Management education and training for refurbishment work within the construction industry
The study is concerned with the management of refurbishment work within the UK construction industry, from a contractors' perspective. It investigates the main difficulties and problems which managers face in refurbishment work, together with the management skills and knowledge which they need and bring to their work. Management education and training needs of the organisation is also considered. The methodology is a combination of both semi-structured interviews and a postal questionnaire. A total of 142 completed questionnaires from senior, middle and junior managers of 32 large refurbishment (general and specialist) organisations, formed the data base for the quantitative analysis. The quantitative data was augmented by qualitative information derived from semi-structured interviews with 32 training officers and 22 refurbishment managers. Analysis of both quantitative and qualitative data determined the relative degree of difficulty associated with managing refurbishment tasks, and the qualities and attributes associated with successful management of refurbishment projects. It also allowed for the evaluation of management education and training provisions within refurbishment, together with education and training backgrounds of managers. Course duration, location and factors affecting their selection and attendance also received consideration. The major characteristics and difficulties associated with managing refurbishment works have been established. Results of the study show that refurbishment work is complex, highly specialised and contains elements of work which are unique to the refurbishment sector. The educational background of refurbishment managers indicates that majority of refurbishment managers have a trades background, coming through the ranks mainly as joiners and bricklayers. A skills and knowledge inventory for refurbishment management has also been devised. The study also demonstrates that there is little, if any, management courses, inhouse or external, directly geared towards refurbishment. The study recommends that guidelines advocating "how best" to overcome refurbishment problems and difficulties" for different types of refurbishment projects, and refurbishment works across industrial sectors, i.e. defence, hotel and health service sectors, be produced. Similarly, research to establish the core management skills/knowledge associated with successful accomplishment of the various types of refurbishment projects, and refurbishment works across industrial sectors is needed. Further research needs to be conducted on personal qualities and attributes of refurbishment managers who are associated with successful accomplishment of various types of refurbishment projects. Research to establish the extent and degree of involvement of the client, contractor and the rest of the design team, especially refurbishment managers, in carrying out refurbishment work is recommended. Further research to establish management education and training needs of medium and small size refurbishment organisations is suggested. Following the development of a model for postgraduate and continuing professional development (CPD) management education and training programmes, research into "how best" refurbishment management education can be successfully and widely introduced into undergraduate curricular is needed.