Boosting project outcomes through goal alignment: a case study of Vietnam

Florence Yean Yng Ling
Mai Bich Tram Hien


Goal alignment among members of a project team is important so that individual team members can work towards common project outcomes.  This study aims to identify effective goal alignment practices to improve construction project outcomes in Vietnam. With the aid of a survey questionnaire, data were collected from practitioners in Vietnam’s construction industry. The overall results show that although there is significant schedule overrun, projects in Vietnam are generally completed within budget.  These projects also have significantly good quality and client satisfaction.  The results show that goal alignment practices relating to having shared objectives, effective communication, flexibility, and fairness are significantly correlated with schedule performance, quality, and client satisfaction.  It is recommended that project team members share, align and adjust their goals and objectives in order to achieve a better schedule outcome.  Effective communication of problems pertaining to delivery and quality may lead to better client satisfaction.  It is also recommended that consultants and contractors make adjustments and customize their products to derive higher quality and client satisfaction.  Clients should also be fair in sharing project benefits and valuing variations.  


Vietnam; goal alignment; project performance outcomes

Full Text:



Aibinu, A.A., Ling, Y.Y. and Ofori, G. (2011) 'Structural equation modelling of organizational justice and cooperative behaviour in the construction project claims process: contractors' perspectives', Construction Management and Economics, 29 (5), 463-481.

Aibinu, A.A., Ofori, G. and Ling, Y.Y. (2008) 'Explaining cooperative behavior in building and civil engineering projects' claims process', Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 134 (9), 681-691.

Ali, A., Don, Z., Alias, A., Kamaruzzaman, S. and Pitt, M. (2010) 'The performance of construction partnering projects in Malaysia', International Journal of Physical Sciences, 5 (4), 327-333.

Black, C., Akintoye, A. and Fitzgerald, E. (2000) 'An analysis of success factors and benefits of partnering in construction', International Journal of Project Management, 18 (6), 423-434.

Bubshait, A. and Almohawis, S. (1994) 'Evaluating the general conditions of a construction contract', International Journal of Project Management, 12 (3), 133-136.

Buckley, P.J. and Casson, M. (1998) 'A theory of cooperation in international business', in Beamish, P.W. (ed.) Strategic Alliances, pp. 91-110, Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, Glos and Northampton, Mass.

Business Monitor International (2012) Vietnam Infrastructure Report Q1 2013. Retrieved January 2013 from

Chan, E.H.W. and Chan, A.T.S. (2000) 'Imposing the ISO 9000 quality assurance system on statutory agents in Hong Kong', Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 125 (4), 285-91.

Chan, A., Chan, D., Chiang, Y., Tang, B., E.H.W. and Ho, K. (2004) 'Exploring critical success factors for partnering in construction projects', Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 130 (2), 188-198.

Chan, D., Chan, A., Lam, P. and Wong, J. (2011) 'An empirical survey of the motives and benefits of adopting guaranteed maximum price and target cost contracts in construction', International Journal of Project Management, 29 (5), 577-590.

Chartered Institute of Building (2010) Code of Practice for Project Management for Construction and Development, 4th ed., Blackwell, Oxford.

Cheng, E., Li, H. and Love, P. (2000) 'Establishment of critical success factors for construction partnering', Journal of Management in Engineering, 16 (2), 84-92.

Child, J. (1984) Organizations, Harper & Row, London.

Dainty, A., Moore, D. and Murray, M. (2006) Communication in Construction: Theory and Practice, 1st ed., Taylor & Francis, New York.

Dapice, D.O. (2003) Vietnam's Economy: Success Story or Weird Dualism? A SWOT Analysis, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA.

Dunston, P. and Reed, A. (2000) 'Benefits of small projects team initiative', Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 126 (1), 22-28.

Eisenhardt, K.M. (1989) 'Agency theory: an assessment and review', Academy of Management Review, 14 (1), 57-74.

Global Finance (2012) Vietnam Country Report. Retrieved January 2013 from - axzz2HCh6qsT

Gray, C. and Suchocki, M. V. (1996) 'Rapid team integration to overcome the construction industry's fragmentation', Proceedings CIB W65 International Symposium for the Organisation and Management of Construction â Shaping Theory and Practice (ed. D. A. Langford and A. Retik), vol. 2, pp. 627-639, E & FN Spon, London.

Hellard, R. (1996) 'The partnering philosophy â a procurement strategy for satisfaction through a team work solution to project quality', Journal of Construction Procurement, 2 (1), 41-55.

Hermalin, B.E. (2001) 'Economics and corporate culture', in S. Cartwright, C. L. Cooper, and P. C. Earley (Eds.), Handbook of Organizational Culture and Climate, pp.217-261, Wiley, New York.

Hoai, L., Lee, D. and Lee, Y. (2008) 'Delay and cost overruns in Vietnam large construction projects: a comparison with other selected countries', KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering, 12 (6), 367-377.

Jap, S.D. (1999) 'Pie-expansion efforts: collaboration processes in buyer-supplier relationships', Journal of Marketing Research, 36 (4), 461-475.

Kaliba, C., Muya, M. and Mumba, K. (2009) 'Cost escalation and schedule delays in road construction projects in Zambia', International Journal of Project Management, 27 (5), 522-531.

Kawneer (2001) Partnering. Kawneer Limited, Cheshire. Retrieved January 2013 from

Kim, J.Y., Kang, C.W. and Hwang, I.K. (2012) 'A practical approach to project scheduling: considering the potential quality loss cost in the time-cost tradeoff problem', International Journal of Project Management, 30 (2), 264-272.

Konchar, M and Sanvido, V. (1998) 'Comparison of US project delivery systems', Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 124 (6), 435-444.

Lansley, P. R., Sadler, P., Webb, T. (1974) 'Organizational structure, management style and company performance', OMEGA, The International Journal of Management Science, 2 (4), 467-485.

Larson, E. (1995) 'Project partnering: results of study of 280 construction projects', Journal of Management in Engineering, 11 (2), 30-35.

Lim, T.H.B., Ling, Y.Y., Ibbs, C.W., Raphael, B. and Ofori, G. (2011) 'Empirical analysis of the determinants of organizational flexibility in construction business', Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 137 (3), 225-237.

Ling, Y.Y., Chan, S.L., Chong, E. and Ee, L.P. (2004) 'Predicting performance of DB and DBB projects', Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 130 (1), 75-83.

Ling, F.Y.Y. and Bui, T. (2010) 'Factors affecting construction project outcomes: case study of VietGra', Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education and Practice, 136 (3), 148-155.

Ling, F.Y.Y. and Tan, P.C. (2014) 'Case study of implementation of relational norms in the construction of a public hospital', Proceedings 18th PAQS Congress (ed. P. Ho), pp. 199-205, PAQS & HKIS, Hong Kong.

Ling, F.Y.Y. and Tran, H.N. (2012a) 'Undesirable project management practices adopted to achieve project outcomes: a case study of Vietnam', International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 4 (2), 153-170.

Ling, F.Y.Y. and Tran, T. (2012b) 'Ingredients to engender trust in construction project teams in Vietnam', Construction Innovation, 12 (1), 43-61.

Ling, F.Y.Y. and Tran, Q. (2012c) 'Effects of interpersonal relations on public sector construction contracts in Vietnam', Construction Management and Economics, 30 (12), 1087-1101.

Ling, F.Y.Y. and Tan, P.C. (2014) 'Case study of implementation of relational norms in the construction of a public hospital', Proceeding of the 18th PAQS Congress 2014, ed. P. Ho, 199-205, PAQS & HKIS, Hong Kong SAR.

Luu, T.V., Kim, S.Y., Cao, H.L. and Park, Y.M. (2008), 'Performance measurement of construction firms in developing countries', Construction Management and Economics, 26, 373-86.

Mejabi, O.O. and Singh, N. (1997) 'A framework for enterprise-wide integration', International Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing, 10 (1-4), 212-220.

Meng, X. (2012) 'The effect of relationship management on project performance in construction', International Journal of Project Management, 30 (2), 188-198.

Munns, A. (1995) 'Potential influence of trust on the successful completion of a project'. International Journal of Project Management, 13 (1), 19-24.

Nation Encyclopedia (2012) Vietnam. Retrieved January 2012 from

Nguyen, L., Ogunlana, S., Truong, Q. and Lam, C. (2004) 'Large construction projects in developing countries: a case study from Vietnam', International Journal of Project Management, 22 (7), 553-561.

Nolo (2013) The Benefits of a Written Agreement, Nolo, Berkeley. Retrieved January 2013 from

Ott, R. and Longnecker, M. (2001) An Introduction to Statistical Methods and Data Analysis, Duxbury, Pacific Grove, CA.

Pinto, J., Slevin, D. and English, B. (2009) 'Trust in projects: an empirical assessment of owner/contractor relationships', International Journal of Project Management, 27 (6), 638-648.

Project Management Institute (PMI, 2004). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK guide), 3rd ed., Project Management Institute, Newtown Square, PA.

Sorensen, J.B. (2002) 'The strength of corporate culture and the reliability of firm performance', Administrative Science Quarterly, 47, 70-91.

Stephen, A.T. and Coote, L.V. (2007) 'Interfirm behavior and goal alignment in relational exchanges', Journal of Business Research, 60 (4), 285-295.

Swan, W. and Khalfan, M. (2007) 'Mutual objective setting for partnering projects in the public sector', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 14 (2), 119-130.

Thomas, G. and Thomas, M. (2005) Construction Partnering and Integrated Teamworking, Blackwell, Oxford.

Thompson, P. and Sanders, S. (1998) 'Partnering continuum', Journal of Management in Engineering, 14 (5), 73-78.

Vaaland, T. (2004) 'Improving project collaboration: start with the conflicts', International Journal of Project Management, 22 (6), 447-454.

Van de Ven, A., Polley, D. E., Garud, R. and Venkataraman, S. (1999) Innovation Journey, Oxford University Press, New York.

Verma, V.K. (1998) 'Conflict management', in J. Pinto (Ed.), The Project Management Institute: Project Management Handbook, pp.353-364, Jossey-Bass, San Francisco.

Walker, D., Hampson, K. and Peters, R. (2002) 'Project alliancing vs project partnering: a case study of the Australian National Museum Project', Supply Chain Management, 7 (2), 83-91.

World Bank (2009) Rethinking Forest Partnerships and Benefit Sharing, The World Bank, Washington DC. Retrieved January 2012 from

World Bank (2012) Vietnam Development Report. Paper presented at the meeting of Vietnam Consultative Group in Hanoi, Vietnam, on 6 December 2011.

Wright, P.M., Dunford, B.B. and Snell, S.A. (2001) 'Human resources and the resource based view of the firm, ' Journal of Management, 27 (6), 701-721.

Zaghloul, R. and Hartman, F. (2003) 'Construction contracts: the cost of mistrust', International Journal of Project Management, 21 (6), 419-424.