Exploring construction client values and qualities: Are these two distinct concepts in construction studies?

Sadegh Aliakbarlou (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Suzanne Wilkinson (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)
Seosamh Benedict Costello (Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Publication date: 13 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on exploring the construction client values and qualities reported by scholars over the last 20 years, along with clarifying commonalities and differences between “value” and “quality” in terms of definitions and their constituent attributes in the context of construction.

Design/methodology/approach

An in-depth, systematic literature review was used to develop a basis for identifying client values and qualities. During the research process, citation analysis has been applied to understand these attributes in the literature.

Findings

While the findings may appear to align with the value theory concept of a strong interrelationship between quality and value, the authors argue that there is an intermingling of various subjective and objective preferences within construction scholarship, rather than a broad-brush adherence to the value theory and other related theories.

Research limitations/implications

A qualitative research approach of inductive analysis was conducted using the semantics of terms and codes. Although reliability checks have been conducted, the generalisability of the study findings is subject to natural methodological limitations.

Practical implications

This study provides initial guidance on what contractors need to consider while providing services, and leads contractors to give their clients the best possible experience during a relationship. It proposes a shift in the way construction clients assess their contractors, to improve how services are delivered.

Originality/value

Enhancing client value is not straightforward, hence strong emphasis has been placed on understanding client values in this study, which contributes to the construction literature by facilitating further research leading to stronger construct definitions and theory-building efforts.

Keywords

Citation

Aliakbarlou, S., Wilkinson, S. and Costello, S.B. (2017), "Exploring construction client values and qualities: Are these two distinct concepts in construction studies?", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 7 No. 3, pp. 234-252. https://doi.org/10.1108/BEPAM-06-2016-0023

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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