From construction megaproject management to complex project management: Bibliographic analysis

Yi Hu, Ping Chuen Chan, Yun Le, Run Zhi Jin

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

152 Citations (Scopus)


The rapid growth of construction megaprojects worldwide has triggered a growing number of papers published in this area in the past two decades, suggesting that construction megaproject management has become an emerging area in the field of construction engineering and management (CEM). This study aims to investigate the status and the trends in megaproject research by conducting a structured literature review. A total of 85 relevant articles identified from eight peer-reviewed CEM journals between 2000 and 2010 were analyzed based on the number of articles published annually, institutional and regional contributions, citations, and categorization of research interests and methodologies. Analysis results indicated that developed countries, such as the United Kingdom, the United States, and Australia, have enjoyed significant advantages in megaproject research because of their greater experience, while megaproject research in developing countries, such as Russia, India, Turkey, and Vietnam, remains weak or lacking. These results also revealed that many theory-based findings have been reported in five subareas; namely, construction and site management, cost and schedule management, risk analysis and management, innovation and utilization of information technology, and leadership and professional development. The subareas of organization and stakeholder management, project planning and procurement, and project monitoring and control remain to be promising domains for future research, particularly in developing countries which have yet to develop a research tradition. Incorporating the complexity theory and institutional theory as the theoretical foundation in these subareas can develop megaproject research further through strengthened global collaboration in the future.
Original languageEnglish
Article number4014052
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015


  • Complex project management
  • Construction megaproject management
  • Institutional theory
  • Literature review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Engineering(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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