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Investigating interpersonal communication during construction progress meetings: challenges and opportunities

Christopher A. Gorse (Senior Lecturer at the School of the Built Environment, Leeds Metropolitan University, Leeds, UK.)
Stephen Emmitt (Hoffman Professor of Innovation and Management in Building at the Department of Civil Engineering, Technical University of Denmark, Lyngby, Denmark.)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 1 August 2003



Progress meetings provide a central forum for requesting and exchanging the information necessary for the successful completion of construction projects. Although common to the majority of projects, little is known about the interaction between participants during these meetings. Reviews appropriateness of methodologies for the study of group interaction and discusses the problems encountered when piloting them. The review led to a focus on Bales’ interaction process analysis (IPA) as an appropriate methodology for observing, analysing and interpreting social interaction in small groups. Pilot testing and subsequent use found the method to be reliable and robust. Bales’ IPA was used to categorise and quantify communication acts of 30 site‐based progress meetings. Results indicate that the management and design team interaction is subject to interaction norms: this is predominantly task‐based, but subject to outbursts of emotional interaction, which was found to be very influential on the groups’ behaviour.



Gorse, C.A. and Emmitt, S. (2003), "Investigating interpersonal communication during construction progress meetings: challenges and opportunities", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 10 No. 4, pp. 234-244.




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