Investigating the Impact of Cultural Elements of Institutional Environment on Construction Megaprojects' Performance

Document Type : Research Article (with quantitative approaches)


Tarbiat Modares University


Megaprojects have an important effect in economic growth of countries. But many of them fail, and face problems such as cost overrun, delay, financial failure, negative impact on environment and surrounding society. One the basic and fundamental reasons of megaprojects' poor performance is the impact of cultural factors of institutional environment of megaprojects. In this paper, the impact of various cultural factors on the performance of some of Iranian megaprojects in the fields of oil, gas, petrochemical plants, dams and urban tunnels are studied, the most of which are financed by public budget and are implemented by governmental (or public sector) contractors, so they may be considered as a temporary governmental organization. This research was conducted by grounded theory strategy through interview of 19 managers and senior engineers, and the cultural factors are extracted and a model is presented for this impact. The findings of the study shows that the cultural variety of staff and managers, cultural issues of the staff, and also the cultural differences of different nationalities and Iranian ethnics, such as difference in calendar and time zones of actors' origin countries (difference in weekends and new year holiday), Staff Solitary life while stationed in project camp and the personal and societal consequences of camp life (such as alcohol and drug use, prostitution, etc.) and their work-personal life conflict, cultural diversity of staff, religious and ethnic prejudice, local society culture, local workers culture and communication problems (language and accent differences) have impact on megaproject's performance and shall be considered in planning of these projects.


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