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Article
Publication date: 16 December 2020

Gao Shang, Low Sui Pheng and Ong Le Tian Gina

Construction productivity issues have constantly surfaced in Singapore's construction industry. To push for productivity, the Government has implemented various…

Abstract

Purpose

Construction productivity issues have constantly surfaced in Singapore's construction industry. To push for productivity, the Government has implemented various initiatives to encourage industry players, particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs), and to adopt more productive construction technologies. One of these technologies is prefabrication prefinished volumetric construction (PPVC), a concept of the design for manufacturing and assembly (DfMA) approach. This exploratory study sheds lights on PPVC adoption and its issues in Singapore in the context of the launch of the Construction Industry Transformation Map (ITM).

Design/methodology/approach

The methodology used here is mainly a quantitative approach in the form of a survey. A questionnaire was developed and distributed to a pool of about 100 contractors, randomly chosen as part of a stratified sample. The questionnaire survey helps gain further insights into the industry's perceptions of PPVC and its adoption.

Findings

The study succeeded in identifying and analysing a list of drivers of and barriers to the adoption of PPVC. The top three most important potential drivers were “increase efficiency,” “technological change” and “changing nature of composition of workforce”. The three most important barriers were “ineffective on-site storage,” “high up-front payment” and “transportation issues”.

Originality/value

This study also looked into the organizational change management theory. Various theories were considered to help understand and implement change. It is understood that it is not only important for an organization to focus on the steps of these frameworks and models when the change is initiated but also for the organization to acknowledge and be mindful of the emotions of employees and take measures to overcome their emotions as part of organizational change management.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

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Article
Publication date: 26 February 2021

Jessica Smith, David John Edwards, Igor Martek, Nicholas Chileshe, Susan Hayhow and Chris J. Roberts

This study aims to excoriate, define and delineate the main drivers of “change” in commercial construction projects and generate guidelines on how to minimise exposure to…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to excoriate, define and delineate the main drivers of “change” in commercial construction projects and generate guidelines on how to minimise exposure to the associated adverse effects upon project stakeholders.

Design/methodology/approach

The research adopts mixed doctrines through a combination of epistemological lenses, embracing two primary philosophical stances: interpretivism, to identify the primary drivers of change based on a systematic literature review and a post-positivist, inductive approach to analyse the results of change within a Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) Design and Build (D&B) construction project case study.

Findings

The causal nexus of change during the construction phase is assessed and delineated; the key affecting factors are thematically grouped under headings: extent and severity; time in relation to implementing; instigating party; individual(s) responsible for managing the change; reason for the change; available resource; recoverable or non-recoverable; contract/project type; and type of client. Following this, the effects of change on key elements of the project are encapsulated and recommendations for adaptations which may provide improved experiences are offered.

Originality/value

The study tackles the common issue of managing the deleterious effects of change on commercial construction projects, defining management techniques to minimise stakeholder tribulation.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 27 May 2020

Lina Ghazi Gharaibeh, Sandra T. Matarneh, Mazen Arafeh and Ghaleb Sweis

The problem of design changes in the construction industry is common worldwide, and the Jordanian market is no exception. The purpose of this paper is to identify the…

Abstract

Purpose

The problem of design changes in the construction industry is common worldwide, and the Jordanian market is no exception. The purpose of this paper is to identify the factors causing design changes in construction projects in Jordan in both the public and private sectors. Furthermore, this research will examine the effect of these factors on project's performance during the construction phase.

Design/methodology/approach

This research commences by identifying the factors causing design changes in construction projects worldwide through an intensive literature review. The identified factors were then filtered to those applicable to the Jordanian construction market based on the results obtained from a questionnaire survey and real case construction projects. In total, 252 professionals from the Jordanian construction industry and 10 completed and/or ongoing construction projects in different parts of Jordan were compared.

Findings

The results find that the top major factors affecting design changes are owner's requirements; design errors and omissions and value engineering. The research also studies and documents the impacts of design changes on project cost, schedule and quality.

Originality/value

The results obtained from this research will assist the construction professionals representing owners, consultants and contractors in applying control measures to minimize the occurrence of the identified factors causing design changes and to mitigate their sever impacts on projects in terms of cost, schedule and quality.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 70 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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Article
Publication date: 10 May 2019

Rita Henriikka Lavikka, Riikka Kyrö, Antti Peltokorpi and Anna Särkilahti

Hospital construction projects often suffer from relatively late changes in the project lifecycle, which disrupt the project execution and impact project productivity. The…

Abstract

Purpose

Hospital construction projects often suffer from relatively late changes in the project lifecycle, which disrupt the project execution and impact project productivity. The purpose of this paper is to explore the root causes of changes in hospital construction projects. The paper aims to propose ways to prepare for the changes.

Design/methodology/approach

The study focuses on changes during the construction of new hospital facilities. An explorative, case study research design is utilised. Five case projects from Finland, Sweden and the USA were selected for in-depth analysis. The primary data comprise semi-structured interviews, supported by secondary evidence such as change order documents.

Findings

The findings reveal eight categories for change sources: contracts, and equipment and systems are reflective of the fast-paced healthcare technology and changing user requirements, while external environment comprises changes caused by both regulatory and physical environment. Changes in operations are reflected in the continuous development of treatment methods and processes. The user, owner, designer and contractor initiated changes represent the stakeholder influence. The paper makes a connection between these change sources and project complexity dimension. A framework for change dynamics is introduced, and product and process flexibility is suggested as a suitable method to prepare for and manage changes.

Originality/value

The paper is the first to link construction changes to project complexity factors. The paper argues that changes, when managed appropriately, are not only necessary but also beneficial to large construction projects in a quickly changing environment. The findings guide project stakeholders in implementing project flexibility, in the product and process dimensions, which is a balancing force to project complexity.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 20 April 2010

Anders Vennström and Per Erik Eriksson

The purpose of this paper is to identify client‐perceived barriers to a change towards increased client influence on the end result of the construction process…

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2499

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify client‐perceived barriers to a change towards increased client influence on the end result of the construction process. Additionally, the variables of size of clients' markets and the extent of external project management are investigated in order to see how they influence the perceptions concerning important barriers to change.

Design/methodology/approach

Empirical data were collected through a survey responded to by 87 Swedish construction clients.

Findings

Identified barriers are divided into three types: attitudinal, industrial and institutional. Attitudinal barriers (adversarial attitudes, lack of ethics and morality, focus on projects instead of processes and a short‐term focus) and industrial barriers (traditional organization of the construction process, conservative industry culture, industry structure and traditional production processes) are perceived to be important, whereas institutional barriers (standard contracts, laws and traditional procurement procedures) are not perceived to be critical. Each different type of barrier is tested against the use of internal or external project management and the sphere of activity of the client. Attitudinal barriers are perceived as being more critical by clients using external project management. “Nearness” in terms of the sphere of activity (e.g. how large is the client's market?) also has an effect on how clients perceive the barriers. Locally, active clients do not consider attitudinal barriers to be as influential on the end result of the construction process as nationally active clients.

Research limitations/implications

Since the empirical results are based on data collected only from Swedish clients, international generalizations should be made with caution.

Practical implications

Clients wishing to act as change agents need to be aware that their use of internal versus external project management affects their chances to influence the other construction actors and implement change and innovation. Large national and international client organizations, which due to their size have significant opportunities to influence the industry, rely heavily on external project management, which may hamper their change agent role. Hence, such clients should make careful and purposeful selections of project management companies. Another more influential alternative is to strengthen their organisation and rely less on external project management.

Originality/value

This paper presents a unique investigation of the connections between the use of internal/external project management and perceived barriers to change.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 10 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 3 April 2017

Ibrahim Mahamid

This study aims at identifying the main causes of change orders in highway construction projects, determining the factors that affect rework in highway construction

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims at identifying the main causes of change orders in highway construction projects, determining the factors that affect rework in highway construction projects, examining the relationship between change orders and rework and at developing a predictive model that will determine the impact of change orders on rework in highway construction projects in Palestine.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was used to identify the main change order causes and rework causes from the perspectives of contractors and consultants. The questionnaire contained 16 causes of change orders and 19 causes of rework which had been identified from the literature reviewed. The study also identifies the impact of change orders on rework based on data comprising 22 highway construction projects implemented in Palestine. Both descriptive and inferential statistics were used in analyzing the data.

Findings

The study concluded that the five most common causes of change orders can be identified as: change of project scope by owner (additional – enhancement), lack of coordination between construction parties; owner’s financial difficulties, change in materials, and errors and omissions in design. The study has also established that among the various factors that causes rework, non-conformance with specification requirements, scope changes, late design changes, lack of labor experience, lack of labor skills and improper subcontractor selection top the list. Using regression analysis, the results reveal a significant relationship between change orders and rework cost in highway construction projects in Palestine.

Practical implications

By ranking the various change orders causes and rework causes from the perspectives of consultants and contractors, the study provides a fresh perspective on an old chronic problem in the construction sector. This study has provided evidence on the most significant change orders causes and rework causes in the Palestinian highway construction, as well as the impact of change orders or rework on constructions sites. Finally, although this study is specific to the country of Palestine, its results can be applicable to other developing countries facing similar problems in their public construction sectors.

Originality/value

The results address the common causes of change orders and reworks in highway construction projects in Palestine. The results also address the relation between change orders and rework cost based on data collected from highway construction projects implemented in the West Bank in Palestine. This study is the first study conducted in the West Bank in Palestine to identify the change orders and reworks causes in highway construction projects.

Details

Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-4387

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Article
Publication date: 16 April 2018

Rita Peihua Zhang, Payam Pirzadeh, Helen Lingard and Steve Nevin

The purpose of this paper is to use a longitudinal approach to measure safety climate at construction projects, and explore the relationship between safety climate and the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use a longitudinal approach to measure safety climate at construction projects, and explore the relationship between safety climate and the level of project completion in the dynamic construction project environments.

Design/methodology/approach

Multi-wave safety climate surveys were conducted at four processing plant construction projects in New Zealand. Safety climate was measured with a multi-level measurement instrument, which measured construction workers’ perceptions of client’s organisational safety response (COSR), principal contractor’s organisational safety response (PCOSR), supervisors’ safety response (SSR) and co-workers’ safety response (CWSR).

Findings

At the organisational level, the research identifies a general downward change trend in workers’ perceptions of COSR and PCOSR. At the group level, no clear or consistent change trend is identified between the level of project completion and workers’ perceptions of SSR and CWSR.

Research limitations/implications

The research suggests that the construction project management should consistently emphasise the importance of safety, even when they are facing production pressure. The research highlights the opportunity to examine the role of supervisors’ leadership as an antecedent to the group-level safety climate and the development of workers’ safety concerns for their co-workers over time.

Originality/value

This research provides the starting point for understanding safety climate in the dynamic and constantly changing construction project environments, in which the relative priorities change, adverse events arise and production pressures fluctuate over time.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 29 May 2019

Kim Haugbølle, Jacob Norvig Larsen and Jørgen Nielsen

Construction is repeatedly criticised for its low productivity based on statistical data that do not represent the output of construction adequately. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

Construction is repeatedly criticised for its low productivity based on statistical data that do not represent the output of construction adequately. The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of construction output – being the numerator in construction productivity calculations – by focussing on changes in quantity of the products, product characteristics and composition of the aggregate rather than as changes in price.

Design/methodology/approach

The research design of this study applies statistical data from the national accounts along with data from four paradigmatic case studies of social housing projects covering a period of 50 years.

Findings

The results indicate that while construction output prices have increased threefold over the past 50 years, improvements in performance can only explain approximately 20 per cent.

Research limitations/implications

The developed four-step method has demonstrated its value as a means to measure changes in the characteristics of the product, but more studies on the actual figures and results over time and regions are required before solid conclusions can be drawn.

Social implications

This study has added new knowledge of construction output that supports the development of a more accurate construction statistics, which in turn can assist the design of more effective and evidence-based policies for improving construction productivity.

Originality/value

This paper describes and demonstrates a novel performance-based methodology for addressing changes in the characteristics of the products in a longitudinally perspective, which can potentially provide a better understanding of changes in productivity.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 14 August 2021

Kwadwo Oti-Sarpong, Erika Anneli Pärn, Gemma Burgess and Mohamed Zaki

Government initiatives to improve construction have increasingly become more focused on introducing a repertoire of technologies to transform the sector. In the literature…

Abstract

Purpose

Government initiatives to improve construction have increasingly become more focused on introducing a repertoire of technologies to transform the sector. In the literature on construction industry transformation through policy-backed initiatives, how firms will respond to the demands to adopt and use innovative technologies and approaches is taken for granted, and there is scarcely any attention given to the institutional implications of transformation agenda. The purpose of this paper is to discuss these gaps and offer directions for future research.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a synthesis of literature on the UK’s industry transformation agenda, the authors use the concepts of institutional logics, arrangements, complexity and strategic responses to suggest seven research questions that are at the nexus of policy-backed transformation and institutional theory.

Findings

In this paper, the authors argue that increasing demands for the adoption and use of digital technologies, platforms, manufacturing approaches and other “industry-4.0”-related technologies will reconfigure existing logics and arrangements in the construction industry, creating a problem of institutional complexity for general contracting firms in particular.

Originality/value

The questions are relevant for our understanding of the nature of institutional complexities, change, strategic firm responses, field-level dynamics and implications for the construction industry in relation to the transformation agenda. This paper is positioned to spur future research towards exploring the consequences of industry transformation through the lens of institutional theory.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 27 February 2009

S. Senaratne and M.G. Sexton

Unplanned changes in construction projects are common and lead to disruptive effects such as project delays, cost overruns and quality deviations. Rework due to unplanned…

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4441

Abstract

Purpose

Unplanned changes in construction projects are common and lead to disruptive effects such as project delays, cost overruns and quality deviations. Rework due to unplanned changes can cost 10‐15 per cent of contract value. By managing these changes more effectively, these disruptive effects can be minimised. Previous research has approached this problem from an information‐processing view. In this knowledge age, the purpose of this paper is to argue that effective change management can be brought about by better understanding the significant role of knowledge during change situations.

Design/methodology/approach

Within this knowledge‐based context, the question of how construction project teams manage knowledge during unplanned change in the construction phase within collaborative team settings is investigated through a selected case study sample within the UK construction industry.

Findings

Case study findings conclude that different forms of knowledge are created and shared between project team members during change events which is very much socially constructed and centred on tacit knowledge and experience of project personnel.

Originality/value

Building on the case study findings the paper finally offers a model that represents the role of knowledge during managing project change.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 16 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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