China Sustainable Cities Program and Risk Analysis

Introduction

Background of the Study

China is the world’s most populous country. The country is rated the second largest in the world by land area. The country also has the fastest growing economy in the world, having overtaken other major world economies except for the United States. The population growth of this country is high. From the figures that are available from the report given by Brown, Kroszner and Jenn (2002, p. 23), the population of this country is expected to hit a record 2 billion people by 2050. This means that the country must develop mechanisms that would enable it to sustain this huge number of citizens. In this regard, a number of projects must be set up to counter the negative influence of population growth.

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There is an emerging trend in the country where most of the citizens of this country prefer staying in town as opposed to staying in urban centres. There is a massive migration of people from rural to urban centres. As at the moment, the population of Chinese in urban centres is well over 200 million people. This number is expected to shoot to about 350 million people by 2025, according to the report by McKinsey Global Institute (2009). This means that the country must be ready to sustain this population and even more by the above stated time to have self-sustaining cities.

In response to this need, the government, through various urgencies, has initiated a massive project that is expected to develop sustainable cities in various selected locations that would be able to sustain the expected population. China Sustainable Cities Program is one of the most ambitious projects ever to be designed on the face of the earth. The financial consequences, the expected time, and other costs that would be directed to this project are massive. If successfully implemented and completed as per the specification, the result would be a city that is self-sustaining, a city that the Chinese have always dreamt of for the last century.

Problem Statement and the Research Hypotheses

The future of our environment heavily depends on what we do today. Several environmental organizations, especially the Green Belt Movement, have categorically stated that China is the world’s leading country in pollution. This is understood because the country is currently home to various international manufacturing firms. The consequence of this is not only felt by China itself but also the rest of the world at large. However, the fact that the cities are fast-growing and the consequences that come with this will be felt by China as an individual country. Therefore, there was a need to develop a sustainable city program that would ensure that the rising urban population is put under check. As stated above, this project is very ambitious, and its successful completion would result in cities that are not only attractive to the Chinese but also foreign investors.

Though, one problem that the management committee of this project must put into serious consideration is the possible risk factors that may accrue in the process of implementing this project. Attractive it is, but if care were not taken to keenly identify the possible risks that may affect the project, then the whole program would be a white elephant, and the taxpayer’s money would be lost through failed projects.

Therefore, this study seeks to follow the path taken by May (2010, p. 77) on those lessons from Huangbaiyu. The researcher intends to analyze the possible risks that the project may face, and design risk management techniques that would help the implementing authorities of the project work with the least possible problems. The researcher seeks to identify these risks and develop means of averting them in the entire implementation process. In essence, the researcher seeks to reject the null hypotheses stated below (and accept the alternative hypotheses) through quantitative data analysis.

H1o. Perception of risk management is not related to perceptions of project maturity, corporate culture, and project sustainability.

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H1a. Perception of risk management is related to perceptions of project maturity, corporate culture and project sustainability.

H2o. Identification, quantification, and mitigation are not the three main areas in the activities of China sustainable cities program, and response control is not the key accompanying tool for environmental issues.

H2a. Identification, quantification, and mitigation are still the three main areas in the activities of China sustainable cities program, and response control is the key accompanying tool for environmental issues.

H3o. Risk quantification technique is not an appropriate mathematical method in dealing with international project uncertainty.

H3a. Risk quantification technique is an appropriate mathematical method in dealing with international project uncertainty.

Justification of the Study

Bussey Bridge in Boston, the United States, was one of the most attractive projects that were expected to generate revenue that would exceed the cost of its construction in less than one year. However, because the implementing authorities failed to analyze the possible risk factors that could be associated with the project, the result of the entire program was the infamous Forest Hill Disaster where the iron railroad collapsed under a train, killing thirty people and injuring over forty on March 14, 1987, not to mention the wasted due to the fallen bridge. This is just but one incident. Other numerous ugly accidents have happened due to inappropriate measures taken to mitigate risks in massive projects. China Cities Sustainable program has been hailed as a massive project that stands to benefit many. Researchers have extensively reported on how the country stands to benefit from it. However, little research exists on risk factors that may come with the project and mitigation measures that come with it. It is upon this basis that the researcher decided to conduct this study.

Aims and objectives

Through this study, the researcher seeks to achieve the following objectives.

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  1. To investigate the possible risk factors that may be associated with the China Sustainable Cities Program.
  2. To determine the mitigation measures that may help avert the identified risk factors in the project.
  3. To identify individuals and authorities that would be in the best positions to implement the above-identified mitigation procedures.

Scope of the Study

This research aims at assessing China Sustainable Cities Program and determining the risk factors that are associated with the project. Therefore, the study is limited to this specific project. The findings of this study, its conclusions and recommendations are specifically meant for this project. The scope of the study is also limited to China as a country. Although the study may be helpful in other countries and in other projects, it was specifically meant for the above-stated project.

Significance of the Study

This study aims at developing measures that would help avoid the risks that may be associated with this massive project. As such, the researcher hopes to eliminate such incident that may occur in the process, or after the completion of the project that may cost lives of people or damage of properties or the project itself. Because this is a scholarly research, the report would also be useful to future researchers in this and other related fields.

Literature Review

This chapter is a detailed analysis of the existing literature on China Sustainable Cities Program and other related literature about project management, especially the management of risk factors. In this literature, the researcher hopes to find supporting clues that would help in supporting the alternative hypotheses set in the research proposal by rejecting the null hypotheses. Below are the hypotheses that the literature review in this chapter is trying to respond.

H1o. Perception of risk management is not related to perceptions of project maturity, corporate culture, and project sustainability.

H1a. Perception of risk management is related to perceptions of project maturity, corporate culture, and project sustainability.

H2o. Identification, quantification, and mitigation are not the three main areas in the activities of China sustainable cities program, and response control is not the key accompanying tool for environmental issues.

H2a. Identification, quantification, and mitigation are still the three main areas in the activities of China sustainable cities program, and response control is the key accompanying tool for environmental issues.

H3o. Risk quantification technique is not an appropriate mathematical method in dealing with international project uncertainty.

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H3a. Risk quantification technique is an appropriate mathematical method in dealing with international project uncertainty.

The Nature And Characteristics Of China Sustainable Program

China has the largest population in the world. Cadle and Yeates (2004, p. 45) state that China is home to about 1.3 billion people. Some of the provinces within this vast nation are partially autonomous, with their own governments and other relevant facilities. The cities within this country are expanding at an alarmingly high rate. Chandra (2009, p. 11) states that Shanghai alone has had about 56 per cent increase in population in the past twenty years. The rate of expansion of these cities is expected to increase, especially with the expansive economy of the country and the fact that the country is currently the leading manufacturer in the world. The cities would have to host not only the Chinese but also other nationals who would come to trade, as casual laborers, or expertise in various production facilities within the country. Having realized the looming crisis in the country following the expected growth of population in the cities, the concerned authorities have realized the importance of having the cities upgraded to reflect the current needs. According to the report by Dong and Yang (2008, p. 33), the authorities have come to terms with the reality on the ground, and have come to the realization that not much can be achieved out of the cities if programs to implement current changes are not implemented as soon as possible.

Engineers from China designed most of the cities, several years back. Though good enough to sustain the current population, the rate at which the cities’ population is growing is a clear pointer that the country stands to lose many revenues if immediate changes are not met. Therefore, many of the authorities have considered outsourcing the expertise of UK urban designers and planners. Dressel (2001, p. 87) argues that most of the cities in the United Kingdom are designed in such a way that they can sustain an unexpected upsurge of the population without causing an upset to the available facilities. This scholar notes that because of this, these United Kingdom cities have remained sustainable even with the increasing population. This is what the authorities seek to borrow from these cities in an attempt to ensure that these Chinese cities become sustainable with the expanding population. Changsha, Chongqing, Hangzhou, and Wuhan are some of the cities that have clearly come out to seek the expertise of the UK urban designers and planners. This research seeks to study the projects of two of the four cities: Hangzhou and Wuhan.

The Action Plan 2011-2012 for the UK-Hangzhou Sustainable City Partnership is a project that is expected to improve the Hangzhou by planning and designing it in a way that would be sustainable in the coming future. Within this city, there four sections that define the entire project. The first section is the delivery of the action plan, which involves defining the main players of the project. UKTI Shanghai will be the link to the UK planers and designers of urban centres. The Hangzhou Municipal Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation Bureau will be the leading Chinese stakeholder in the project. The second section involves defining activities and projects of the action plan 2011-2012. Geschwind (2001, p. 32) says that a good project should have all the activities clearly defined and the tasks appropriately assigned. This argument is supported by Earl, who emphasizes on the need to define and assign activities of a project with the clear timeline clearly stated.

This scholar further explains that the individuals should then be grouped into units based on the closeness of their projects. This section has clearly stated the roles of different participants and the expectations after the completion of the project. The third section of this project is the scope of the plan. Horlick-Jones (1995) argues that every project must have a scope. The scope, according to this scholar, would help the planers know what to include in the project, and what to avoid. The participants in this project agreed that besides the activities stated in section two, both of them would give consideration for further cooperation if such a need would be. This is very important for the success of the project. Insag (1992, p. 65) notes that a project’s success has its genesis from the trust between the two concerned parties.

This would eliminate any conspiracy that may arise where one participant wants to demonstrate that the other is ineffective in undertaking the assigned duties. Broadening a narrowly defined scope leaves the participants with a room to expand the current scope to include some factors that were not included in the initial plan. Section four of this project defines the commencement date, the duration that the project is expected to take, and a room for the termination of the project. This, according to Kunreuther (1997, p. 20), is a very important aspect of a project. This scholar holds that a good project should have the time constrain should be spelt out so that the supervision of the project is made easier. This argument is supported by May (2008, p. 17) who says that when specifying the time, it is important for the participant to specify the time that they will complete the projects so that their performance may be determined as at the stated time intervals. Wuhan Sustainable Cities Initiative project has the same procedure as that of the Hangzhou Project stated above.

China Sustainable Program’s Drivers And Constraints

Register (1987, p. 42) defines project drivers as the items that have brought the initiative to put up the project. According to this scholar, project drivers are the opportunities that may be gained if the project is implemented or the possible threats that must be avoided for a successful operation of the firm. This project had a number of drivers that forced the two cities to implement the project. According to Steffen (2010, p. 38), Wuhan and Hangzhou are some of the fastest-growing cities in China. The current population of these two regions is already having a heavy impact on the two cities. There is every need to ensure that the cities develop proper structures that would help it sustain itself. The first driver of this project is the numerous benefits that this firm stands to gain by successfully implementing the project. By implementing the project, the cities would open up for foreign investment. This would increase the revenues collected by the two councils in tax and other charges. The region will also experience a general improvement of the living standards of the citizens of this country, as there will be increased job opportunities. There also some negative drivers that the cities are trying to avoid.

According to the report by Slovic, (1993, p. 67), most of the cities in China have an increased level of urban sprawl. This is partly due to poor urban planning, as Suzuki, Dastur, Moffatt and Yabuki (2009, p. 25) note. This has had a negative effect on these cities, especially the sanitation and traffic movement. With the increasing population, Wuhan and Hangzhou risk having their environs to become completely polluted due to the increased demand posed by the higher population. These are the main drivers that made the councils of the two cities settle on the decision to implement the sustainable cities program. Abdurrahman (2010, p. 39) observes in his report that there are situations where the forces become so strong that trying to resist them may prove foolhardy. In such situations, this scholar notes that it may force the concerned authorities to act in a way that would avert the forces of nature.

The project has some constrains that must be observed by both partners that are involved in the project. According to Abu and Faruq (2010, p. 78), the leading constrain in a project is always a time factor. This is also supported by Andrzej and Buchaman (2007, p. 42), who argue that a project must have a time constrain clearly spelt out, stage by stage for there to be a proper monitory mechanism. By spelling out time for the project, Earl says that it becomes very easy for all the involved participants to determine the success of the project stage by stage, from the onset of the project. Hangzhou had divided the project into four faces. The first face of the project was stipulated to begin in 2009 and run until 2010. The second face was set to begin in 2011 and run until 2015. The third face of the project would begin in 2016 and run until 2020.

The last face would run from 2020 to 2050. The participants must observe these time constrain there to be a successful implementation of the project. It would be possible now, to determine the success of the project by looking at the first face, which by now is expected to be complete. Barbara (2005, p 6) says that another important constrain that must be considered in project management is the available finances. Wuhan has various projects each estimated to cost differently based on their magnitude. The third project, which aims at eco-system protection, is estimated to cost the council RMB 15.875 -13824. Waste Water Treatment Project, which is the fifth project, is estimated to cost the council $ 11 million. The seventh project; the Caidian Wetland Ecological Park Scheme Project is estimated to cost the council 4.57 billion shillings.

The eighth project of building Tianxing Ecological scheme would cost about $ 2 billion, while the ninth project of building commercial and residential complex scheme would cost the council RMB 6 -13824. Barry (2005, p. 12) notes that defining the value of each project the way Wuhan Council has done is very important. It allows the implementers of the project to determine if the available resources would be enough to finance the intended projects. Barthe (2010, p. 22) on the other hand thinks that although the art of defining a large project in small subproject may help assign value to each project, the strategy is far more costly than when the project is defined in entirety. By defining the entire project, it becomes possible for the council to negotiate a lower price and award one firm the entire project. This scholar also notes that this would foster uniformity of the construction. Both partners must ensure that they work within the set constrains if the best result is expected.

China sustainable program’s global network and collaborations

China Sustainable Program is designed in a way that it incorporates various stakeholders. The two councils conducted a research, and it came to their realization that the cities in the United Kingdom were designed in a way that they reflect the current needs of highly-populated urban centres. The cities have been designed to sustain population influx, although the growth rate of the country does not indicate the possibility of having this influx in the near future. Therefore, the councils have decided to collaborate with firms from the United Kingdom in developing sustainable cities that would help it come up with the desired cities designed to meet the increasing population of China. The Hangzhou Municipal Government has signed a contract with a leading UK trade and investment authority, known as UKTI (United Kingdom Trade and Investment). The two have agreed to work in collaboration to ensure that the entire project is successful in its implementation. This firm would be the global link of Hangzhou in the international forum. It would be responsible for outsourcing the best expertise from the United Kingdom and other world regions. This is in line with the explanation given by Belanger (2011, p 21) on projects global networks and collaboration.

Wuhan Municipal Government has also outsourced the services of UKTI in implementing the various projects that it has set in a bid to ensure that its city is planned and designed to reflect the current and expected future demand. UKTI has entered into a collaboration with this government to ensure that the projects get the right personnel that would be in a position to ensure that Wuhan is transformed into one of the ultra-modern cities not only in China but also the entire world. This reflects Bell’s (2001, p 38) advice on project networking.

China Sustainable Program’s Organization And Corporate Governance

Biswas (2011, p. 55), observes that it is very important to realize that a project, just like any corporate task, must have a clearly defined organizational structure in order to achieve the desired result. This scholar further notes that corporate governance is very important in project management, especially if the magnitude (in terms of the financial need and the impact it has on the society in general) is huge. In both municipalities, the magnitude of the projects is huge. As Bowe, Briguglio and Dean (1998, p. 61) state, the concerned authorities have clearly defined the organizational structures of the projects and corporate governance that would ensure the success of the projects. Wuhan has ten projects that should be completed within a varying period.

Having realized their capacities and the deficits they have in expertise and facilities, Wuhan Municipal Government has developed a management pattern that has seen it assign UKTI some tasks. The council is not without expertise. Therefore, this council has entered a partnership with UKTI to handle some tasks in the project that would help ensure that the projects are completed at the least cost possible. Clement and Henry (2010) say that this is important because it helps strengthen the bond between the outsourced firm and the client. Clement and Rodney (2004, p. 15) further observe that this would enable the participants to work as a team. Both sides will benefit from the experience of the other. Most of the projects’ activities would be carried out within Wuhan, while others would be done in the UK and Beijing.

The same strategy is applied by Hangzhou in managing its projects. In both cases, the management is reduced to the individual level and is assigned to the participant. Each participant would be responsible for the management as regards to the assigned task and ensuring his or her success, as suggested by Clinton (2011, p. 63).

Project Management Maturity Model And Capability In China Sustainable Program

Project Management Maturity Model is a tool that is used in measuring project management maturity. It provides a roadmap with the necessary steps that should be taken towards the project management performance improvement and maturity advancement. Drake, Wong, and Salter 2007) state that this model provides a logical path towards progressive development and strategic plan for the advancement of a project. The levels given in the figure below (levels 1 to five) shows project’s advancement towards maturity and the activities that should be carried out towards the same, from the initial stage to the optimizing stage. In the rows are the tasks to be taken out at these stages. This model shows that the China Sustainable cities program has a clear-cut strategy that would help it in achieving the desired objectives. Also important to note is the fact that the stakeholders have factored in risk management policies, as shown in the model below. This would help in ensuring that the project management team is in a position to identify the risks and act upon them as soon as would be possible. This would help in ensuring that the risks are identified at an earlier stage so that the consequences of late identification are eliminated.

The Nature Risk And Risk Management In China Sustainable Programs

Ewens (1972, p. 76) notes that it is very important to come up with a workable definition of projects risks in order to be able to identify them in the course of the project and work upon them as soon as possible in order to eliminate their consequences. This idea is supported by Falah (2005, p. 111). According to this scholar, risks refer to exposure to uncertainties, which may potentially have negative consequences, and therefore affect the project negatively. French, McNayr and Escher (2010, p. 112), on the other hand, define risks as unforeseen consequences that may result in loss of money, labour or time of a project. In every project, there is always the need to ensure that all the risks are well calculated, and their consequences factored in. As Hirschey, Kose and Makhija (2004, p. 20) say, there is no project that comes without risks. Every project has its own risks. The most important thing should be ensuring that these risks are well-identified and appropriate measures taken to manage their consequences. China Cities Sustainable Programs is a massive project that would have a huge impact on the cities. However, it would be very important to appreciate the fact that this would come with some risks that must be factored in for it to be possible to be successful.

According to the reports by the UN-Habitat, there is a huge movement of people from the rural set-ups to urban centres in the world over in this twenty-first century. China is one such country that is experiencing this influx in its cities. This program is designed to help ease the congestion in these cities. However, obvious risks lurk in the implementation of these cities. Kalmbach and Carr (2010, p. 19) note that there are some factors that are known to cause risks to the project implementation process. Volatility is one such factor. According to Kent and Thompson, when the nature of change and its dynamics is volatile, a project risks various challenges.

This is especially so when the project is to take a long period because what is considered relevant today may be irrelevant after a short while. Uncertainties, as Kent and Thompson (2005, p. 30) explain, is another risk factor. This scholar explains that when the project implementers cannot predict the future, it becomes impossible to design the project in a way that it would satisfy the future needs for which it is intended to. The management may end up designing a project that may not satisfy future needs. Complexity is another problem that a project may face. When the project has hidden cause-effect inter-connectivity, it may be challenging to come up with a clear means of approaching issues that may cause a threat because it is difficult to single them out. In other cases, this is rare, though, the project implementation team may be vague in defining the project.

Kline (2010, p. 34) observes that there are a host of project risks that an organization may face. One such risk is inadequate sponsorship. When the project lacks a proper sponsor, it may fail, however ambitious it could be. A slow or poor decision-making process is another risk that a project may face Krathwohl (2004, p. 50). When a project lacks a clear decision-making organ that is efficient and effective, there is a huge risk that the project may fail to pick up at the expected pace. Kurtz and Boone (2010, p. 100) note that a project without a clearly defined scope is another risk that should be taken care of. When the scope is not defined, the project may risk being considered vague. Change management is another factor to be considered. Lacity, Willcocks and Feeny (2004, p. 127) argue that change is the most permanent factor in every aspect of a project. It is therefore very important to ensure that the implementing parties take either into consideration future changes that may affect the project before it is completed or after its completion. The resources, as Lall and Narula (2004, p. 467) note, must also be available. When the resources are available, it becomes easier to implement the project within the shortest time possible.

Qualitative And Quantitative Approaches In Risk Management

As Majer (2011, p. 62) observes, risk analysis is always performed in two ways, either quantitatively or qualitatively. It is very important that when assessing the two types of risks, the two approaches are clearly understood. Manaschi (1998, p. 87) states that risk analysis is very important. Through this, the supervisory task players would recognize the possible and existing vulnerabilities, fears and other dangers that can potentially derail the overall performance of the program. Therefore, care should be taken at this stage. When conducting a risk analysis, it is important that the approach chosen is compatible with the project itself. Michael, Lino and James (1998, p. 16) say that when conducting a risk analysis for a project, it is important the scope and approach should be harmonized with the project size, time availability and the expenditure.

Minja (2009, p. 14) supports this by noting that it is illogical for an individual to conduct a massive risk analysis that consumes a lot of time and money on a small and inconsequential project. Similarly, it would be suicidal to conduct a mini risk analysis on a huge project that has taken a lot of time and resources to complete. As Moran (2011, p. 80) simply puts it, risk analysis should be proportional to the project itself. A huge project like China Sustainable Cities Program should have an equally detailed risk analysis because it has a huge financial consequence.

The risk analysis team chooses to use quantitative, qualitative or both approaches in conducting risk analysis. This would be based on the requirements of the project and the available resources. The main difference between qualitative and quantitative risk analysis approaches is based on the objective. The objective of performing qualitative risk analysis to a project is to acquire security against identified risks and heighten the alertness of team members, the management and all other concerned people who may be vulnerable to the risks Panagariya (2008, p. 46). According to Proulx (2011, p. 69), this approach is important in the identification of impediments of project management that have the potential of becoming risk factors. Alternatively, a quantitative investigation is apprehensive of the execution process that is, the essential safety procedures that have already been recognized in order to put off all the dangers that have been described. When this approach is employed, Ruddar and Sundharam (2009, p. 141) note that the management would be in a position to conduct a conscious analytical interpretation which would help in the development of measures of risks resolution. Given the magnitude of China Sustainable Cities Program, there is a need to conduct both quantitative and qualitative risk analysis approaches.

Opportunity Management

According to Safizadeh, Field and Ritzman (2003, p. 557), effective risk management involves learning how best the team can recognize and subsequently capitalize on the available opportunities, besides recognizing failure points. This fact is emphasized by Shachaf (2008, p. 131), who notes that risk management should not be narrowly defined as identification of risks and how best these risks should be countered. This scholar notes that the team should not just concentrate on being on the defensive. It should also focus on being on the offensive by going for the existing opportunities and making the most out of them. The team should appreciate that the main aim should be the success of the project. As such, Tanke (2000, p. 117) advises that the team should first consider creating a path towards success and then removing all the possible barriers that may be on this path towards success.

Methodology

Introduction

This chapter focuses on various aspects of research development. It includes methods of data collection, analysis and presentation (Hoyle 2002, p. 84). Every research project applies a certain research method to achieve its objectives depending on its goals. The methods used to conduct research in this project compared closely with the methods proposed in the project proposal. In research, design deals primarily with aims, uses, purposes, intentions, and plans within the practical constraints of time, location, money, and availability of staff. The researcher decided to collect data from a sample of the population of BMC (Business Management Consultants) employees. This is a worldwide business consultancy firm with its headquarters in the United States. The decision to use BMC for our data collection process was based on the fact that its services, especially on the risks associated with project management, has been lauded as very effective. In this study, respondents were briefed in advance. The officials of BMC were given relevant notice by the researcher, as suggested by Hoffman (2001, p. 32).

The study population was also amicably informed in order to get prepared for the study. The briefing was important because it could enhance the reliability of the study. It is also ethical to inform people before researching on them. The findings were also made public to the researched as one way of ensuring morality in the study. Furthermore, the researcher observed researcher-researcher ethics by keeping away from criticism. The respondents were fairly receptive, with most of them filling the questionnaires within the stipulated time (Hinkel 2011, p. 13). Only two of the questionnaires were not returned by the respondents, and they could not be reached on the phone. The response rate was high because the researcher insisted that the study was purely academic. This encouraged many employees at MBC to fill in their questionnaires.

Research Model

This research utilized quantitative research methods in conducting the study and collecting data. Quantitative research was also used because it aims at summarizing data mathematically (Hakim 2000, p. 18). In this regard, the research took the form of a survey, whereby the researcher identified some individuals and posted questionnaires to them. The sampled population was selected randomly in order to eliminate biases. The researcher made follow-ups by contacting the respondents on the phone. Interviewing is another method of data collection that was used in this research. The researcher extracted more information from respondents by calling them (Gusti 2011, p. 34).

Questionnaire Design

There were two key methods used to gather information in this report. The first one was through a questionnaire, which was administered online to the staff at the BMC. It is attached to this document (Gupta 2002, p. 47). The questionnaire sought to capture various attitudes of staff at the BMC in regard to the way the firm manages risk and other related details. The second source of information used for the research was literature on various aspects of risks in project management. The focus of the literature review was to find information on the application of risks to the success of a project, and how the project management team can work as a unit to eliminate such risks in good time. The questionnaire had various parts.

The first part sought to capture factors that are considered to be causing project risks in China Sustainable programme. The second part dealt with the types of risks that the organizations identify in relation to the project (Goddard 2001, p. 71). This was to ascertain the prevalence of views in various categories in order to ensure that if any differences came about, then they would be captured in their demographic space. The third part dealt with the perception of risk management and its relationship with corporate culture, project maturity and organizational project sustainability. The motivation for this section came from the understanding that different sections of the population respond differently to risk factors, based on age and academic credentials and experience (Glatthorn 2005, p. 10). The fourth part delved into the specific issues relating to the responsibility of the identification of risk factors. Other parts of the questionnaire dealt with risk management procedures and techniques that an organization can use.

The questionnaire also employed a mix of open-ended and closed-ended questions to capture different aspects of issues studied. Open ended questions were used because they give respondents more time to figure out their opinions, which would make them volunteer more information related to feelings, outlooks and comprehension of the subject. This would allow a researcher to understand the position of respondents as regards to feelings. Open-ended questions minimize some errors that could have been created in the course of research. Respondents rarely forget answers if given an opportunity to respond freely. Furthermore, respondents cannot ignore some questions because they must go through all of them (Dawson 2009, p. 19). Open-ended questions generate data that can be used in data analysis by other researchers. In other words, they allow secondary data analysis. On the other hand, closed-ended questions are analyzed easily. That is why they were used in this study. Each response can be coded for statistical interpretation. Nonetheless, closed-ended questions are compatible with computer analysis package. The technique is more specific meaning that its answers are consistent in all conditions. This characteristic is impracticable with open-ended questions since every respondent is permitted to utilize his/her own words. Finally, closed-ended questions take less time to administer, unlike open-ended questions, which are detailed hence time-consuming (Kothari 2004, p. 84).

The questionnaire was sent to respondents through the internet; that is, the researcher mailed the questions to respective respondents. The researcher arrived at this decision after considering time and resources. The method is costless and less time-consuming. Furthermore, the method allows respondents to reflect on the questions and answer them accurately. Employing research assistants would be problematic because of the sensitivity of the study. Many people would be reluctant to give their views freely. The method is ineffective because answers are not independent of themselves (Nachmias & Nachmias 1996, p. 81).

The respondent might not have filled the questions themselves. Moreover, the method is affected by the respondent’s level of literacy. One big disadvantage of the technique is that there is no interaction between the researcher and the researched. This means that the respondent’s reactions are not captured. Reactions are important because they give more information regarding the feelings of respondents. Generally, the technique is more applicable where the researcher is interested in numbers, not deep feelings of the respondent. In this study, the researcher is interested in identifying various risks and risk factors that are associated with project management, and how they can be mitigated in order to avoid consequences that may come as a result of the occurrence of the risk (Anderson 2009, p. 35).

The literature collected provided information regarding various theories of project risk and risk management spread across the last four decades. This provides a historical perspective since the area of risk management in project management started receiving specific attention at that period. Secondly, the literature availed a number of theories dealing with the project risk management in the business world and how to identify the risks in time, and the possible measures that can be taken to ensure that the risks are well taken care of (Anderson 2004, p. 5). BMC fits well within this parameter. Finally, the literature provided information on the state of research on the field. Various researchers have conducted studies on various elements of project risks management and its effect on the overall success of a project (Taylor 2005, p. 6). This gave the study a sound academic backing and a strong basis for drawing comparisons and conclusions.

The use of the questionnaire made it possible to capture issues that are unique to the China Sustainable Cities Programme. This is because there was no accessible literature with the required degree of the relevance to the subject matter about the China Sustainable Cities programme, Wuhan and Hangzhou. The targeted staff responded to the questionnaire online. The availability of staff influenced the choice of this method because the BMC operates throughout and therefore it is not possible at any one time to find all of them in one place (Badenhorst 2007, p. 47). An online questionnaire reduced the costs of data collection, assured confidentiality, and was available throughout for the staff for a fixed period (Vogt 2007, p. 49). After collection, the data went through analysis, culminating the observations and conclusions discussed in chapter three and four, respectively.

Phrasing of Questions

Walizer (1978, p. 8) observes that the process of phrasing question is very important en every research. When a question is poorly phrased, the chances are high that the expected response would not be received from the respondent. This scholar further states that a good research can be completely destroyed by poorly phrased questions. As such, it is very important to take time to ensure that the questions are phrased in a manner that is clear and able to respond to the hypotheses set in the proposal. The questions should directly reflect the kind of information that the researcher hopes to get. In this study, the researcher developed questions that would give direct answers to the following hypotheses that were set in the research proposal (Baily 1996, p. 115).

H1o. Perception of risk management is not related to perceptions of project maturity, corporate culture, and project sustainability.

H1a. Perception of risk management is related to perceptions of project maturity, corporate culture and project sustainability.

H2o. Identification, quantification and mitigation are not the three main areas in the activities of China sustainable cities program, and response control is not the key accompanying tool for environmental issues.

H2a. Identification, quantification and mitigation are still the three main areas in the activities of China sustainable cities program, and response control is the key accompanying tool for environmental issues.

H3o. Risk quantification technique is not an appropriate mathematical method in dealing with international project uncertainty.

H3a. Risk quantification technique is an appropriate mathematical method in dealing with international project uncertainty.

Theoretical and Conceptual Framework

The study utilized deductive scaffold because some theories were used to give a certain picture of the study. Deductive reasoning starts by analyzing some concepts before moving to the field to confirm the claims. The researcher analyzed some theories related to the performance-related pay before moving to the field to collect data. The technique is constructive because it equips the researcher with relevant information. In other words, deductive reasoning moves from generalizations to a specific idea. Two theories were first analyzed before moving to the field (Baily 1994, p. 221).

Sampling Methods

The most applicable sampling method for this exercise was random sampling. Considering that the targeted population consisted of staff in the project risks management section, there was no much risk of having biased data (Bak 2004, p. 17). If the survey needed to cover the entire staff of the BMC, systematic sampling coupled with stratified sampling would be ideal to ensure cross-departmental representation. However, this survey targeted the project risks management staff; hence random sampling proved sufficient to collect required data (Baker 1999, p. 72).

Secondary Data Used

Secondary data for analysis in this project came from various publications. These included reports, journal articles, and research publications. Most of it related to the work that other researchers in the field of projects risks management undertook. The other areas where the literature review covered include the background of China Sustainable Cities Program and its impact on the targeted cities and the country at large. The nature of the material used varied. Journals dealing with specific aspects of project management provided specific information on specific research elements investigated by researchers. Some reports from intergovernmental organizations proved useful in providing information on the possible risks factors in the project (Bell 2005, p. 156). The information was critical since it showed the researcher how to manage policies for the betterment of the entire project. From these sources, several findings came to the fore.

Primary Data

The online questionnaire provided the means of collecting primary data for this project. The survey covered ten employees working across various shifts at the BMC in the project risks management department. This sample is representative of the entire cadre of staff targeted by the survey in the project risks management section. The choice of respondents was by random sampling based on the individual’s willingness to participate. The questionnaire had a mixture of open-ended and closed-ended questions. This design enabled the study to provide as much detail as possible while eliminating the risk of high variance in responses. The administration of the questionnaires took place online because of varying working hours. In addition, it eased access to the questionnaire. After filing in the soft copy, respondents sent it to a designated email address. This measure resulted in reduced costs of transport and accommodation (Bouma 2000, p. 142). The expenses could be occasioned by physical administration of questionnaires. Moreover, it saved research time because it was easy to transfer the information from a soft copy to the analysis software because the findings were analyzed using software referred to as SPSS (Statistical Package for Social Science). Finally, it did not generate any paper waste hence contributing to environmental conservation.

Methods of Data Analysis

The process of transforming the raw data into useful information is what is referred to as data analysis. Data analysis, discussed in details in the next chapter, is the most important stage in any research. It is at this stage that a researcher would prove that the hypotheses that were developed in the research proposal hold. It is at this stage that the researcher would bring out his own analysis and compare the result with the existing pieces of literature. Before a researcher can begin this important step, Weiss (2011, p. 91) notes that it would be important to determine a clear approach that would be taken to ensure the process is successful. The research can take either a qualitative or quantitative approach, depending on the needs of the research, and the tools available for the researcher. This research took the quantitative approach in the data analysis. Quantitative data analysis can further narrow down to a more complex statistical inferencing, or a simple descriptive form depending on the needs of the report. The analysis technique can also be univariate, bivariate or multivariate analysis (Brause 2000, p. 93). According to Wellington (2001, p. 118), it is very important that the researcher takes into consideration all the assumptions that are related to the chosen methods. This would help in the computation of the data and explaining the output in conscious and very convincing words.

Rugg (2007, p. 44) explains that in the analysis of data, it is important that the researcher chooses the tool that would be most appropriate given the nature of the subject. In most of the cases, the approach taken by a pure scientist in their approach to data analysis would be different from that of the social scientist. Given that this research would take the quantitative approach, an appropriate tool would have to be chosen that would be in a position to provide the mean, medians, frequencies, percentages, and standard deviation. The researcher would use the Statistical Package for Social Sciences. The quantitative data will be coded and entered into the SPSS to generate various outputs that would help in the determination of risk factors and how they can be mitigated to ensure that China Sustainable Cities Program is successful (Calabrese 2006, p. 195). The researcher would use tables, figures and graphs to present the data is a simple, clear way that is easy to understand by all the concerned individuals in the project. The researcher would also use a statistical significance level of 0.05 (5 per cent) to ensure that the level of accuracy is as high as would be possible.

Validity and Reliability

Validity means appropriateness, applicability and truthfulness of a study. The ability of research instruments to produce results that are in agreement with theoretical and conceptual values is referred to as validity (Cramer 2003, p. 212). In this study, internal validity was ensured by checking the representativeness of the sample. The researcher ensured that the sample used captured all important characters at the BMC (Rubin 2005, p. 4). External validity was ensured through triangulation that is, the researcher used more than one technique in collecting data. External validity was also guaranteed by asking respondents to give their views. All the respondents were picked randomly, and the researcher steered away from any form of stereotyping in order to avoid bias.

Reliability means that the study is consistent and lacks any ambiguity. It is associated with the precision of tools that is, how precise the quantifying gadget is in computing what it alleges to evaluate. In this study, it was achieved through increasing verifiability of the perspective (Creswell 2009, p. 153). The researcher adopted the principles of coherence, openness and discourse in order to guarantee reliability (Dane 1990, p. 36).

Conclusion

The research methodology is an important aspect of any research because it determines the successfulness of any study. This study employed quantitative research method because it was interested in summarizing facts mathematically. A questionnaire was utilized in collecting data because it could easily be mailed to respondents. The researcher made sure that validity and reliability are catered for in the study.

Data Analysis

Introduction

In the previous chapter, chapter three, the methodology for this dissertation was comprehensively discussed. The steps to be taken during data collection were clearly stated (Delving 2006, p. 79). From the previous chapter’s discussion, it was evident that the researcher intends to use two sources of data in coming up with a report about risk factors and mitigation measures about the China Sustainable Cities Program. The first source of information was the available literature on the China Sustainable Cities Program that has comprehensively been discussed in chapter two of this dissertation. The second source of data was gathered from the primary source through the questionnaires that the researcher sent to various respondents at BMC, a worldwide Project Management Consulting firm that also has its presence in China (Denzin & Lincoln 2011, p. 61). Although BMC is not directly involved in the China Sustainable Cities Program at the two cities, they have a comprehensive understanding of the project.

After consultations with correspondents in the United Kingdom, the researcher came to the realization that BMC has been following the activities of this massive project. The researcher has even proposed to the management board of the project to consider hiring its services in the analysis of risks and risks factors that the project may face and the mitigation measures about the same. Therefore, the firm was best suited to provide data for use in relation to risks that the project faced (Dunleavy 2003, p. 127). The researcher dispatched the questionnaires to various selected individual officers in this firm, and the filled questionnaires were received back via email. As explained in the above chapter, sending and receiving the questionnaires electronically was more appropriate for the researcher, and it was less costly. The data collected from all the questionnaires were important in drawing the conclusion (Earl 2009, p. 18). The researcher gave equal weight to all the questionnaires because they had a similar understanding of the project, as stated in the assumption below.

There were several interesting observations made in the process of data collection. The observations include those made from the literature review and those made from the analysis of data collected through the questionnaire. In this section, the two sources of data present the categories used for disseminating the findings. In the first case, the information covers the information retrieved from various academic sources such as journals, reports, and books on issues of project risk management. In the second section, data gathered from BMC staff about project management and risk factors relating to project management were factored in, as was formulated in the questionnaire. This chapter would look at the analysis of primary data that would help the researcher compare the secondary data results with primary data result of the research. As was stated in the above chapter, the research intends to use a quantitative approach of data analysis in this chapter. This would involve a systematic empirical study of a phenomenon using statistical tools.

Chapter Objectives

In this chapter, the main objective is to analyze the primary data collected from a sample of employees at BMC. This chapter seeks to ascertain the truth behind the four hypotheses that were developed in the research proposal. Upon completion of this chapter, the following hypotheses would either be confirmed or nullified through a comprehensive data analysis.

H1o. Perception of risk management is not related to perceptions of project maturity, corporate culture and project sustainability.

This is the fundamental hypothesis in this research. In this hypothesis, the researcher seeks to determine if there is a direct relationship between risk management and project maturity, corporate culture and project sustainability. This hypothesis observes that there is no relationship between the above-mentioned variables. If confirmed, this would render the entire research unnecessary.

H1a. Perception of risk management is related to perceptions of project maturity, corporate culture, and project sustainability.

This is the alternative hypothesis to the above null hypothesis. It holds that there is a relationship between the variables. From the literature review done in chapter two, this hypothesis is confirmed. The researcher wishes to confirm this hypothesis to validate this research.

H2o. Identification, quantification, and mitigation are not the three main areas in the activities of the China Sustainable Cities Program, and response control is not the key accompanying tool for environmental issues.

In this hypothesis, the researcher identified the key areas that are believed to be the main activities for the China Sustainable Cities Program in the analysis of risks and risk factors. The above null hypothesis holds that the above-stated key three areas are not the main areas of activities in this project. If this hypothesis is confirmed, it would completely push the researcher into further investigation to identify the key areas in the project.

H2a. Identification, quantification, and mitigation are still the three main areas in the activities of the China Sustainable Cities Program, and response control is the key accompanying tool for environmental issues.

This is the alternative hypothesis to the above hypothesis. In this hypothesis, the above key areas are the main areas in the activities of the China Sustainable Cities Program. The researcher hopes to confirm this hypothesis.

H3o. Risk quantification technique is not an appropriate mathematical method in dealing with international project uncertainty.

Risk quantification technique is one of the widely used techniques in dealing with international project uncertainty. The researcher hopes to confirm that this mathematical method can be used in the analysis of risks in the China Sustainable Cities Program. This null hypothesis states otherwise.

H3a. Risk quantification technique is an appropriate mathematical method in dealing with international project uncertainty.

This alternative hypothesis to the above null hypothesis holds that risk quantification technique is an appropriate mathematical technique in dealing with international project uncertainty. As such, this hypothesis confirms that this technique can be used in the analysis of uncertainties as one of the risks in China Sustainable Cities Program. The researcher hopes to confirm this hypothesis from the data analysis below.

This chapter also seeks to respond to the research question that was developed in the research proposal of this research. The question that this research seeks to answer is as follows.

What are the potential risks existing in implementing China Sustainable Cities Programme and what is the appropriate strategic risk management scheme?

This is the guiding question for this research. In other words, it refers to the question that the researcher seeks to tackle. The researcher appreciates that China Sustainable Cities Program is a very ambitious program. It also appreciates that this program stands to benefit the cities and their people for a very long period. However, as stated in the research question, the researcher is interested in identifying some of the risks that may hinder the project from being a success. The researcher seeks to identify these risks and determine some of the mitigation measures that may help put the risks into check in good time before their effect are felt in the project. The researcher formulated the above research hypotheses to help respond to this question in a clear and conscious manner.

Assumptions

There were various assumptions made on the data collection process and in the analysis stage. According to Rowntree (1991, p. 59), some constraints must be held constant by assumption in order to have a proper calculation of the data. This scholar notes that researchers may not come up with a comprehensive report without making some assumption. This argument is supported by Poole (2009, p. 34). This scholar notes that unlike pure sciences, where the scientists have control over their specimen and can adjust them as may be necessary, social sciences is very different. In social sciences, the researcher would be dealing with human beings and factors directly related to a human being. It is not possible to have full control over human and its activities. As Poole (2004, p. 5) observes, no one can control the activities of a person. As such, various assumptions have to be made in order to make the research sensible. Therefore, the researcher made a number of assumptions in this research, as stated below, to help come up with clear analytical procedures.

All the respondents that were given the questionnaires had an equally comprehensive understanding of China Sustainable Cities Program and the risks the project faced either during or after its completion.

China Sustainable Cities Program

Brief History

China, as a country, has the largest population in the world. This population is still increasing and is estimated to hit 1.5 billion people in less than ten years to come (Oppenheim 1992, p. 71)). For a long time, most of this population lived in the rural set-ups, depending on agriculture to earn their income. However, as the level of literacy increased, this trend changed. More people now considered moving to the cities where they could easily access jobs that they had to learn in colleges. Another group considered coming to the cities because they could easily get access to casual jobs more easily than in rural areas. Another group was attracted to the cities because of the social amenities in the cities. As such, a dangerous trend has been on the rise where a mass of humanity is flowing into the cities in this country. Hangzhou and Wuhan are some of the main cities that have received a large flow of humanities in the past few years. The population increase in these cities has been unpredictably high. The capacities of the cities have been overstretched. The cities are no longer sustainable. This has seen a rise in the number of slums in this region. Waste management is poor, and there is eminent danger of sporadic diseases striking the cities due to under capacity of the facilities available in the cities.

Upon this realization, the municipal governments of Hangzhou and Wuhan have decided upon the development of sustainable cities that would be able to manage the rising population in the cities. The municipal governments have decided to collaborate with a United Kingdom firm, UKTI in massive programs that would make them succeed in the development of sustainable cities. Hangzhou has eight projects that it wishes to complete in the various timeline, all of which should be completed by 2050. The projects target various key infrastructural facilities within the city that would see its expansion to accommodate the increasing population. Wuhan, on the other hand, has ten projects that are also meant to increase the infrastructure of the cities in a way that can sustain the increasing number of people.

In both cities, the projects have varying costs amounting to hundreds of billions in the US dollars. This is a serious financial undertaking. The two municipal governments (Wuhan and Hangzhou) have taken some responsibilities in the project that it seeks to perform with its workforce (the city engineers, planers, designers, architecture, surveyors, environmental officers among other officials of the municipal government). The two governments have assigned UKTI consultative duties among other activities in the program. Both the Municipal Government will be responsible for financing the entire project, including compensation of UKTI for their services in the project. Each party is expected to perform their tasks within the stipulated time, and with the budgets that have been set for them. Each of the parties also has a set of quality levels that have to be attained in order for their tasks to be considered complete.

This is a very ambitious project, and various researchers have stated the benefits that the cities stand to gain from the projects. However, no one is coming out with clear detail of the risks that this project comes with. No detailed investigative research regarding risks the project may incur in the process or after its completion exists. The threats that this project poses to either the environment or people living in these cities is unknown to many. This research is mandated to come up with the risks that this project is prone to and mitigation measures for the risks, and either some of the threats that this project may pose to the environment, in general or the residents of these cities. In this case, the researcher also hopes to come up with mitigation measures. This is what this chapter seeks to find.

The Research Question and Hypotheses Data

Analysis of research Question

Murray (2006, p. 55) notes that conducting a research is like setting out on a journey to the unknown. When a researcher sets forth to start a research, he may not have a clear sense of direction on where the research may take. However, the researcher must develop some guidelines that would help guide him or her on this path to the desired results. Hypotheses always have their basis from the research question. According to Morgan (1997, p. 98), hypotheses always attempt to respond to the research questions, but in a doubtful manner hence the need for rejection or confirmation. This scholar notes that research question forms the core of the research. The research question in this research makes the intent of the researcher very clear.

What are the potential risks existing in implementing the China Sustainable Cities Programme, and what is the appropriate strategic risk management scheme?

This research question is very critical in this research. The results from the data analysis indicate that the respondents feel that the project stands a number of risks in the implementation stage and even after completion. The data collected from the questionnaires were entered into SPSS, and below are the outputs.

Factors causing project risk

Frequency Per cent Cumulative Per cent
Volatility 22 73.3 73.3
Uncertainty 2 6.7 80.0
Complexity 3 10.0 90.0
Ambiguity 3 10.0 100.0
Total 30 100.0

The project risks that the organization identified is as stated below. The graph shows the percentages of the possibility of occurrence of these risk factors.

The percentages of the possibility of occurrence of these risk factors.

Project risks organization identified

Frequency Per cent Cumulative Per cent
Inadequate sponsorship 1 3.3 3.3
Poor/slow decision making 2 6.7 10.0
Poor/no scope definition 1 3.3 13.3
Inadequate attention to change management 9 30.0 43.3
Lack of cooperation between business areas/departments 2 6.7 50.0
Inappropriate resources 1 3.3 53.3
Unrealistic expectations 2 6.7 60.0
Inadequate knowledge transfer to your people 1 3.3 63.3
Poor project management 1 3.3 66.7
Risk of introducing new systems into projects 10 33.3 100.0
Total 30 100.0

From the literature review, it was noted that there are risks that this research faces during the implementation stage. At the implementation stage, a number of risks factors were identified to be impediments to China Sustainable Cities Program. Volatility was identified as one of the risk factors. The forces of change were identified to pose a risk both at the implementation stage and after completion. In the implementation stage, these changes have the potential of increasing the cost of the project, among other risks. After completion of the project, these forces have the potential of rendering the whole project redundant. Uncertainty was another factor. When the implementing team lacks the ability to predict various factors relating to the project, it becomes very difficult to make certain decisions, and some decisions made risk being inapplicable in the project. Complexity was another factor that the respondents identified to be a risk factor. The China Sustainable Cities Program is massive, and some respondents noted that it is very complex. However, most of the respondents ruled out ambiguity as one of the risk factors. This graph demonstrates this.

Some of the direct risks that were identified by the respondents to be having a potential of affecting the project slow decision-making process are also stated but discussed in details in chapter five. The project incorporates various stakeholders with various decision-making organs. The management of both municipal councils must sit and come up with an agreement that will be acceptable to all members. This process takes longer, and this may cost management. The respondents also singled out inadequate attention to change management. The concerned parties are obsessed with the benefits that would be generated from the project upon its completion. However, no one is giving specific attention to the possible changes that may come along the way or even after completion of the project. This is a serious risk because this lack of flexibility may render the project inapplicable upon completion. Although not identified as an impediment in this project, respondents appreciated that lack of cooperation between the concerned departments could pose a serious threat to the development and completion of this project.

Failure of all the concerned stakeholders to work as a team may have serious negative consequences on the project. People have huge expectations in this project. However, the respondents warned that having unrealistic expectations on the project may be a risk in itself. This is because when the project is completed, its capacity and the general service it would give would be unsatisfactory. Therefore, people would fail to appreciate its existence in the first case. Inadequate knowledge transfer to people was another factor. People who are concerned with the project should have a clear understanding of various elements of the project. When this fails to happen, people may fail to see the value of the project, and as a result, they may fail to protect it. Poor project management was another eminent risk. Although the municipal governments have contracted a reputable and experienced international firm (UKTI), the fact that municipal government has a strong say in the control of the project may jeopardize the success of the project. Another dangerous risk is the temptation of introducing new systems into the project. This would not only interfere with the initial structure of the project but also has the potential of inflating the total cost of the project.

Testing the Research Hypotheses

H1o. Perception of risk management is not related to perceptions of project maturity, corporate culture, and project sustainability.

This hypothesis was developed to determine the relationship perception of risk management and perception of project maturity, corporate culture, and project sustainability. The figures below are the result of the SPSS analysis.

Perception of risk management related to the organization’s project maturity, corporate culture, and project sustainability.

Frequency Per cent Cumulative Per cent
Strongly disagree 2 6.7 6.7
Disagree 2 6.7 13.3
Neither agree nor disagree 7 23.3 36.7
Agree 7 23.3 60.0
Strongly agree 12 40.0 100.0
Total 30 100.0
Perception of risk management related to the organization’s project maturity, corporate culture and project sustainability
Observed N Expected N Residual
Strongly disagree 2 6.0 -4.0
Disagree 2 6.0 -4.0
Neither agree nor disagree 7 6.0 1.0
Agree 7 6.0 1.0
Strongly agree 12 6.0 6.0
Total 30
Test Statistics
Perception of risk management related to the organization’s project maturity, corporate culture and project sustainability
Chi-Square 11.667a
df 4
Asymp. Sig. .020
a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5. The minimum expected cell frequency is 6.0.

From the above analysis, the value found in the final statistical test is less than five (which was our level of significance). As such, the null hypothesis above has been rejected. This information is presented in the graph below.

The null hypothesis above has been rejected.

H1a. Perception of risk management is related to perceptions of project maturity, corporate culture, and project sustainability.

Following the rejection of the above null hypothesis, this alternative hypothesis is automatically accepted. Therefore, it means that the perception of risk management is related to the perception of project maturity, corporate culture, and project sustainability.

H2o. Identification, quantification, and mitigation are not the three main areas in the activities of China sustainable cities program, and response control is not the key accompanying tool for environmental issues.

This hypothesis was developed in order to ascertain the three areas of activities as the main activity areas in China Sustainable Cities Program.

The responsibility for identifying project risks the organization faces.
Observed N Expected N Residual
Board/management team 5 5.0 .0
Director of finance 1 5.0 -4.0
Internal audit 3 5.0 -2.0
Risk manager 18 5.0 13.0
Line manager 1 5.0 -4.0
All staff 2 5.0 -3.0
Total 30

The graph below is a presentation of the information in the above table.

A presentation of the information in the above table.
Test Statistics
who has the responsibility for identifying project risks the organization faces.
Chi-Square 42.800a
df 5
Asymp. Sig. .000
a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5. The minimum expected cell frequency is 5.0.
The final value found in the cell is less than 5 (which was the significance level). As such, this null hypothesis is therefore rejected.

H2a. Identification, quantification, and mitigation are still the three main areas in the activities of the China Sustainable Cities Program, and response control is the key accompanying tool for environmental issues.

The rejection of the above null hypothesis means that this alternative hypothesis is accepted. This confirms that the above-identified factors are the main areas of activities in China Sustainable Cities Program.

H3o. Risk quantification technique is not an appropriate mathematical method in dealing with international project uncertainty.

The third hypothesis was developed to ascertain if risk quantification technique can be an appropriate mathematical method in dealing with international project uncertainties.

The aspects that the organization measures its project risks through
Observed N Expected N Residual
Financial impact 3 6.0 -3.0
Impact on the ability to forecast the future 5 6.0 -1.0
Achievement of objectives 5 6.0 -1.0
Likelihood of occurrence 15 6.0 9.0
Reputation impact 2 6.0 -4.0
Total 30
Test Statistics
The aspects that the organization measures its project risks through
Chi-Square 18.000a
df 4
Asymp. Sig. .001
a. 0 cells (.0%) have expected frequencies less than 5. The minimum expected cell frequency is 6.0.
From the above analysis, it is evident that the final value is less than 5, hence the null hypothesis is rejected.

H 3a. Risk quantification technique is an appropriate mathematical method in dealing with international project uncertainty.

Following the rejection of the above hypothesis, this alternative hypothesis accepted. This means that the risk quantification technique is an appropriate mathematical method in dealing with international project uncertainty.

ANOVA
Sum of Squares df Mean Square F Sig
Between People 69.811 29 2.407
Within People Between Items 741.800 8 92.725 41.442 .000
Residual 519.089 232 2.237
Total 1260.889 240 5.254
Total 1330.700 269 4.947
Grand Mean = 2.97

Sensitivity Analysis

It is always very important to ensure correctness in every research. The researcher makes this because, in most cases, actions would be taken against the decisions and recommendations. It is always trusted that upon a careful research process, chances would always be high that the result would be precise. When the deviation in a research is by a huge margin, the consequence can be very adverse, and there is a possibility that it may lead to the suffering of some individuals. As such, the researcher was keen to ensure that a lot of care was taken to ensure that the result was as reliable and valid as was possible. As was explained in the research methodology in chapter three, the researcher ensured the validity and reliability of this research were maintained. The SPSS spreadsheet provided the following reliability output.

Reliability Statistics
Cronbach’s Alpha N of Items
.071 9

The output above clearly demonstrates that the research maintained a high level of precision. Therefore, the results given in the above analysis are very valid and highly reliable. This report is a valid document that can be used in the China Sustainable Cities Program to help counter the risks that may hinder it from successful completion or proper service to the expected population.

Conclusion and Implications

Introduction

The previous chapter was a comprehensive analysis of the primary data. The chapter involved the computation of the primary data with the purpose of either rejecting the set hypothesis or accepting them. From this analysis, it is evident that although the project is ambitious and stands to be of huge benefit to various individuals and organizations within the two Municipals, there are risks that may have an adverse effect on the project. These risks must be taken care of in time and with efficiency and effectiveness if the projects are expected to bear the fruits that are highly anticipated of them. The analysis above is in line with the report gathered from the literature in chapter two. These risks have the potential of affecting the project either at the implementation stage or after completion. These risks and risk factors are discussed in details below, and the possible ways through which these risks can be mitigated has been discussed.

Risks and Risk Factors for China Sustainable Cities Programs

Risk Factors

From the analysis above, it is evident that China Sustainable Cities Program has a number of risk factors that all the involved stakeholders must take keen consideration on in order to eliminate any possible consequences that may be brought by them. As Miller (1991, p. 113) notes, some risk factors are very silent in nature. They may be under the nose of the concerned authorities, but they may not realize that it is a challenge. Therefore, the first task would be the identification of these factors. A careful diagnosis of the risk factors in a project is the first and most important stage in eliminating the risks. As stated above, a risk poses more danger if the concerned parties are not able to identify it soon enough. Leedy (2010, p. 44) says that if such is the case, then the risk factor would easily turn into a real threat and it would eat up the project like a virus. Discussed below are the risk factors that the above analysis has confirmed that the China Sustainable Cities Program may face at the implementation stage, upon completion or even at both stages.

Volatility

The China Sustainable Cities Program is a very ambitious project that stands to benefit the two cities a lot. However, the volatility in various factors that relate to the project poses a real threat to the successful completion of the project. The project heavily depends on petroleum products. The international oil prices are very volatile. When making the estimates of the cost of the project, the price of oil was fixed given the current prices, with a small margin left for upward adjustment. However, there is a potential that the cost can shoot well above the estimates. This may force the two projects to be temporarily stopped if extra funds to finance the additional costs are not available. This would result in a situation where the project takes longer than was expected. Some of the good features may be eliminated in order to finish the project with the available budget. Other factors such as those related to the cost of materials may also shoot hence resulting in a similar experience explained (Barzun, 2004, p. 27).

Uncertainty

This is a very dangerous risk factor. When all or some of the involved parties in the implementation team lack total awareness of various factors in the project, the whole program stands the risk of coming up with a project that is far from the expectation. As Kumar (2004, p. 17) states, the worst danger in any project is working with a team that a lack of the sense of awareness. Issues that are important in the project would always become a surprise, and by the time the management come to appreciate its value or danger, the damage would already be done. One such uncertainty that the implementers of this project face is a lack of ability to tell the future needs of the project. When the management of the project keeps guessing of the future capacity and needs that is expected of the project upon completion, there is the risk of underestimation, thereby coming up with a project that lacks the capacity to serve its purpose.

Complexity

China Sustainable Cities Program is one of the most complex projects that these two municipal governments have ever engaged in. The project involves various complex concurrent actions that have to be taken care of by the implementers. Another complex aspect of the project is the hidden cause-effect inter-connectivity in the project. A number of activities are intertwined in a way that failure of one would lead to failure of a number of other project aspects. These interdependencies demand that a lot of caution is taken at every stage of the project. As such, it would be forced to be on the lookout for any misstep at every stage of the project.

Risks

Other than the above risk factors, the respondents also appreciated the fact some direct risks that this ambitious project faces exist.

Slow Decision-Making Process

China Sustainable Cities Program involves a number of stakeholders. All these stakeholders must be involved in the decision-making process. This would mean that the decision-making process would take a long time, and this may affect the project, which heavily depends on time.

Inadequate Attention to Change Management

Change is the very foundation upon which this project lies. However, the respondents appreciate the fact that the management of the two municipal governments is not as efficient with change as would be expected. This may pose a serious threat to such a massively dynamic project (Kothari 2006, p. 13)

Unrealistic Expectations

This project is very ambitious and stands to benefit the two cities and by extension, the entire country. However, the implementing parties themselves have decried of the fact that the populace has unrealistic expectations from the project. They expect the projects to turn these cities into places where everything is automated. It is true that the project would bring this expectation to close home. However, it may not achieve all the expected infrastructural perfection as the public expects (Soles 2010, p. 191). Therefore, there is the danger of a lack of appreciation from the owners of the project.

Lack of Cooperation among the Implementing Partners

As things stand currently, there is a cordial relationship between the implementing partners and the cooperation among them can be categorized as fair. However, this may change, given the time span that the project would take and the changing political and economic atmosphere in the world over. An incident of lack of corporation among the implementing partners can deal a fatal blow to the successful implementation of the project.

Introduction of New Systems into the Project

This is one temptation that has previously destroyed very ambitious projects, as Kothari (2004, p. 23) states. China Sustainable Cities Program faces the potential risk of introduction of new systems into the project. For instance, the airport upgrading at Wuhan has already been planned, and all the procedures clearly spelt out. However, the temptation to add new systems into this project is rife, as noted some of the respondents. This may adversely affect the outcomes of such projects.

Recommendations on the Mitigations Measures for the Risks Factors

The purpose of this report was to help identify risk factors and risks that face China Sustainable Cities Program and come up with measures that may mitigate the risks. The mitigation of the above-stated risks and risk factors are the responsibility of all the concerned members of the organization. From the report gathered from the respondents, it clearly demonstrates that every member of the project has a role to play in the identification of risks that the project faces, though to a varying degree. The statistical output below represents this.

Responsibility for identifying project risks the organization faces.

Frequency Per cent Cumulative Per cent
Board/management team 5 16.7 16.7
Director of finance 1 3.3 20.0
Internal audit 3 10.0 30.0
Risk manager 18 60.0 90.0
Line manager 1 3.3 93.3
All staff 2 6.7 100.0
Total 30 100.0

The result shows that every member of the entire team has a role to play, and this role must be carefully undertaken for the expected benefits to be seen.

These risks must be dealt with as soon as they are identified. The above-identified risks and risk factors, and any other possible risks, must carefully be taken care of and within the right time before they can cause any damage to the firm. As such, it is important that the management come out strongly to counter these risks and risk factors as a unit. The project management team must act as a unit. As Hughes (1997, p. 63) says, all the activities in any given project must be closely coordinated, and all the concerned parties must work as one unit with a similar sense of direction for them to achieve the desired result. The figure below shows the effectiveness of various aspects of project risk management from the above analysis.

Effectiveness of various aspects of project risk management in the organization

Descriptive Statistics
N Mean Std. Deviation
Internal audit assessment and monitoring of all project risks faced by the Organization 30 3.83 .791
Executive project sponsorship and focus 30 3.80 1.095
Appropriate training on project risk management 30 3.60 .855
Clear link of risks to both project objectives and company aims 30 3.47 .681
Clearly defined and communicated policies, procedures, systems and internal controls 30 3.43 .626
Regular project risk management reports 30 3.40 .675
Risk prioritization identified 30 3.37 .669
Appropriate use of project risk recording tools 30 3.37 .765
Valid N (listwise) 30

This task should not be left to one department. It should be approached as teamwork, with every member of the organization taking the responsibility to help in various approaches of risk management. This way, the project would give out the desired result to the public.

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