The impact of risk and uncertainty on healthcare project delivery and its effect on intra-group conflict

Proceedings of The 4th International Conference on Advanced Research in Management, Economics and Accounting

Year: 2023



The impact of risk and uncertainty on healthcare project delivery and its effect on intra-group conflict

Metib Alenezi, Dr. Richard Kirkham





Construction projects are characterised by temporality risk and uncertainty, and this can give rise to conflict. In circumstances where conflict arises, project teams have to make quick and rational decisions to enable adequate planning to achieve project performance objectives and meet today’s business challenges. This is particularly pertinent following the COVID-19 pandemic when healthcare construction projects are often considered secondary to, or in support of, clinical operations. The role of external factors such as political, economic, social, technological, environmental factors, and competitive factors in the risk and decision-making process has been extensively examined in the existing body of risk management literature. However, internal factors such as fear of failure, fear of making the wrong decision, fear of rejection, and fear of letting others down have been largely overlooked. This includes risks and uncertainties which have been experienced during the COVID-19 crisis.

In this context, a qualitative exploratory single case study was conducted through 15 semi-structured interviews with key personnel within the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center (KFSHRC). The aim was to explore how current healthcare construction projects and stakeholder practices on project management in the KSA are affected by risk and uncertainty in the context of a wider experience of intra-group conflict. The study evidences the prevalence of conflict within project teams and the effects of dysfunctional decision-making. The results also highlight that risk and uncertainty could directly and potentially adversely impact the decision-making process and project delivery schedule. However, there are unanticipated findings arising from the conflict within project teams, which make a valuable contribution to the body of research.

The study identifies key risks in healthcare construction, such as changes in regulations, supply chain disruptions, and unexpected delays. Recommendations include developing mitigation strategies and contingency plans, and training in project management, risk assessment, and crisis management. By following these recommendations, stakeholders can manage risks and uncertainties and ensure successful project completion.

keywords: Uncertainty, Risk, Decision-Making Process, Project Management, Conflict, Healthcare Construction Projects, intra-group conflict