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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Volume 6, Issue 3
Articles in this issue cover critical success factors in collaborative multi-disciplinary design projects, construction waste, corporate social responsibility relative to housing the poor, vocational training, and the contribution of knowledge management (KM) activities to organizational business performance.
Koutsikouri explores critical success factors in interdisciplinary building design projects. Management factors, design team factors, competencies and resource factors, and project enablers were identified as the interdependent group factors. Arguably, there is merit for construction managers to recognize the interdependencies that exist between the project context, processes and the experience of project members and their affinity to the project and the project team. The key findings suggest that team members need to work together in a supportive context to achieve successful project outcomes. The study concludes that mangers have the power to influence, motivate and enhance positive feelings and creative performance of projects.
Wang, Kang and Tam empirically investigate construction waste in Shenzhen in China. They argue that waste management has become a pressing matter in recent years. By analyzing on-site production and sources of construction waste, they found that concrete, cement, bricks, timber, tiles, steel and aluminum were the most prevalent waste sources. They concluded that lack of management skills, environmental awareness, training, legislative enforcement and supervision were the primary reasons for waste generation. The study recommends the enforcement of legislation, training and education, involving environmental consideration in design and tendering reports, on-site management systems and improvement in communication.
In their paper, Othman and Mia consider the integration of corporate social responsibility as an approach to address the housing problems of the poor. They found that quantity surveyors needed to support government initiatives through utilizing their practical knowledge and expertise in a social context. They argue that activating the social role of quantity surveying firms in supporting government initiatives is a practical solution to the housing challenges facing the South African government.
Abdul-Aziz, Jaafar and Mohamed-Salleh question whether vocational training meets the needs of the Malaysian construction industry. In their study they conclude that prospects of career advancement and interest were the primary drivers for ex-trainees of the National Youth Skills Institutes applying their acquired skills.
In the final paper, Chen and Mohamed discuss the contribution of KM to organizational business performance. They argue that there is a growing awareness to link KM to business strategy, organizational objectives, and existing performance measures. They found that knowledge utilization was the strongest contributor to business performance. They stress the need for KM strategies to be explicitly formulated and measured according to organizational business objectives.
Special thanks to each of the contributing authors and reviewers for their contributions to the papers in this particular issue.
Theo C. Haupt