A Master of Science thesis in Civil Engineering by Alaa' Abu-Salah entitled, "Towards a Critical Construction Management Research Agenda in the MENA Region," submitted in March 2014. Thesis advisor is Dr. Sameh M. El-Sayegh. Available are both soft and hard copies of the thesis.
Research in construction management has seen a lot of growth in recent years. The contribution of the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is still relatively low. There is a need to identify the causes of the low contribution along with identifying the gaps and future directions. The aim of this thesis is to analyze the construction management research for the period 1997-2011 and to develop a research agenda for the next ten years in the MENA region. To fulfill the first objective, data was collected from the top two journals in construction management: the Construction Management and Economics (CME) journal & the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management (JCEM) over the 1997-2011 period. The collected data was analyzed and summarized. MENA authors published 174 papers out of 2,643 papers published in the two journals. It was found that the concentrated research topics were "project Management", "Project Delivery Systems and Contracts", "Time/Cost Planning and Control", and "Human Factors, Management of Safety and Labor Relationships" while the less interest research topics were "Construction Planning and Control", "Construction Operations and Methods", "Construction Industry Structure and Environment", and "Technology Development Issues". Furthermore, in order to fulfill the second objective, a survey was conducted. The survey was sent to 250 researchers. The number of returned responses is 49. The top construction management research topics for the future are "Time/Cost Planning and Control", "Project Delivery Systems and Contracts", and "Project Management" while the expected top construction management research sub-topics are "Sustainability", "Project delivery systems with public and/or private financing", and "Risk analysis and management". Additionally, it was found that the Critical Path Method (CPM) and Line of Balance (LOB) are expected to be the most applied methods in scheduling while Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Information Technology (IT) are expected to be commonly used among other technology subtopics for the future. Furthermore, the best action that can be taken in advancing the construction management research in the MENA is to increase the research collaboration between the three sectors (academia, industry and government). Finally, research agenda is proposed and future topics and recommendations are provided.