Dynamics of mega infrastructure decision-making in Saudi Arabia
Alsedairy, Faisal Salman
This research aims at understanding the dynamics of the macro institutional set up of decision-‐making regarding Mega infrastructure projects (MIP) in the Saudi context. It was noted in the literature review that, in the domain of project management, there are gaps of knowledge about decision-‐making in MIPs, that can be filled by studying the institutional culture of decision making in specific contexts. Because of the uniqueness of the context and the scarcity of studies on this aspect of the MIPs within Saudi Arabia, any meaningful inquiry must involve direct engagement with the key decision makers. Therefore, this research conducted interviews with key decision makers and high government officials regarding their process for decision-‐making for major projects. The researcher looked into the relation of the Five-‐Year plan (FYP) to MIP in planning and development. The main findings from this research suggest that there are minor impacts of the FYP on the decision-‐making process in MIPs, and that there are conflicts between several key institutions on the vision and implementation of the FYP. The research concluded that MIPs are developed outside the hierarchy of national plans and that the development of MIPs play into power geometers by their political champions. This raises the long-‐term strategizing risk for the MIPs. The research also presents what can be deduced from the fifteen interviews as internal and external issues that can affect the MIPs decision making and development. The study concludes with recommendations for the overall institutional setup of decision-‐making in Saudi Arabia and recommendations for the FYP formation stages.