The purpose of this paper is to assess the level of collaborative working among project partners in South African construction. The construction industry is made up of a plethora of entities trading as consultants, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and manufacturers. The effort and contributions of these entities with the input of clients result in completed projects. However, the performance of the industry has continued to generate more negative, rather than positive, headlines. Typical headlines include defects, rework, delays, injuries and accidents, all of which are mostly blamed on the endemic fragmented nature of the industry.
The assessment was undertaken through a quantitative survey conducted among general contractor (GC) members of the Master Builders South Africa.
Selected findings relative to the research include short-term objectives and price-oriented approach are prevalent in the industry; poor problem-solving mechanisms exist between project partners; poor use of modularisation; significant numbers of irregular clients and rigid adherence to contents of contract data.
The research findings provide an insight rather than definitive information due to the limited response rate of the survey.
The paper concludes that contractors should embrace collaborative procurement methods to improve performance and promote innovation in the industry.Recommendations include the availability of a consistent work load for the supply chain members as well as the improvement of the relationship between project partners, especially between contractors and their subcontractors/suppliers.
Emuze, F. and Julian Smallwood, J. (2014), "Collaborative working in South African construction: contractors’ perspectives", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 12 No. 3, pp. 294-306. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-08-2010-0057Download as .RIS
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