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The Nature of the Relationship between Project Complexity and Project Delay: Case study of ERP system implementation projects
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE).
2012 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

In the context of a growing social complexification, projects have evolved in the pastdecades from simple endeavours to complex and uncertain undertakings. Consequently,project complexity has emerged as an important research direction, and recently severalproject complexity frameworks have been suggested. However, little research has beendone in this area and there has been no study on the relationship of project complexity,in its holistic sense, and the risk of delay. Therefore, the study investigates the intricaterelationship between project complexity and project delay. The research is conducted inthe context of Enterprise Resource Planning system (ERP) implementation projects,which are inherently complex and often record delays.

The study has a qualitative nature and adopts an inductive approach. Nine ERPimplementationprojects have been studied in order to answer the research question.Several sources of evidence (semi-structured interviews and questionnaires) have beenutilized to ensure the credibility of the research findings through triangulation.

The study contributes to the research field by verifying and augmenting the existingframeworks on reasons for project delay, complexity categories and their interplay. Itwas identified that complexity in a holistic sense represents a necessary condition forproject delay. Moreover, the study showed that although ERP projects are oftenconsidered to be technically complex, their complexity stems mainly from ‘subjective’(or perceived) and ‘uncertainty’ complexity dimensions. Finally, the conceptual modelof Eden et al. (2005) was modified to reflect the findings of the study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. , 122 p.
Keyword [en]
Complexity theory, Project complexity, Project delay, Reasons for delay, ERP implementation, Project risk
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-51701OAI: diva2:487374
Social and Behavioural Science, Law
Available from: 2012-01-31 Created: 2012-01-31 Last updated: 2012-01-31Bibliographically approved

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