Commercial Management: Theory and Practice

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Based on the fundamental assumption that the key objective for any commercial organisation is to generate profit, commercial issues, and thus commercial management, play an integral part in this.

The function, therefore, can be found at the interfaces between organisations as well as between divisions within an organisation. While differences in approach and application both between and within industry sectors have been established, sufficient similarity and synergy in practice has been ascertained to identify a specific role of commercial management within project- based organisations. This book aims to present the current state of knowledge concerning the commercial management of projects.

Collectively the chapters constitute a step in the direction of systematic knowledge building: a step towards the creation of a body of knowledge and a research agenda for the development of an underlining theory relevant to commercial management. Thus, the book seeks to contribute to the growing literature that sees the necessity of widening project management research to also include the management of project-based organisations, project-based industries and even project-based careers.


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Whilst we argue that all the chapters address topics that are common for project-based organisations regardless of industry, most of the chapters are oriented towards construction and use this industry to illustrate specific points. We make no excuses for this as construction could lay claim to be the oldest project-based industry. Indeed, project management literature in general is heavily influenced by studies undertaken in this industry. This part covers the interfaces between the organisation, at the corporate, projects and project level, and the environment within which it is active.

This external environment is all encompassing, including, for example, government both central and local and their agencies, purchasers clients , competitors and suppliers. It also contains the general public, for example, in the form of pressure groups such as Green Peace and Friends of the Earth. The influence of government is extensive, including competition law and regulatory mechanisms; while in the business environment, purchasers instigate the procurement system and generally impose contract conditions.

Further, as markets become global organisations have to consider the impact of culture on these interfaces. From this array of potential topics, the areas of competition, culture and procurement have been selected for further explanation. Competition Few commercial organisations have the luxury of being monopolies; in one form or another firms will have to compete with others that provide similar products and services, be it on certain specific aspects of operation or on at a business level.

Thus, the competitive environment within any particular market and industry will to some degree shape the way that an organisation conducts its business. This will influence its relationships with purchasers clients , suppliers and all other relevant parties, as well as intra-organisational structures and relationships.

Commercial Management: Theory and Practice

In Chapter 2, Hedley Smyth illustrates how competition, in particular its inherent risk and uncertainty, shapes the behaviour of commercial entities. Using the construction industry as an example he shows how the competitive environment forces firms to constantly reappraise their strategies concerning market and organisational structure. Culture Culture is a widely applicable term used in a variety of contexts.

It affects the way that people consider issues, analyse and solve problems, make decisions and take actions in response to opportunities and threats. Thus, culture impacts on how individuals and groups think and act. For example, the structural framework of the project, of which contracts are part, impacts on formal and informal procedures, that is, the behavioural manifestations of culture, but does not necessarily affect the underpinning values and beliefs they may hold.

Indeed, as Richard Fellows points out in Chapter 3, culture is the constant practise of daily existence. Drawing on a wide range of cross-industry studies on culture he discusses the basic knowledge blocks of culture, including ethics, and how these issues could manifest themselves on projects. Procurement systems Procurement — the process of acquiring new services or products — is fundamental to most project-based organisations.

It covers a vast array of activities ranging from the financial appraisal of the various options available to pricing, purchasing and administration of contracts. While the concept of procurement may well differ between various industry sectors, organisations still face similar strategic issues of how to adapt to different procurement systems.

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In this Chapter, David Langford and Mike Murray, using the construction industry as an example, aptly illustrate how different procurement routes suit different types of projects and, thus, different type of actors. They show how social and political forces constantly influence procurement systems, which in turn shape how work is implemented on projects.

He has worked in the built environment field for thirty years, working in volume house building and development, contracting, marketing architectural and design professional practices and in academia. Consultancy has been carried out for trade bodies, including the British Cement Association, Contractors and both Engineering and Architectural practices. Current research is centred on the development and management of trust in relationships, especially at the client-contractor interface. This emanates out of a longstanding interest in relationship marketing.

Other recent research activity includes case study work on information and knowledge management, supplied from external providers into contracting and project environments.

Richard has over 25 years experience of teaching and researching following several years working for construction companies in UK. He has carried out many research contracts, has published about 20 books and chapters, over 30 papers in leading international refereed journals and over 60 conference papers and reports.

That research is progressing to include ethics, organisational citizenship behaviour, and corporate social responsibility. I and Vol. He has co- edited a history of government interventions in the UK construction industry since the Second World War. He has contributed to seminars on the field of construction management in all five continents.

What is COMMERCIAL MANAGEMENT? What does COMMERCIAL MANAGEMENT mean?

He has published widely in the field of construction management, co-authoring eight books and editing three volumes on construction research. He is a regular visiting lecturer at universities around the world. His interests are travel, theatre, cricket and he plays golf with more enthusiasm than skill. He has lectured at three Scottish universities The Robert Gordon University, Heriot Watt and, currently, at Strathclyde and has developed a pragmatic approach to both research and lecturing.

He has delivered research papers to academics and practitioners at UK and overseas symposiums and workshops. Mike began his career in the construction industry with an apprenticeship in the building services sector and was later to lecture in this topic at several Further Education colleges.

(PDF) Commercial Management of Projects: Defining the discipline | David J Lowe - landhearttisider.ml

Part 2: Corporate milieu Introduction All commercial organisations exist for a purpose usually to generate a profit ; therefore, they will have a governance structure and a strategy even if this strategy is to have no strategy at all to achieve this aim. This part covers the interfaces between the organisation at a corporate level and both the projects milieu the environment within which individual projects collectively reside and the external milieu addressed in the previous part.

In this context, a major influence of the external environment is in the imposition of legal and regulatory frameworks, requiring the establishment of a corporate governance system. Within these inter and intra organisational relationships the concept of trust is important. The areas of corporate governance, strategy, marketing, trust and outsourcing have been selected for further explanation. Corporate governance A corporate governance system is the combination of internal, external and regulatory mechanisms that ensures that the organisation is run for the benefit of one or several stakeholders, such as shareholders, creditors, suppliers, purchasers clients , employees and other parties with whom the firm conducts its business.

Optimally, the corporate governance system ensures sufficient returns on investment and an increase in corporate value. In Chapter 5, Marc Goergen and Luc Rennebog provide an all encompassing account of the available mechanisms that help to ensure that management run an organisation in the best interest of its principles. Taking a cross European perspective they show how differences in legislation and regulatory frameworks, culture and tradition influence corporate governance systems and, hence, how an organisation operates.

Strategy The concept of strategy could be construed as a set of commitments made by an organisation that define and rationalise its objectives and fashion the way in which it seeks to fulfil them. In Chapter 6, Andrew Davies and Michael Hobday consider a strong emerging trend, that of firms changing the focus of their business strategies from being producers of physical products to providers of services.

Drawing upon in-depth case-study research, they illustrate how suppliers of capital goods have developed strategies for integrated solutions by changing their position in the industry value stream and, thereby, transforming their organisational structures thereafter. Marketing An integral part of any business strategy is to ensure future work for the enterprise. Most firms, therefore, will, in one way or another, try to market themselves towards present and future purchasers clients. These activities can be undertaken in a multitude of ways, however, organisations need to ensure that marketing effort is in their best interest and generating a return for the company.

In Chapter 7, Christopher Preece, Krisen Moodley and Michael Brown examine marketing concepts and techniques within a business-to-business environment. Using the construction industry as an example they illustrate how firms have adopted various strategies in an attempt to generate business. They then proceed to discuss how these strategies can be evaluated and measured. Trust Trust is a complex phenomenon. The term is highly ambiguous, not least because of its association with people as well as to circumstances and context.

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In particular, they draw upon the findings from an exploratory study into the role of trust within construction teams. They highlight several key factors influencing trust and, with the aid of four case studies, illustrate how different project arrangements influence the level of trust on a project and how trust impacts on commercial managers. These directors are theoretically liable for breaches of that duty and typically insured under directors and officers liability insurance.

Fortune directors are estimated to spend 4. The board sets corporate strategy, makes major decisions such as major acquisitions, [25] and hires, evaluates, and fires the top-level manager Chief Executive Officer or CEO. The CEO typically hires other positions. Helpful skills of top management vary by the type of organization but typically include [28] a broad understanding of competition, world economies, and politics. In addition, the CEO is responsible for implementing and determining within the board's framework the broad policies of the organization. Executive management accomplishes the day-to-day details, including: instructions for preparation of department budgets, procedures, schedules; appointment of middle level executives such as department managers; coordination of departments; media and governmental relations; and shareholder communication.

Consist of general managers , branch managers and department managers. They are accountable to the top management for their department's function. They devote more time to organizational and directional functions. Their roles can be emphasized as executing organizational plans in conformance with the company's policies and the objectives of the top management, they define and discuss information and policies from top management to lower management, and most importantly they inspire and provide guidance to lower level managers towards better performance.


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  4. Middle management is the midway management of a categorized organization, being secondary to the senior management but above the deepest levels of operational members. An operational manager may be well-thought-out by middle management, or may be categorized as non-management operate, liable to the policy of the specific organization.

    Efficiency of the middle level is vital in any organization, since they bridge the gap between top level and bottom level staffs. Lower managers include supervisors , section leaders, forepersons and team leaders. They focus on controlling and directing regular employees. First-level or "front line" managers also act as role models for their employees.

    In some types of work, front line managers may also do some of the same tasks that employees do, at least some of the time.