waller, Lei, and Pratten (2014, p. 214), long-term implementation of an integrated team project leads to an establishment of competitive advantage through enhanced organization value and reputation, a consequence of enhanced returns on investment. Che Ibrahim, Costello, and Wilkinson (2015, p. 822) explain that IPT is an important motivation tool, because the integration of personal skills and disciplines of project team members allows to increase their efforts towards the project’s desired outcome.
According to Che Ibrahim, Costello, and Wilkinson (2014, p. 44), there is a positive correlation between innovation and project integration. Che Ibrahim, Costello, and Wilkinson (2015, p. 824) illustrate that project team integration drives the level of creativity and innovation within team members. Integrated project team fosters the process of change and allows team members to develop new perspectives and develop new ideas. Furthermore, the main reason why integrated project team is highly innovative is that team members are capable of blending their different identities, skills, experience, and knowledge so that they can up with highly performing products.
Despite the many benefits of integrated project teams, there are challenges to successful integration of team members. Che Ibrahim, Costello, and Wilkinson (2013, p. 1132) suggest that technical and cultural differences among members may become a barrier to the effective implementation of an integrated project team. Moreover, the existence of diverse functional groups may lead to the cultural differences, and this may cause a cultural barrier. The lack of understanding a project’s primary goals and objectives may result in difficulties in the implementation of an integrated project team.
Analysis of Case Studies
Case Study 1: Abu Dhabi International Airport Expansion Project
Abu Dhabi Airport is an airport in Abu Dhabi, the capital of UAE. It is the second largest airport in the United Arab Emirates, which served about 30 million passengers in 2014 (Abu Dhabi Airport 2016). Etihad Airways, which is the second largest passenger and cargo carrier in the UAE, dominates most of the airport’s terminal. The following section will examine the development of Abu Dhabi International Airport from its early days to its current status. The research consists of the discussion of both the integrated project team factors that facilitate the development of the airport, and the challenges faced.
Data on Abu Dhabi International airport’s development was gathered from websites and other relevant publications. Currently, the management of the airport is planning to expand the capacity of the airport from its current 7 million passengers per annum to over 40 million per annum by opening Midfield Terminal. Before the start of the plan of the project, the top airport management informed the expansion project team concerning their aims and expectations. Apart from the increase in the number of passengers, the number of cargo handled by the airport will rise to 67 million tons per year. The Midfield Terminal Building is currently under construction and, probably, will be complete by 2017. The terminal comprises of reinforced podium as well as multi-level basement having 69 tons of superstructure. Many individuals and groups form the construction of the project. For example, the Arup incorporation was participating in the project to provide multi-disciplinary consulting services for all of Midfield Terminal Building’s aspects. Following advice from Urban Planning Council, Midfield Terminal Building’s design is so that could achieve a two Pearl rating through its sustainable design. The project tends to minimize the impact of Abu Dhabi Airport on the environment. The building, with the help of Arup and Urban Planning Council, could make use of the innovative design elements including the use of high performance angled glass that will increase air-conditioning and reduce heat. According to Abu Dhabi Airport company chairperson, Ali Majed Al Mansoori, the project will open in 2017 and everything is on schedule.
In addition, Ali Majed Al Mansoori said that the Abu Dhabi Airport (ADAC) is planning to have a museum close to Midfield Terminal Building so that it can show Abu Dhabi culture to the increased number of passengers. In collaboration with Etihad Airways, the most dominant airline operating at the airport, the company plans that by 2020, there will be 160 million and nine different types of the fleet including 41 Boeing 785 Dreamliner and 10 Airbus A380s operating from the airport.
It is evident that the ADAC management has a clear vision for what they want Midfield Terminal Building project to achieve by 2020. The project team wants to achieve the goal and ideas of the airport. According to Berteaux and Javernick-Will (2015, p. 5), possessing shared vision and objectives is one of the most important ways of ensuring an establishment of an integrated project team.
The second factor that provided integration of the project team was clear communication from the top management. The AFAC chairperson, Ali Majeed Al Mansoor, has always been informing the project team concerning the expectations as well as the progress of the project. As it stands, the project will be complete by 2017 courtesy of ADAC chairperson. According to Armstrong and Jackson-Smith (2013, p. 44), communication and support by top management play significant roles in the development of integrated project teams.
Increased levels of collaboration between the team members is another factor that is likely to ensure the smooth completion of the project. Abu Dhabi International Airport values the contributions and support of other members of the project team such as Etihad Airways and Arup Consultancy. The members of the project team are aware of their roles and responsibilities as they attempt to complete the construction of Midfield Terminal Building successfully. Another important element for the success of establishing integration project team in this project is that most project team members, including banks that provided the financing for the project, all come and share the same culture. According to Zhang, and Zhou (2012, p. 804), a shared culture is an essential prerequisite for a successful integrated project team.
Innovation and development are other factors that are a result of integrated project management. Due to increased levels of collaboration, communication, respect and trust, and support by the top management, the team members of Midfield Terminal Building project are highly innovative and creative. Effective communication and support have established an atmosphere that encourages creativity and innovation. For example, the project is currently implementing an innovative technology including the use of high performance angled glass that will increase air-conditioning and reduce heat. From its smart technology to its unique design, Abu Dhabi International Airport expects to create an entirely new travel experience by the time The Midfield Terminal Building will open in 2017. According to Ali Majed Al-Mansoor, the project will revolutionize air travel as passengers will not stand for a long time in queues.
One of the challenges of the Midfield Terminal Building project is that there are many loans, worth US$1.08 billion, from states and private banks such as Al Hilal Bank, First Gulf Bank, Arab Bank, and Mashreq Bank. First, the high number of loans may prevent proper remuneration of project team members, and this may significantly interfere with their levels of performances. Second, differences in objectives between Etihad Airways and ADAC may cause the integration process to stall. While Abu Dhabi Airport Company wants Etihad Airways to use the new Midfield Terminal Building for its operations strictly, Etihad Airways, on the contrary, argues that it is increasing its fleet size, and so it will use both the new and the old terminals. Such conflicts may hinder effective communication and motivation from team members to complete their respective portions of the project.
Case Study II: Al Wahda Master Development, Abu Dhabi
Al Wahda Master Development project is located in Abu Dhabi and city in the United Arab Emirates. The Al Wahda Master Development project was a vibrant shopping and business destination situated in the center of the city. The project boasts of the largest five-star hotel in Abu Dhabi. The hotel was built using a cutting edge technology and innovation to include 850 apartments and rooms, the biggest inner city shopping mall consisting of more than 400 shops, thousands of leasable office space, and thousands of residential apartments. EC Harris International Consultancy Limited primarily delivered the project. The latter was involved in every aspect of the project from the master plan, development of the concept, and internal management.
Data and information concerning this case study are from Al-Wahda Master Development website and from EC Harris International Limited’s website and publications. EC Harris project development team developed systematic and detailed procedures using a project management gateway approach, involving design verification checks, value engineering works, risk management, and employee sign-off at various phases. The project execution plans of the team helped to categorize responsibilities, roles, approval flowcharts, and communication protocols. The developed took place between 2005 and 2012 and valued £400 million.
The objective of the project was to create an exciting and creative shopping mall, residential building, and five-star business hotel that would then result in the new shopping and commercial destination within the center of the city. The achievement of those objectives and goals involved a significant project management from EC Harris International Consultancy Limited over a period of seven years.
The delivery of Al Wahda Master Development consisted of a genuinely international project team comprising of a diverse mix of cultures and personalities. The project team members included American, Chinese, Croatian, German, Indian, Ghanaian, Iraqi, Jordanian, Pilipino, Portuguese, and Nepalese. In total, the project team consisted of 31 different nationalities who worked together on this scheme.
EC deployed a team that was happy to multitask during their daily roles, thereby allowing the customers to maximize value from the entire integrated project team. Zhang and Zhou (2012, p. 798) illustrate that the successful delivery of Al Wahda Master Development was down to the dedication of the team who ensured the project was a success.
Factors for success of the Al Wahda Master Development Project
The project consisted of people from different cultures. From the very beginning, there was an Egyptian, Irish man, and an Arab. In addition, there were various professionals such as project managers, engineers, and the clients. The integrated team successfully overcame the multicultural barriers that fail many projects, and this was the major reason why the project successfully delivered its products. EC Harris International Limited also established transparent practices, procedures, and communicated them through a one-to-one coordination with all the project team members and stakeholders. Most importantly, the project team members could assume responsibilities and manage the entire project processes more efficiently. Therefore, clear communication strategies, an equal division of roles and responsibilities, effective coordination, and significant top management support were essential during the establishment of integrated projected management and successful delivery of Al Wahda Master Development project.
The high levels of flexibility and high responsiveness to change was an important factor that led to the success of Al Wahdi Master Development project. The project was only in its second phase when the 2008 financial crisis stuck. Many projects that of similar status around the globe entered into crisis and conflicts except for EC Harris International Limited. Instead, the Civil Company, one of the prominent members of the integrated project team, led by example as it reorganized itself to overcame challenges that were emanating from the variable and unpredictable supply chain. Other members of the project team also reorganized themselves to overcome the challenges. Perhaps, one of the reasons why the group was so flexible was a result of the increased motivation and awareness of responsibilities and roles within the entire project team. The members were highly motivated and determined to accomplish what they started no matter the hardships they faced because of the financial crisis. In the end, EC Harris delivered Abu Dhabi’s largest hotel with vibrant shopping malls. The scheme obtained an excellent assessment and recognition through awards as one of the UAE’s best projects in 2012.
There was positive relationship EC Harris and the Al Wahda Master Development leadership. As noted by Al Wahda Sports Club’s chairperson, the company had a reliable connection with the project team due to five years of stable partnership between the two. Therefore, faith played a significant role in the establishment of an integrated project team. The chairperson, Rashid Al Zaabi added that by working together and learning from each other, they were able to focus on the core business needs during all the stages of the project delivery and this, largely, ensured the success of the project.
In 2008, the project was only 70 percent complete when the global financial crisis struck. It was the biggest challenge that the project faced. Initially, United Arab Emirates was immune to financial risks and downturn. However, the ripple reached the UAE by late 2008, and it caused a bigger impact than anyone would imagine. Not member of the project team, including the project’s financial analysts, forecasted that financial crisis would hit the functioning and the progress of the project as hard as it happened. By the time, financial crisis struck, EC Harris project team was almost completing the second phase of the project when it started facing changes in oil prices, and the supply chain became unpredictable. The project team ensured the early planning would produce stability by averting the supply issues. Civil Company, the primary contractor for the project, played a crucial role as it changed and started producing the required goods in time when many projects of similar caliber either stalled or entered into dispute.
Case Study III: Dubai Culture Village project
The Dubai Culture Village is a multi-purpose development project located along Dubai Creek shoreline in the United Arab Emirates. The project occupies 40,000,000 square-foot plot of land (DCV, p. 4). It expects that upon its completion; the culture village will include cultural and exhibition centers, dockside development, and a harbor. Palazzo Versace Dubai is the centerpiece of this project, and it will be the world’s second largest after Palazzo Versace of Queensland, Australia.
Data for this case study comprises of the information from the website of Dubai Culture Village, and Dubai Properties Group, which is the principal partner in the development of this project. As Dubai continues to grow and entertain tourists, culture Village was set with a Dubai cultural background as the central theme. The project expects to create a community that will bring different types of experiences together to incorporate different cultures and nationalities. Culture Village is a project that was a vision and design of Dubai properties. The project may also show a premium art arena that would give experience for all in the world.
Apart from Palazzo Versace of Dubai, the other projects within Dubai Culture Village include D1 Tower, Iris Amber, Nur Tower, The Estate Tower, and The Yuvi residence. The D1 Tower’s construction has to provide the experience of luxury for people living in Dubai. D1 Tower is a stunning story building and a residential development project and has a unique position on the Dubai Creek and adjacent to the Palazzo Versace. The building merges with rich Middle Eastern heritage having a modern technology of elegance and quality. Iris Amber lays primarily in the Culture Village and serves to support all rich artistry culture color. The project’s name is arabesque style as well as quality. The Nur Tower project is a residential building that overlooks the Gardens of Goodwill village. The project has fully furnished two and one bedroom apartments as well as five-bedroom penthouses. The idea was to provide pleasure inspired by Arabic mosaic patterns. The Estate Tower design combines modern, urbane air and old-world pleasures into retail and a residential, commercial zone has rich Dubai heritage. Yuvi Residence is a project that provides people with a spectacular playground for diverse activities for the residents. The project has museums and bazaars verdant surroundings, and cobblestoned walkways that all citizens can explore all seasons.
Success factors for the Dubai Culture Village integrated project team
Although the Dubai culture village is under the administration of Dubai Properties Group, many participants together form an integrated project team for the completion of this project. Dubai Properties Group, as the leading member of the project team, with all its partners (and members of the project team) facilitates to ensure that Dubai Culture Village grows and tourism booms within Dubai. Hotel development companies such as Iris Asmar, Palazzo Versace, and D1 Tower are some of the project team members. Other members of the project team include Banks and other international financial institutions. Clear communication, cooperation, and coordination among these members are one of the reasons for the establishment of an integrated project team. The members have grown to trust highly each other regarding project delivery. The high level of reliability between these different companies who together forms the Dubai Culture Village Project team has led to increased motivation within the group. As it stands, every member and partner are willing to complete their portions as stipulated.
The leadership of Dubai Holding and Properties Group has played a significant role in the establishment and success of integrated project team. The Dubai Properties Group, as the most dominant member of the integrated project team, aspires to be the best partner by providing other representatives and collaborates with the best services by enabling the creation of quality and excellent operating environment for all the team members. The group also encourages its members to share knowledge and their expertise continually as they aim to ensure that Dubai Village provides its residents with value for money they pay.
Clearly, there are shared visions and goals for this project. Its base follows a clear and well-communicated vision of becoming the best place and vibrant residential area, and for both business and residential communities. According to Ibrahim, Costello and Wilkinson (2014, p. 43), shared vision, objectives, and goals is an essential prerequisite for the development, establishment, and sustenance of integrated project team.
The Dubai Culture Village works on the principle of accountability, reliability, and transparency, and this has played a significant role in ensuring the design and establishment of an integrated project team. The members stress the importance of collaborating not only with the project developers, but also with other relevant stakeholders such as investors, business partners and clients, and residents. The promotion of discipline, professionalism and integrity sustains the integrate project team. Since the primary partners are different companies with different corporate governance, there was an agreement that they would follow corporate governance frameworks of all the team members. The development of a framework after an extensive benchmarking did the best policies from all project team members. In addition, the framework’s aim was to incorporate the regulations of both local and international entities and authorities.
The project is also based on and articulated following a clear and well-communicated vision of becoming the best place and vibrant residential area, and for both business and residential communities. The Dubai Properties Holding also has a vision of becoming an excellent partner and company that delivers its customers with world-class excellence through industry expertise and knowledge. For this reason, the business values the contributions of other partners regarding their knowledge and know-how. Dubai Culture Village built not only on the knowledge and on skills of a single party but a combination of competencies and expertise from different members of the Dubai Culture Village project. The implication here is that the sharing of experience and knowledge has become the cornerstone of establishing an integrated project team for the completion of the project at hand.
One of the current challenges facing the completion of the project is a lack of flexibility and responsiveness to change among the team members. The project team has not found a way that they can be flexible to changing business environment as well as how they can react and minimize threats to low funding.
Cross Case Study Analysis
The analysis of the above three cases indicates that the some factors that enabled the integration of project teams that accomplished the ideas above. In all of the three cases, effective communication and top-level management support were some of the most important factors that facilitated the establishment of innovative project management teams. Booth the projects, funded by their respective top-level management, enable an efficient execution. In the case of the Al Wahda Master Development project, for example, the management involved the members on a one-on-one coordination and communication concerning the objectives, goals, and vision of the idea (Waller, Lei & Pratten 2014, p. 216). The management of both cases communicated their vision to the project team members and this challenged and motivated members to work for a course. However, in the case of Dubai Culture Project, although the management communicated its objectives and vision to the team, the management did not make efforts to harness and harmonize the different goals and aspirations of individual team members. In the end, the project experienced challenges because the team members did not have a common purpose and objective.
In all cases, the respective organizational culture and structure affected the project management. The Abu Dhabi International airport expansion project found its influence in people from the same culture. The integrated project team only consisted of people with the same Arabic cultural background. The Dubai Culture Village project aims to show and exhibit Dubai culture. The project team, however, consisted of people from different cultures. It is the case of Al Wahda Master development that shows the strength of and impact of multiculturalism on an integrated project team. It consisted of more than 31 individuals with different national identities and cultural background. Of the three projects, Al Wahda Master Development project seems to be the most profitable. The success of the project can directly link to the fact that the team consisted of people from different cultural backgrounds and that the team was able to overcome the challenges associated with a global team. The project was more rewarding because the project managers and leaders realized that they had to harmonize the different cultural dimensions and perspectives held by the individual team members. According to Armstrong, and Jackson-Smith (2013, p. 42), there are different cultural dimensions. The dimensions include power distance, risk avoidance, individualism vs. collectivity, and feminism perceptions. The integrated project team from all the three cases was successful, because they developed well-defined decision-making criteria, and in most instances, the final decisions based on group consensus.
The different cultures harnessed and harmonized to form distinct organizational cultures that typified each project management case study. Newell, Huang, and Tansley (2006, p. 232) defines corporate culture as a pattern and sense of shared basic assumptions that a group or teams learn as they solve the problems in their external integration and internal environment. Such patterns form organizational culture by establishing that they work well and that they can be new members of a project team to correct their ways of perceptions, thinking, and feelings towards different problems. All the teams developed a task culture to solve their problems. According to Ibrahim, Costello and Wilkinson (2013, p. 142), a task culture is a type of culture that is job or project oriented., the most important thing is to see the task done and project deliverables delivered in time. The flexibility of the project team is an important element, and this described the Al Wahda Master Development project management.
The speed at which the members and project administrators reacted to the 2008 financial crisis once it struck the UAE was the sign of flexibility and culture that can facilitate the formation and sustenance of an innovative and integrated project team. The organization encourages a ‘no blame’ culture because when the financial crisis happened, the rest of the project team members did not blame the financial department for not making the right forecast, instead, the members tackled the problem as a unit and in the end, they were all rewarded for their efforts. Therefore, all other ideas with open project team members should not encourage a culture where members blame each other when things go wrong, but instead, should help each member of the integrated team to stick and work together throughout the problems and challenges they encounter as they attempt to fulfill the deliverables of their project.
In Al Wahda, Abu Dhabi International Airport, and Dubai culture village, membership selection criteria worked perfectly well for the success of the projects. The selection criteria for project team members in the case of Al Wahdi had to ensure that the integrated project team consisted of members establish different cultures. The goal was to bring diversity to the group, which would in turn present new knowledge, experience, and skills. The plan worked well as the project won an award. Regarding Abu Dhabi International Airport extension project, the selection process aim was to ensure that all project team members had the same cultural background. Having people from the same culture can have both positive and negative impacts on the success of an innovative project. The positive effects happen when the team members avoid the challenges of a multicultural environment such as language barriers. However, having a monoculture project management team may not experience diverse, experiences, knowledge, and skills associated with a multicultural and integrated project management group (Waller, Lei & Pratten 2014, p. 216).
However, creating a successful project integrated team is not void of challenges. As shown in both cases, external factors such as economic, environmental, and political aspects affect the functioning of an integrated project team. In both the second and the third cases, external factors such as the 2008 financial crisis almost derailed the activities of the project team. Therefore, leaders must encourage high levels of flexibility and responsiveness to changes in the environment, and find creative means to keep all project team members motivated.
Recommendations and Conclusion
This paper recommends project management in the UAE to adopt the use of project alliancing. The project is alliancing, or collaborative contracting is a good way to foster the integration process between multidisciplinary project teams. To date, different countries and sectors have employed project alliancing. Such association is a vital approach for integrated action groups, because it promotes a collaborative culture as well as ensuring continuity of stable relationships that can improve the performances of projects. The use of project alliancing approach within integrated teams facilitates the process of measuring how well integrated action groups can be in the short run and long run.
The paper has presented a critical analysis of the current knowledge on project team integration and how it impacts their successful performance. According to the research, project team integration leads to increased level of creativity and innovation. Furthermore, the integrated project teams have positive impacts on the performance of projects. For example, project team integration leads to increased motivation within the group, and this may, in turn, result in efficiencies that can make organizations minimize their costs of operations and save their scarce resources. The paper has also presented three types of case studies related to project team integration and innovation management. The cases are Abu Dhabi International Airport expansion, Al Wahdi Master Development project, and the Dubai Culture Village project. In conclusion, across case analysis has provided insights into the factors that led to the success of the case studies. Major factors include cultural diversity and respect for diverse teams, support by to management, effective leadership, free flowing communication, shared visions and goals, information, knowledge, experience, and skill sharing, and innovation and improvement. Concerning the research, to increase the effectiveness of project team integration the UAE project managers should contemplate implementing project alliancing or collaborating contracting.