Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Achieving design quality in building projects : an evolving understanding of critical success factors and stakeholder attributes
Author: Mahdad, Sadeghi
ISNI:       0000 0004 5992 6406
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2015
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
Good building design can provide a myriad of benefits. There is ample evidence suggesting an association between design attributes and various outcomes for users and other stakeholders of built environments. Despite is importance, design quality is found to be overlooked in building projects in favour of other objectives such as time and cost. Recent initiatives have attempted to highlight the value of design quality, however, their focus have been mainly on post project completion and building evaluation. ‘How’ design quality - with its complex nature –is achieved during the projects has seen little empirical attempt. The research in this thesis, therefore, aimed to improve the understanding of design quality achievement in building projects by exploring the critical success factors (CSFs) and stakeholder attributes. A multi-phase, mixed methods approach was developed to fulfil this aim. In the first phase, the theory and methods offered in ‘project success’ and ‘stakeholder management’ assisted in devising a developmental process to a) identify, validate and evaluate the CSFs, and to b) explore stakeholder attributes using three major analysis models. A preliminary interview study, then, explored the viewpoints of 11 architects on the topic and verified the research aim and directions. A matrix-based model was also used to map the bi-directionality between design quality and its stakeholders. The second phase, consisting of a qualitative study followed by a quantitative one, first identified 36 potential CSFs from the perspective of 10 experts and then validated 28 of them through a questionnaire survey of 129 individuals with architecture and client backgrounds. ‘Brief’, ‘communications’ and ‘leadership’ were revealed as the most important CSFs. Using principal Component Analysis to assess the interrelationships between the CSFs in 126 building projects extracted 7 components that could meaningfully represent the CSFs. Moreover, Regression Analysis was employed to establish the causal relationship between these components and the design quality success criteria of functionality, build quality and impact. It was found that the components collectively contribute to the achievement of design quality in real projects but differently to each of its success criteria. Also, by applying the second stakeholder model, it was found that clients and architects had the highest level of power, proximity and urgency with regard to design quality decisions while users and facility managers were low in these attributes. In phase 3, Social Network Analysis was used to model and visualise the stakeholder relationships with regard to design quality in a case project (third stakeholder model). 21 members of the stakeholder groups were approached and their involvement, influence and communication effectiveness were assessed. Apart from the evolving understanding obtained through the above process, the research contributed by developing conceptual frameworks for a) design quality CSFs, b) design quality related stakeholder relationships, and c) success criteria of building projects. Moreover, for the first time, the dynamism of stakeholder communications in a construction project was visualised for different stages. Based on the knowledge emerged, the research also proposed a holistic evaluation of design quality achievement to enhance the current DQI tool.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: TH Building construction