A multi-level competencies framework for the successful delivery of major infrastructure projects

Susan Foster, Saima Ahmad, Amrik Sohal, Daniel Prajogo, Chivonne Algeo, Robert C. Moehler

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference PaperResearchpeer-review


Successfully executing major infrastructure projects is economically critical for Governments to build civil infrastructure for sustainable growth of increasingly dense urban areas. In the construction industry, projects continue to fail at an alarming rate. One contextual factor contributing to this alarming failure rate is the lack of competencies to manage increasingly complex major infrastructure projects. Recent literature has explored how “soft” project management practices, such as collaboration, learning and adaptation can enhance project performance. This is in contrast to conventional, or “hard” project management practices, such as control, planning and reducing uncertainty, which are currently used to deliver these types of projects.
In a qualitative study, based on explorative interviews with project managers overseeing major and megaprojects in Australia, we have been able to identify a set of multi-level competencies requisite for this role by considering the key challenges encountered by project managers during the delivery of these complex projects. The findings indicate that behavioural emphasis and "soft" project management skills and competencies are increasingly important.
This paper contributes to the growing literature on examining the development and effectiveness of project managers’ competencies and skills in managing major infrastructure projects in the construction industry. The research presented in this paper should inform researchers in developing empirical studies relating to this important topic area.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication14th International Conference Organization, Technology and Management in Construction and 7th International Project Management Association Research Conference
Subtitle of host publicationConference Proceedings
EditorsIvica Završki, Anita Cerić, Mladen Vukomanović, Martina Huemann, Ding Ronggui
Place of PublicationZagreb Croatia
PublisherCroatian Association for Construction Management
Number of pages20
ISBN (Electronic)9789537686086
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventInternational Project Management Association Research Conference 2019: Trust in Major and Mega Projects - Zagreb, Croatia
Duration: 4 Sept 20197 Sept 2019
Conference number: 7th


ConferenceInternational Project Management Association Research Conference 2019
Abbreviated titleIPMA RC
Internet address


  • Major infrastructure projects
  • Project governance
  • skills and competencies
  • project manager
  • project success

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