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Challenges of implementing lean construction in the construction industry in Bangladesh

Shakil Ahmed (Department of Building Engineering and Construction Management, Khulna University of Engineering & Technology, Khulna, Bangladesh)
Md Habibur Rahman Sobuz (Department of Building Engineering and Construction Management, Khulna University of Engineering & Technology, Khulna, Bangladesh)

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment

ISSN: 2046-6099

Article publication date: 13 September 2019

Issue publication date: 21 May 2020

Abstract

Purpose

Construction management is ameliorated by the lean construction concept in many direct and indirect ways to reduce waste of construction process and improve the value. The purpose of this paper is to identify the challenges of the implementation of lean construction in the Bangladeshi construction industry and to prioritize these factors that constitute these challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

A comprehensive literature review was used for shorting the global challenges of implementing lean construction. Subsequently, these challenges were incorporated into a structured questionnaire for survey. A total of 164 valid responses were collected from Bangladeshi construction practitioners involved in different types of construction organizations. The results were analyzed using the Relative Important Index (RII) and Mann–Whitney U test.

Findings

The findings revealed 41 challenges of lean construction implementation in the Bangladeshi construction industry. The highest ranking challenges are the lack of awareness about lean construction, lack of skills, training and lean techniques, unwillingness to change the existing culture, lack of management commitment, fragmented and cyclic nature of the construction project and unavailing communication between all project participants. The study also discusses some universally applicable solutions to overcome these challenges.

Originality/value

By the findings of this study, the Bangladeshi construction industry could get a new insight into the challenges of implementing lean construction. It could play a very important part in the body of knowledge, as it reveals the challenges of implementing lean construction for the first time with the socio-economic context of Bangladesh. Exploring the findings, the study could help the stakeholders, companies, academician, researchers and government to focus their effort and resources on the significantly appropriate issues. Furthermore, this study may beneficial to those developing countries especially in South Asia, who have shared the same socio-economic status with Bangladesh.

Keywords

Citation

Ahmed, S. and Sobuz, M.H.R. (2020), "Challenges of implementing lean construction in the construction industry in Bangladesh", Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, Vol. 9 No. 2, pp. 174-207. https://doi.org/10.1108/SASBE-02-2019-0018

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited