The design and implementation of product development process models in construction companies
The need for improving the product development process within the construction industry is widely acknowledged. In response to this challenge, different process models have been developed by academia and industry to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of the design and construction activity. However, the effective and widespread adoption and use of product development process models in practice has been limited, and the benefits resulting from these endeavours have been ambiguous at best and non-existent at worst. This led to the research need for better understanding of the dynamics of implementing product development process models in construction firms. Such understanding includes identifying strategies to allow the process model adaptation and adoption into specific project environments, as well as examining factors that affect implementation. To develop such understanding the process management, organisational change and technology transfer literature have been revised and synthesised. The research methodology employed a case study approach to test research hypotheses and, in doing so, create new theoretical insights. Different research techniques were applied, including literature review and synthesis, interviews, observation, content analysis and cognitive mapping. As a result, a better understanding of implementation in real life settings was achieved through a detailed discussion of implementation cases. This research has produced a theoretical framework to evaluate the content of product development process models with a view to its implementation and a typology for factors affecting implementation. The key research findings are: the need to consider the design and implementation of process models in an integrated fashion within the organisational context in which it takes place; and, a shift in the role of product development process models within firms from a rational 'planning and control perspective' to a softer 'learning' approach.