From the Editor
4 April/May 2017 ■ Project Management Journal
is the Special Purpose Entity or Vehicle (SPE/SPV). A formal
definition of SPE is a key deliverable of this article. When SPEs
are in place, megaprojects are statistically correlated with better schedule and budget performance (Brookes & Locatelli,
2015; Brookes, Locatelli, & Mikic, 2015). However, the term
SPE is only defined vaguely. The legal, financial, and project
management domains conceptualize the SPEs in different
ways and their technical jargon results are quite fragmented.
The authors address three research questions: ( 1) What is an
SPE? ( 2) Which types of SPEs exist? ( 3) Why are SPEs used in
megaprojects? The authors perform a systematic literature
review of more than 3,000 documents published between
1960 and 2014, which were systematically analyzed. The
definition of an SPE is: “The Special Purpose Entity is a fenced
organization having limited predefined purposes and a legal
personality.” To answer the second research question, a set of
ten distinctive features describing a SPE is used. The authors
then discuss major issues of SPEs in the legal, financial, and
project management domains and compare existing SPEs;
overall, four outcomes are presented: the definition of SPE,
the typology of existing SPEs, comparisons of existing SPEs,
and descriptions of SPE uses in megaprojects The editor of
this article was Andrew Davies.
Muhammad Mubbashar Hassan, Sajid Bashir, and Syed
Moqaddas Abbas investigate the following theme: “The
Impact of Project Managers’ Personality on Project Success in NGOs: The Mediating Role of Transformational
Leadership.” Their study examines the extent to which project managers’ personality determines project success through
the mediating mechanism of transformational leadership.
The context of the study are nongovernmental projects that
focused on education and healthcare. Data were collected
from 170 project managers who were engaged in 10 different
programs in various areas of Pakistan. The results of the study
indicate that Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Openness to
Experience are direct positive predictors of project success,
whereas transformational leadership acts as a mediator of
these relations. Conscientiousness has only an indirect effect
on project success through transformational leadership. No
relation was found between Neuroticism and project success.
The editor of this article was Ralf Müller.
The sixth article in this issue by Dominic D. Ahiaga-Dagbui,
Peter E. D. Love, Simon D. Smith, and Fran Ackermann
“Toward a Systemic View to Cost Overrun Causation in Infrastructure Projects: A Review and Implications for Research”
argues for a more comprehensive view. The methodological
weaknesses in the dominant approaches adopted to explain
cost overrun causation on infrastructure projects are explored
in this article. A considerable amount of cost overrun research
is superficial, replicative, and thus has stagnated the development of a robust theory to mitigate and contain the problem.
Future research should move from single-cause identification
and the traditional net-effect correlational analysis to a search
for causal recipes through systems thinking and retrospective
sensemaking to address the high-level interactions between
multiple factors. This article presents a very insightful literature
analysis, which deserves further discussion and reflection. The
editor of this article was John Steen.
The final article in this issue is by Jan Recker, Christoph
Rosenkranz, Markus Hummel, and Roland Holten on “How
Agile Practices Impact Customer Responsiveness and Development Success: A Field Study.” Agile information systems
development methods have become popular; however, which
specific agile practice to use remains unclear. The authors argue
that three types of agile practices exist—for management, development, and standards—which affect the customer responsiveness of software teams differently. The authors examine this
theory in a field study of a large organization. They find that
agile practices improve software team response effectiveness
or efficiency, but not both. Agile standards do not improve
response mechanisms but are still important to successful
information systems development. The findings help discriminating agile practices and yield insights into how information
development can be improved by using the right practices in
the best way. The editor of this article was Fred Niederman.
Brookes, N. J., & Locatelli, G. (2015). Power plants as
megaprojects: Using empirics to shape policy, planning, and
construction management. Utilities Policy, 36, 57–66.
Brookes, N., Locatelli, G., & Mikic, M. (2015). Learning across
megaprojects. Brussels, Belgium: Megaproject COST Action.