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Title: A study of selected building projects in the context of theories of organization
Author: Morris, P. W. G.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3424 1388
Awarding Body: University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 1972
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This study examines the pattern of coordination and control at the Design-Construction interface on building projects under different conditions of project uncertainty and complexity. It does this in two stages: in a General Interface Analysis and in Comparative Project Analyses. Six projects having varying contractual conditions and with progressively early stages of contractor entrance are compared using concepts of organization theory, particularly that of the effect of differentiation upon the pattern of integration. Specific relationships between the factors of differentiation and the pattern of integration are tested at defined interfaces in the projects. This is the General Interface Analysis. It is shown that the type of coordinative mechanism is a function of the type of subsystem interdependence; that the make-up of the coordinating bodies is a function of the pattern of organizational and technological differentiation; and that the frequency of coordination is a function of the rate-of-change and degree-of-uncertainty of the project and its environment. The Project Analyses show how the basic s'tructure of the project c:onstrains its organizational flexibility. It is shown that coordination and control at the Design-Cons;truction interface are difficult not so much when its differentiation is large as when it is complex. For this reason, no overall effect of the individual dimensions of differentiation on the pattern of integration is observed. The conditions under which liaison bodies are used as integrating mechanisms between Design and Construction are discussed. Further, it is seen that, when programming expertise lies with the contractor, the early entrance of the contractor onto the project is vital in order to ensure an adequate appraisal of the implications of the design to the project programme. Finally, it is shown how problems of coordination and control hecome more severe as projects increase in size, speed or complexity. Ways of dealing with such situations are described.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis - Umist. Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: complexity ; coordination ; uncertainty