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Title: Successful organisational and human practices in the UK construction industry : proposing the CONSTRUCT framework of good practice
Author: Bastien, Athina Nicolaides.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3450 5101
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2002
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Previous research recognised a lack of team culture and collaboration in construction projects and failure of the fragmented UK construction industry to recognise people as an asset, generate profits or deliver high customer service. The Construction Task Force commissioned by the Government in 1998 confirmed these findings and suggested that industry and clients collaborate to reverse them by applying best practice. The Task Force identified key drivers for change and specified improvement areas. However, lessons from construction and other projects were not widely or adequately disseminated amongst construction professionals and the emerging information on good practice was not fully utilised. This research set out to identify and share with practitioners, human and organisational factors and good practices that would help to improve UK construction. Qualitative methodologies of case study and evaluation were employed within a phenomenological research framework. An in-depth investigation of the Heathrow Express (HEX) railway construction project revealed human and organisational factors that led to success. Literature suggests that appreciation of complex situations and informed decision-making rarely occur through application of prescriptive or best practice models. Rather, organisations develop by applying practices contingent to their particular situation. Using the HEX findings and further study of the literature, a descriptive framework of good practice, entitled CONSTRUCT©, was created, focusing on four domains of knowledge: building a single team, establishing trust, managing procurement and contractual relations, and involving the supply chain. An innovative approach, using the mindmapping technique, led away from a prescriptive model towards an interactive, CD-ROM based framework that enables practitioners to delve into knowledge on good practice as implemented by industrialists and advocated by academics. Therefore, CONSTRUCT© is proposed as a contribution to the sought improvement of UK construction industry through the application of good practice. It will help develop construction professionals' awareness of proven interventions thereby informing their project decisions. The content and context of CONSTRUCT© were evaluated by 20 construction and other sector practitioners selected for their expert opinion. Most of these experts found CONSTRUCT© to be useful, interesting and well-structured and all of them agreed on its applicability to project organisations. Recommendations for future work comprise the updating of good practices presented by the framework and its further dissemination to the construction industry.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: best practice ; collaboration ; construction project ; contractual relations ; improvement ; organisational factors ; project organisation ; trust ; case study