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Title: Total quality environmental management (TQEM) framework towards sustainability (UK Novated D&B principal contractors)
Author: Khadour, Lina
Awarding Body: Nottingham Trent University
Current Institution: Nottingham Trent University
Date of Award: 2010
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To reduce the substantial environmental damage of the built environment, contractors have to comply with an increasing number of environmental building regulations. Apart from the purely practical implications of compliance, there is a perception of a gap emerging from not joining up the construction cycle with management-based solutions for performance development, especially in newer areas of interest such as the environment and sustainability. Research has shown that out of the variety of the procurement routes the UK construction industry offers, there has been a continuous increase in the use of novated Design-and-Build (D&B) over the last 15 years. Many clients regard it as providing value for money and the contractors see it as an opportunity to apply their key strengths in management and coordination of design and construction works. The situation of high adoption of D&B, despite its poor quality and environmental performance, motivated this research to develop a management-based solution for performance improvement from the novated D&B principal contractors’ perspective. To date, the bulk of empirical research on environmental management issues has been directed toward quality, strategy, supply chain, and process management. The development of Total Quality Environmental Management (TQEM) may improve environment, quality, sustainability, client’s value for money, and at the same time reduce contractors’ risks. TQEM has emerged, in the manufacturing sector, from integrating strategic Environmental Management (EM) into the holistic approach of Total Quality Management (TQM). TQEM embodies four key principles: customer identification, continuous improvement, doing the job right the first time and a system approach. The impact of TQEM on construction management, design, performance, and procurement are not always as visible to the end-users as they are to the contractor. To be able to define these elements in a construction project, contractors’ perspectives need to be studied with regard to the corporate-level TQEM (cultural and business aspects) and project-level TQEM (construction performance and procurement arrangements). The aim of this research therefore is to establish the suitability of TQEM for D&B main contractors across the major classification of project types. The triangulation approach in the study combines two levels for investigation; a survey and case studies. There are two main reasons for selecting this approach: 1) the two different methods are used for different purposes as the survey focuses on corporate-level TQEM while the case studies are concerned with the project-level TQEM; and 2). This use of multi-methods enables triangulation to take place in order to ensure that the data is reliable. For the survey, a primary group of top D&B contractors who are likely to be most affected by the new environmental regulations are included in the sample frame. For the case studies, within the three selected reputable D&B main contractors, secondary groups of top, middle and project level managers’ opinions, are investigated. The findings illustrate the demand for TQEM and suggest extending TQEM processes over the project development stages. The survey results are analyzed to refine a primary TQEM framework which would hopefully be sufficiently general for implementation purposes. Understanding the case studies’ informants’ professional standing and the significance of their comments is enhanced for ensuring the primary TQEM framework external validity. The framework is developed further through the provision of rich, thick detailed description out of the case studies which allow any other D&B contractor interested in transferability to have a solid framework for comparison. Hence, this research provides the basis for further studies into how TQEM can be enhanced in a way that will provide contractors with sustainable competitive advantages. The research contribution to knowledge is born from reasoned reflections and principled convictions. A new concept of Const.TQEM and a new framework for performance improvement towards sustainability for novated D&B main contracts are developed by this research. The Const.TQEM framework has a potentially massive impact on the timing and nature of the design, of contractor intervention, recognition, and of the contractual and working relationships of the parties involved in a project. By picturing the interaction between the whole parties involved in a novated D&B project, this new framework overcomes many of the shortcomings of the conventional D&B method of construction procurement, enables greater concurrency in design development and project planning, balances priorities, and generates realistic plans. A combination of originality & credibility increased resonance and usefulness and subsequently value of contribution. This research develops a solution for the gap found in the literature by refining and extending current practices of compliance with the new environmental regulations from the design phase, to the managerial and procurement arrangements picturing the interaction among all the parties involved in a project realisation.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available