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Revisiting the construction of the Empire State Building: Have we forgotten something?
Jönköping University, School of Engineering, JTH, Civil Engineeering and Lighting Science. Umeå School of Business & Economics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
Umeå School of Business and Economics, Umeå University, Umeå, Sweden.
2018 (English)In: Business Horizons, ISSN 0007-6813, E-ISSN 1873-6068, Vol. 61, no 1, 47-57 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

What's past is prologue. Or is it? The construction of the Empire State Building (ESB) was not only the fastest erection of a skyscraper ever, but the construction company that took on the job allegedly began with no equipment or supplies that would be adequate for the job. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget; instead of 1. year and 6 months as anticipated, it only took 1. year and 45 days. The costs totaled $24.7 million instead of the estimated $43 million. So, we ask, how was this possible and is there something we could learn? Based on a review of existing literature describing the history and construction of the ESB, we outline strategic, operational, and contextual explanations for what appears to be a truly successful megaproject. We illustrate how, for example, inspiration from Henry Ford's assembly line technique, the uniqueness of the logistics during the construction period, the economic decline of the Depression, and early ideas of concurrent engineering and fast-track construction enabled the success. Our conclusion is that there are lessons to be learned in going back to basics when tackling a megaproject.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2018. Vol. 61, no 1, 47-57 p.
Keyword [en]
Empire State Building, Empire State Realty Trust, Megaprojects, Project management
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-37795DOI: 10.1016/j.bushor.2017.09.004ISI: XYZScopus ID: 2-s2.0-85030849386OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-37795DiVA: diva2:1153161
Available from: 2017-10-27 Created: 2017-10-27 Last updated: 2018-01-02Bibliographically approved

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Available from 2020-10-12 00:00

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf