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Multiple stakeholders’ perception of the long-term success of project: a critical study of Oman tourism resort projects.

Al Maamari, G., 2020. Multiple stakeholders’ perception of the long-term success of project: a critical study of Oman tourism resort projects. Doctoral Thesis (Doctoral). Bournemouth University.

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AL MAAMARI, Ghasan Hamed_Ph.D._2020.pdf



Projects and project management (PM) principles are expanding, both in terms of adoption by different industries as well as within the field itself. PM literature shows that PM schools of thought have grown to around nine distinct research areas and are still growing (Bredillet 2008a, 2008d, 2008b; Turner 2018). It is estimated that circa thirty per cent of the global economy is project-based (Turner 2010), where organisations adopt principles of PM to accomplish the change they inspire. With this expansion, there is an increasing criticism in the literature that project evaluation using the ‘iron triangle' or the triple constraints of cost, time and scope is not reflecting the actual project status (de Oliveira and Rabechini Jr 2019). Some projects have not met the criteria, although they are still considered a success, and the opposite is those projects that are meeting the criteria but are regarded as a failure. Literature reveals that project success needs to widen the scope of its evaluation to include the relevant stakeholders. Besides, success varies across different dimensions, such as industries, countries, sectors, stakeholders and across timescales of the project lifecycle, which necessitates developing context-specific evaluations criteria and factors. The purpose of this study is to explore the stakeholder's roles and their importance and investigate their perceptions of success criteria and the associated factors for the context of tourism resorts in Oman. This research focused on the context of tourism projects in the case of a developing country. Tourism has grown globally, passing the mark of one billion tourists, and is becoming the largest service industry in the world (Duncan et al. 2013). With this growth come projects that countries are undertaking to cultivate the benefits of tourism, as much as possible, in order to meet their economic challenges and improve their economy. One form of tourism developments that has been favoured by countries is the resort's development, where it is believed that the benefits outweigh the negative impacts. Oman is an oil-dependent, developing country, where oil and gas are making 79% of government revenue and 42% of the GDP (BTI 2018, p.26). The government has established a tourism policy that aims to increase the tourism share within the country's gross domestic product (GDP) from current level of less than 3% to around 10% by the year 2040. The policy demonstrates, among others, the initiatives of developing resorts across different parts of the country to showcase their diverse nature and charms to attract specific segments of tourists. The success criteria and the associated factors for these projects involve a different set of stakeholders that value the long term impacts of such developments. With the research nature being exploratory and seeking stakeholder’s thoughts and opinions, an interpretivist paradigm is pursued. This was conducted using a qualitative methodology with semi-structured interviews to understand the perceptions of multiple stakeholders for the resort project's success. The local stakeholders were purposively selected to be interviewed, as they live out the positive or negative impacts of these developments. Thirty-six participants were interviewed representing the main stakeholder groups of government, investors, operators, NGOs and residents from different resort areas, i.e. sea and mountain resorts. The interviews were transcribed and manually coded using a three-phase coding process in line with Saldaña (2013). NVIVO software was used to facilitate the data analysis process. The analysis resulted in a better understanding of the roles of stakeholders and developed context-specific themes that constituted success criteria and factors for the resort projects in Oman. The findings of the research were presented in a seminar to academics at Sultan Qaboos University, in Oman, as well as presented to individuals from government, and private sectors to confirm credibility and minimise any research bias. The findings of this research serve both the fields of project success and tourism resort literature at individual levels as well as collectively. The results demonstrate that there is an ambiguity in the dimensions of project success: factors and criteria which has contributed to the confusion of the project success definition that was highlighted in the literature by Davis (2016). The research identified possible explanations for this confusion that would help to clarify the concept of project success. Besides, the research reveals that in the long-term, the success of projects goes beyond the ‘iron triangle' measurement; instead, success is a process of stakeholder’s satisfaction that involves successive inter-exchanges. The stakeholders are context-specific where the context of the project designates their interest, roles and power. The exchanges between the stakeholders are governed by trust between them, where each stakeholder’s power plays a role. The research has utilised Social Exchange Theory (SET) as a framework to explain how success criteria and factors are exchanged between stakeholders to reach a satisfactory state. The use of SET can support the research in describing how different stakeholders perceive the success of projects throughout the project lifecycle. Elements of stakeholder’s power and trust between them were integrated into the model of resort project success from Oman. In the development of the model for this thesis, it was proposed that satisfactory exchanges between stakeholders must take place where there is a need to balance the power of all stakeholders. Stakeholder's power is a function of resource's ownership and the right of people to elect their government, both of which do not exist in the case of Oman; research found that people have a ‘conditional power' where certain factors influence its level. The conditional power can vary considerably and impacts the overall success of the project. Unlike what the literature suggests that trust increases with power, this research found that this is only applicable between government and the private sector. However, with the public, the power increases when there is a lack of trust with both the government and the private sector.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information:If you feel that this work infringes your copyright please contact the BURO Manager.
Uncontrolled Keywords:project management; success factors; success criteria; tourism resorts; Oman; social exchange theory; stakeholder’s management; trust
Group:Bournemouth University Business School
ID Code:34155
Deposited By: Symplectic RT2
Deposited On:16 Jun 2020 14:14
Last Modified:14 Mar 2022 14:22


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