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The evolution of communication in project management in the nigerian tech sector during a global pandemic

  1. Introduction

Project management is a fast expanding focus field of study in several businesses, firms, operations, supply chain and logistics ventures; notwithstanding, one of the big hurdles is finding an efficient method of operations and maintenance and sustained project management (Koivula, 2009). Projects have always been the main consideration in any entity, whether publicly owned or private, one of the indicators that everybody in their field of work comes into contact with various projects, either explicitly or implicitly (Alatalo, 2021). Projects are transient organisations, and that the project team is tasked with meeting the objectives of the projects until it is expired or when the project actually ends.  Zulch (2014) presents the notion that each specific project proposes establishing an end result and that the objectives must be achieved by individuals, at various costs, within some strict deadlines, and under certain conditions. As a result, projects can be regarded as the organisation of various resources, such as human beings, to achieve a particular result with a specified start and end date; conversely, projects remain in the organisation indefinitely. According to Project Management Institute (2004), project management is defined as a venture with a particular goal and time constraints.


Communication is so critical to project management that studies have described it as the project’s cornerstone (Konstantinidou, 2020). To ensure a successful outcome, project stakeholders interact,  collaborate, connect, analyse, and consolidate knowledge and information. As a result, it is essential to recognise the communication process in project management. Communication is composed of three parts: a transmitter, an interaction medium, and a receiver (Stanton, 2004). The communicated message streams from the sender and is encoded by a conversational transmission medium/channel. The recipient processes the information using a communicative process. To guarantee the ability to communicate effectively, all elements must work together to avoid misunderstandings. The sender initiates the reflective cycle and has a reason for communicating (Cornelissen, 2011). Communication in project management could occur due to a request for clarification, the transmission of knowledge, the asking of answers, the delivery of instructions, the creation of teamwork, or individuals’ social networks. Communication effectiveness is primarily determined by the sender’s ability to communicate, begin writing, rationale, and communicate proficiently. Interventions are suggested to create information exchange when responses are nonexistent, postponed, or not imminent (Henderson, 2008). Project managers must continuously review and evaluate the progress of their information exchange tools and procedures during execution in order to form a foundation for future analyses. As a result, the information receiver should affirm that he or she understands the information because interaction cannot be potent without comprehending. This is also true for project management (Katalin et al., 2011.


Poor communication can thus lead to misunderstandings in project management. Inadequately defined responsibilities and key activities, as well as vagueness about duties, extent, or priorities of project execution, can all lead to project failure (Santos, 2015). Project management necessitates continuous exchange and modification of notions, clarifying the possibilities and strategies of the project to multiple stakeholders (the populace, managerial staff, different departments, and other participants), affecting or negotiating with suppliers and distributors, or bargaining to resolve conflicts or social conflicts among project participants or other interested parties.


While the role of communication cannot be overemphasised, the impact of environmental factors (political, economic, social, economic, cultural, technological, and natural phenomenon) has engendered a lot of discussions in the existing literature. The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every industry, sparing no one and altering society’s interactions, participating in social activities, and operating (Williams, 2020). Several entities have transitioned to teleworking or remote working, while other individuals have been laid off for extended periods. The effect of COVID-19 on operational processes has been disastrous for the management team. The dependence on working remotely has hampered the sustainability initiatives that are commonly seen in a conventional competitive atmosphere (Walker, 2020). Supply chain operations have been severely disrupted due to shutdowns and boundary shutdowns, and the vulnerability of running an enterprise and managing projects has increased dramatically. Nevertheless, project management is the key to increasing the capacity for several industries in a global economy beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. The kernel of this study is to examine the effect of communication on project management during the COVI9 pandemic period


1.2       Statement of the Problem

In today’s competitive environment, in which industries rely heavily on knowledge management and continuous operational integration, interpersonal communication processes are critical for information sharing and overcoming environmental and structural barriers (Ozguler, 2020). Human interaction can play a significant role in facilitating information and knowledge exchange across many corporate boundaries. Information exchange processes enable the delivery of both codified and tacit knowledge among team partners by offering mutual understanding, establishing standardised understanding, social interaction processes, and socialisation systems. Promoting effective communication plays a critical role in organisations operations to foster trusting relationships and information exchange. The information exchanged can be evaluated by demonstrating the firm’s efficiency, effectiveness, time, and various channels of behaviour. The presumption in this study based on Zulch (2014) opinion is that all project teams are unaware of the internal management strategic direction and do not have a pre-planned formal communication strategy. As a result, execution is, at best difficult. Project communication necessitates a significant amount of effort from all stakeholders, but particularly from the project manager. Projects necessitate information exchange, focus, and comprehensive communications in several alternative specialities. Sanders (2020) opines that in measuring communication impact on project management, key performance indicators such as setting baseline, response and feedback, track engagement, turnover, employees advocacy and communication effectiveness should be considered. Zulch (2014) asserts that these key performance indicators are critical to ensuring effective interaction and a conducive work environment.


Various studies have looked into the impact of COVID-19 on project management (Muller & Klein, 2020); how COVID-19 has changed project management activities (Sonta, 2020); The influence of the COVID-19 crisis on business projects (Project Management Institute, 2020); project management after CCOVID-19 (Ozguler, 2020); COVID-19 effect on project management space (Proggio, 2020); and the effect of COVID-19  on projects managers in the construction industry (Nyathi, Taylor & Proches, 2020). Most of the literature reviewed indicate that majority of these studies were carried out in the developed economies. To the best of the researcher’s knowledge, there is a dearth of literature on the effect of COVI9 on communication in project management in Nigeria. The choice of Nigeria is facilitated by the fact that the country has the most robust economy in Africa (Statista, 2021). Hence, this study investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on communication in project management in Nigeria.


1.3       Aim and Objectives of the Study

The aim of the study is to examine the impact of communication on project t management. The specific objectives are:

  1. To evaluate the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on employees advocacy in project management in Nigeria.
  2. To examine the interaction between the COVID-19 pandemic and track engagement in project management in Nigeria
  • To investigate the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on response and feedback in project management in Nigeria
  1. To establish the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the combined dimensions of communication in project management in Nigeria.



1.4       Research Question

In achieving the research objectives, the following research questions were raised;

  1. How does the COVID-19 pandemic influence employees advocacy in project management in Nigeria?
  2. In what way does the COVID-19 pandemic affect track engagement in project management in Nigeria?
  • What is the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic on response and feedback in project management in Nigeria?
  1. To what extent does the COVID-19 pandemic affect the combined dimensions of communication in project management in Nigeria?


1.5       Research Hypotheses

Based on the research questions, the following research hypotheses were formulated:

HA1: COVID-19 pandemic significant influences employees advocacy in project management in Nigeria.

HA2: COVID-19 pandemic significant affects track engagement in project management in Nigeria

HA3: COVID-19 pandemic significant affects response and feedback in project management in Nigeria

HA4: COVID-19 pandemic significant affects the combined dimensions of communication in project management in Nigeria


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