Conformity Assessment as a Tool for Organizational Learning in Large Engineering and Construction Projects

Luciano Assalim, Maria Fatima Ludovico Almeida


For the successful realization of large engineering and construction projects (LECPs), a systemic organizational learning framework for institutional cooperation is critical. Due to the long project life-cycle of LECPs, this is particularly important for this kind of project. The objective of this paper is to analyze to what extent the conformity assessment of LECPs, carried out under Engineering, Procurement and Construction management (EPCm) services, can be used as a tool for organizational learning and cooperation between typical stakeholders (project owners, engineering contractors, EPC contractors; subcontractors and certification bodies). The research, from which this paper emanates, was based on a case study concerning LECPs in an oil and gas company in Brazil. Based on its results, we suggest that the proposed organizational learning framework, supported by the conformity assessment rationale, constitutes an important management tool that can be disseminated in other organizational contexts where conformity assessments of LECPs take place.


conformity assessment; project management; organizational learning; engineering projects; EPC contracts

Full Text:

PDF [en]


ARGYRIS, C., Schön, D. A. (1996). Organizational learning II: theory, method and practice. Reading. Mass: Aisson Wesley, 305 p.

BERENDS, K. (2007). Engineering and construction projects for oil and gas processing facilities: contracting, uncertainty and the economics of information. Energy Policy, v.35, p. 4260–4270.

BERENDS, T. C. (2009). Contracting economics of large engineering and construction projects. Thesis (PhD). University of Delft. Netherlands.

BRITISH PETROLEUM (2012). Energy Outlook 2030. Statistical Review 2012. London: British Petroleum.

FIOL, C. M.; Lyles, M.A. (1985). Organizational learning. Academy of Management Review, v. 10, p. 803-813.

FORSS, K., Cracknell, B., Samset, K. (1994). Can evaluation help an organization to learn? Evaluation Review, v. 18, n. 5, p. 574-591.

ISO. IEC (2005). ISO/IEC 17000:2005 - Conformity assessment - Vocabulary and general principles. ISO/IEC.

KERKHOF, M.; Wieczoreck, A. (2005). Learning and Stakeholder Participation in Transition Processes Towards Sustainability: Methodological Considerations. Technological Forecasting & Social Change, v.72, p.733-747.

LOWES, N., Van Driel, J. P. (2004). Too much of a good thing? Petroleum Review, Energy Institute, London.

MERROW, E. W. (2011). Industrial megaprojects: concepts, strategies, and practices for success. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

ROOIJ VAN, A., Homburg, E. (2002). Building the plant: a history of engineering contracting in the Netherlands. Walburg Pers, Zutphen, The Netherlands.

RUFINO, S. (2011). Importância do projeto no empreendimento. [Accessed in April 2013].

RUSS-EFT, D., Preskill, H. (2001). Evaluation in organizations: a systematic approach to enhancing learning, performance, and change. Boston, MA: Perseus Books.

SENGER, E.C. (2012). Petroleum projects: towards a relationship of level of definition and contracting strategies. Australia, 2012. 126 p. (MSc. in Energy and Resources) – UCL School of Energy and Resources. Australia.

TORRES, R.T., Preskill, H. (2001). Evaluation and organizational learning: past, present, and future. American Journal of Evaluation, v.22, n.3, p. 387–395.

YIN, R.K. (2005). Case study research: design and methods. 3rd. ed. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.


Copyright (c) 2013 Journal of Technology Management & Innovation

2019 © Universidad Alberto Hurtado - Facultad de Economía y Negocios. 
Erasmo Escala 1835 - Santiago, Chile.
Economic Analysis Review | Observatorio Económico | Gestión y Tendencias 

Journal Supported by