The applicability of i2i as a supply chain management tool in facilities management
This thesis investigated Supply Chain Management (SCM), a relatively new area of study in Facilities Management (FM) in the UK, where a research gap was identified by the researcher. This study explored SCM in other industries, relating the benefits derived to FM. It identified that SCM is fundamental to FM, as business performance (which FM supports) is influenced by supply chain performance, creating a link between FM supply chain performance and business performance. Furthermore, competitive advantage and cost savings amongst others were found to be driving forces for SCM in FM, from client and supplier perspectives. This thesis focused on the application of models in SCM in FM. Although a comprehensive examination of available supply chain models was not undertaken, an evaluation of three identified the Integrate to Innovate (i2i) m odel relevant f or application in FM. The action research approach adopted by this thesis enabled the researcher gain a deeper understanding of the applicability of the model, and build on knowledge acquired throughout the period of study. To support this methodology, a philosophical stance between positivism and phenomenology, viewing 'reality as a contextual field of information', was adopted. An explanatory case study approach was employed to undertake a contextual analysis of Gestalten, and understand the real world dynamics of SCM in FM. i2i is a five-level model and three-part framework that evaluates supply chain relationships. Three case studies were undertaken in this thesis, which applied and evaluated the model and framework using a variety of research tools. Each was a learning process for the researcher, adding to the overall outcomes of the research. The thesis identified that the i2i model represented a framework for 'good practice' in SCM in FM. Further development is however required to make it a robust tool, and deliver consistency in its application.