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Title: Developing an effective management framework for enhancing partnering performance of Transmission Substation Projects (TSP) in the Hong Kong power industry
Authors: Chan, Tsz Kin
Degree: Ph.D.
Issue Date: 2016
Abstract: This research studies the application of strategic partnering in the context of the power industry in Hong Kong. The tightening requirements on time, budget, quality and environmental aspects, as well as the closer public scrutiny make the operating regime for utilities in Hong Kong more challenging than ever before. In addition, the vague project scope of substation projects and increasing customer expectations make collaboration and commitment from projects stakeholders more important. In view of this, one of the power utility companies (the Utility Company) in Hong Kong opted to implement partnering approach for managing a serious of Transmission Substation Projects (TSP) since 2005 for a 5-year timeframe. It was the first trial for the Utility Company to adopt partnering approach for managing TSP. Thus, the Utility Company intended to review the applicability of partnering in the utility context and capture the lesson learnt for future reference. This research was triggered accordingly. This research was conducted under a Teaching Company Scheme between the Utility Company and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Chan et al. 2011), which facilitated the adoption of action research approach. The author of this thesis was involved in managing the implementation of partnering approach in the capacity of Deputy Contract Responsible Officer. The author also acted as the in-house facilitator of the partnering review workshops. This research aimed at developing an effective management framework for enhancing partnering performance for utility business in the Hong Kong power industry and the corresponding six specific research objectives were : (1) Understand the concept and application of partnering, (2) Review why and how the Utility Company implemented partnering, (3)Examine the applicability of partnering in the Hong Kong power utility business, (4) Identify the essential partnering tools for nurturing partnering spirit in the Hong Kong power utility business, (5) Develop a set of reliable and objective Key Performance Indicator (KPI) for measuring partnering performance and (6) Determine and prioritize the success factors for implementing partnering in the Hong Kong power utility. The research objectives were achieved through employing a combination of research methods including literature review, case study, questionnaire survey and structured interview. Specifically, Delphi survey method and Analytical Hierarchy Process were adopted for developing a set of KPIs for measuring partnering performance and prioritization success factors for implementing partnering in utility business respectively.
The findings of this research contributed to the knowledge enhancement in the area of partnering research. First, a conceptual model of partnering was developed based on the Intergroup Contact Theory, outlining the facilitating conditions: (1) Equal Status, (2) Cooperative Interaction, (3) Common Goal, (4) Authority Support, and (5) Friendship, and the mediating processes: (1) Understanding Each Other, (2) Reduction of Anxiety and (3) Enhancing Empathy, required for making partnering a success. Second, the applicability of partnering in the power utility sector in Hong Kong was examined, illustrating that partnering could create values in both project and personal levels. Third, the essential partnering tools required for nurturing partnering spirits were identified, which included: (1) Regular Meetings at senior and middle management levels, (2) Partnering Workshops, (3) Issue Resolution Mechanism, (4) Shared Risk Mechanism, and (5) 3-layers Governance Structure. Fourth, a set of objective and reliable KPIs with quantitative indicators and corresponding measurement range specific to the power utility context was developed. The KPIs with weighting identified were: (1) Long-term Business Relationships with weighting of 0.152, (2) Top Management Commitment with weighting of 0.146, (3) Cost Performance with weighting of 0.140, (4) Time Performance with weighting of 0.121, (5) Safety Performance with weighting of 0.121, (6) Harmonious working relationships with weighting of 0.114, (7) Stakeholder's Satisfaction with weighting of 0.108, and (8) Innovation and Improvement with weighting of 0.098. The corresponding measurement ranges for each KPIs against the five common performance level, from "Poor", "Average"; "Good", "Very Good" to "Excellent" were also determined. Fifth, the success factors for partnering implementation were identified and prioritized, which were : (1) "Commitment to Partnering" with relative importance of 0.39, (2) "Realizing Partnering Spirit" with relative importance of 0.21, (3) "Fair Commercial Framework" with relative importance of 0.16, (4) "Collaborative Working Environment" with relative importance of 0.13 and (5) "Stakeholder Involvement" with relative importance of 0.12. Synthesizing the research findings, an effective management framework for partnering implementation was developed, which consists of four key elements: (1) Guiding Principle, (2) Commercial Arrangement, (3) Management Structure, and (4) Implementation Process. The framework provided an empirical guideline for partnering practitioner's reference in the power utility sector on how to implement partnering effectively in practice.
Subjects: Academic-industrial collaboration -- China -- Hong Kong.
Technology transfer -- Economic aspects.
Electric utilities -- China -- Hong Kong.
Research, Industrial -- Management.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Pages: xvii, 276 pages : color illustrations
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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