An evaluation of the organisational culture of Matla Powerstation to support effective project management

Engelke, Renske Magdalena (2011-03)

Thesis (MBA) -- Stellenbosch University, 2011.


The function of organisations is to deliver a product or a service, and thus the survival of an organisation is dependent on ensuring successful delivery in a financially viable manner. Project management was introduced to aid in this required successful delivery, placing emphasis on the cost, time and quality of the execution process of delivering the service or product. Project management does however not always deliver on successful service or product delivery, as can be deduced from the many projects that overrun budgets and timelines or under deliver on quality. The study of the impact of organisational culture stemmed from the movement in research to include the effect of the environment of a project on the effectiveness of the project management. Organisational culture has been noted to impact on many organisational elements, one of which is project management. In light of the current production and economic pressure experienced by Eskom’s power generating facilities, the effective and efficient management of projects plays a critical role in ensuring uninterrupted production and financial management. The success of the projects undertaken at Matla power station has a direct impact on the facility’s power generation capability and operational costs. This study found that the organisational culture of Matla supports effective project management at a level closer to the lower limits for the 12 cultural dimensions of a sample group of 29 national companies. Only two of the cultural dimensions rate below the national lowest rating. Considering the importance of projects for continued operational functioning, there is space for improvement in the level of support. A large plethora of factors impact on effective project management and the challenge for organisations lies in balancing the energy spent in addressing all the various factors. The difference between functional department needs and project needs must be balanced to ensure long-term goals are not given up for short-term production gains. Performance measurement should take cognisance of strategic long-term goals and must not be focused on purely short-term outcomes. The balance between production and projects is a continuous challenge. Project management plays an integral role in achieving the intense expansion required by Eskom over the next 15 to 20 years, the effective and efficient implementation of projects through effective project management must therefore be supported by the organisational culture.

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