Navigating sustainable project management in construction: Exploring the differential impact of coercive pressures and ethical responsibility using importance-performance matrix analysis (IPMA)

Mehfooz Ullah, Muhammad Waris Ali Khan, Faisal Rana, Ifzal Ahmad, Asadullah Khan

Article ID: 3109
Vol 8, Issue 4, 2024

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 This study explores the primary drivers influencing sustainable project management (SPM) practices in the construction industry. This research study seeks to determine whether firms are primarily motivated by external pressures or internal values when embracing SPM practices. In doing so, this study contributes to the ongoing discourse on SPM drivers by considering coercive pressures (CP), ethical responsibility (ER), and green transformational leadership (GTL) as critical enablers facilitating a firm’s adoption of SPM practices. Based on data from 196 project management practitioners in Pakistan, structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was employed to test the hypothesized relationships. Results highlight that CP influences the management of sustainability practices in construction projects, signifying firms’ concern for securing legitimacy from various institutional actors. As an ‘intrinsic value’, ER emerges as a significant motivator for ecological stewardship, driven by a genuine commitment to promoting sustainable development. This study also unveils the significant moderating effect of GTL on the association among CP, ER, and SPM. Lastly, the results of IMPA reveal that ER slightly performs better than CP as it helps firms internalize the essence of sustainability. This research study expands our understanding of SPM drivers in construction projects by exploring the differential impact of external pressures and the firm’s intrinsic values. These findings provide valuable insights for policymakers and practitioners, aiding them in promoting SPM to attain sustainable development goals.


sustainable project management; coercive pressures; ethical responsibility; green transformational leadership

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