What impacts the performance of large-scale government projects?

Peerasit Patanakul, Young Hoon Kwak, Ofer Zwikael, Min Liu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

84 Scopus citations


Government projects and programs contribute to national growth at a great magnitude. However, records show that they are not well managed, even when project teams follow established project management principles. As a result, this study aimed at identifying key characteristics of government projects and programs, and recommending how they can be used to improve performance. This paper analyzed 39 public projects undertaken in the U.S., UK, and Australia and reviewed officially by the national audit offices and government agencies, including the Los Angeles Metro, London Heathrow's Terminal 5, and the fatal Australia's Homeowner Insulation Program. Based on this analysis the paper suggests six key characteristics, 17 practical recommendations, and six research propositions. These findings can support government project managers to utilize project management approaches according to project characteristics. This paper can support policy makers and government officials in improving the approaches for the management of government projects and programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)452-466
Number of pages15
JournalInternational Journal of Project Management
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Characteristics
  • Government projects
  • Performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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