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Critical factors influencing learning from quality failures in the construction of grid infrastructure

Qing-Wen Zhang (Department of Construction Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)
Pin-Chao Liao (Department of Construction Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)
Mingxuan Liang (Department of Construction Management, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China)
Albert P.C. Chan (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 7 December 2022

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Abstract

Purpose

Quality failures in grid infrastructure construction would cause large-scale collapses in power supply and additional expenditures by reworks and repairs. Learning from quality failures (LFQF) extracts experience from previous quality events and converts them into preventive measures to reduce or eliminate future construction quality issues. This study aims to investigate the influence factors of LFQF in the construction of grid infrastructure.

Design/methodology/approach

The related factors of LFQF, including quality management (QM) practices, quality rectification, and individual learning, were identified by reviewing literature about organizational learning and extracting experience from previous failures. A questionnaire survey was distributed to the grid companies in North, Northeast, Northwest, East, Central, and Southwest China. 381 valid responses collected and analyzed using structural equation modeling (SEM) to test the influence of these factors on LFQF.

Findings

The SEM results support that QM practices positively affect individual learning and LFQF. Quality rectification indirectly impacts LFQF via individual learning, while the results did not support the direct link between quality rectification and LFQF.

Practical implications

The findings strengthen practical insights into extracting experience from poor-quality issues and continuous improvement. The contributory factors of LFQF found in this study benefit the practitioners by taking effective measures to enhance organizational learning capability and improve the long-term construction quality performance in the grid infrastructure industry.

Originality/value

Existing research about the application of LFQF still stays at the explorative and conceptual stage. This study investigates the related factors of LFQF, including QM practices, quality rectification, and individual learning, extending the model development of learning from failures (LFF) in construction QM.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors thank the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51878382) and State Grid Corporation of China (No. 20202001189) for supporting this study.

Citation

Zhang, Q.-W., Liao, P.-C., Liang, M. and Chan, A.P.C. (2022), "Critical factors influencing learning from quality failures in the construction of grid infrastructure", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-03-2022-0229

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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