A model for the design of project management structures for building clients.
This research constructs and tests a model of the organisation of
building projects for maximum benefit to clients. The model is
developed from systems theory, independently of conventional
organisational assumptions. It is based upon the premise that
the process to be managed must be identified before organisational
structures can be designed and it recognises the influence of
environmental forces upon projects.
The model proposes that the process of building provision consists
of sub-systems created by decision points and identifies the interdependency
and hence the differentiation within and between the subsystems.
The major propositions of the model are that;
a) there should be a match of differentiation and
b) the operating and managing systems should be
c) the managing system itself should be undifferentiated
d) the client and process of building provision should
The model was tested against three commercial buildings for private
clients. Data is presented from interviews and other sources and is
interpreted using Linear Responsibility Analysis, which was adapted
and developed in this research. The testing method examines the overall
compatibility of the model and the test projects, and also identifies
the causes of deficiencies in the outcomes of the projects and whether they can be explained by divergence of the projects from the
The model was found to be valid for the type of project used in
the tests. It provides a theoretical framework against which the
effectiveness of organisation structures for the management of
building projects can be predicted and which can be used for the
design of such structures. It is suggested that Linear Responsibility
Analysis provides a useful tool for organisation analysis and design.
Finally, implications of the results for the organisation of building
projects in practice are discussed.