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Article
Publication date: 30 June 2020

Wolfgang Grenzfurtner and Manfred Gronalt

A deeper understanding of what needs to be considered to improve the targeted incorporation of employees’ knowledge into continuous improvement (CI) programmes in…

Abstract

Purpose

A deeper understanding of what needs to be considered to improve the targeted incorporation of employees’ knowledge into continuous improvement (CI) programmes in industrialised housebuilding (IHB) is required. This paper aims to address the current lack of involvement and connect it to structural and corporate culture factors. To avoid misjudgements in improvement activities as well as to use the full potential of performance improvement ideas, CI tools and measures need to be adapted to facilitate this integration. Relevant factors are analysed and their influences on CI measures are assessed.

Design/methodology/approach

The research approach is built upon an explorative case study supported by a comprehensive literature review. Empirical data were collected through participant observation, guided interviews and company documents.

Findings

The influences on employee involvement within CI programmes and the corresponding suitability of important CI measures were evaluated on a set of relevant factors. These factors include unique building projects, project-based focus on order fulfilment, fragmented order fulfilment process, separation of order fulfilment activities in terms of space and time, procedural rules for dealing with on-site failures, short-term contracts with subcontractors and the practice of evaluating and monitoring performance on site.

Research limitations/implications

The research paves the way for the development of suitable tools, measures and methods to effectively involve employees from all profession within a CI programme in IHB. The empirical part of this research is based on a single case study.

Originality/value

This work extends the body of knowledge of CI application in the construction industry with an analysis of factors influencing its implementation and management.

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Article
Publication date: 10 November 2020

Wolfgang Grenzfurtner and Manfred Gronalt

This paper aims to identify those factors, which will improve the collaboration between industrialised housebuilding (IHB) companies and their subcontractors within…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to identify those factors, which will improve the collaboration between industrialised housebuilding (IHB) companies and their subcontractors within continuous improvement (CI) programmes. These factors will enhance the supply chain (SC) efficiency and productivity, eliminating obstacles when designing, implementing and managing CI programmes within IHB SC.

Design/methodology/approach

An explorative case study with a mixed-method approach was conducted within an IHB SC. To collect data, participant observation and guided interviews were applied. A stakeholder analysis was conducted to structure their guiding principles. A causal loop diagram (CLD) analysis was used to model the effects on and relationships within a SC and their impact on the involvement of subcontractors.

Findings

The influences on the stakeholders and the guidelines under which they work are defined. Potential conflicts of interest between stakeholders are identified. A CLD is used to model a better understanding of system behaviour impacting on the relationships within the SC and on subcontractor involvement. The results provide a number of factors that need to be considered when designing, implementing and managing a CI programme.

Research limitations/implications

The research suggests better ways to use subcontractors’ specific knowledge of on-site processes such that productivity and efficiency are enhanced. Improvements within the construction supply chain (CSC) will, in the future, not be limited to small improvement gains at company level.

Originality/value

This paper extends the body of knowledge in CSC management by revealing factors important for designing, implementing and managing CI programmes, which enables the successful involvement of subcontractors in CI on SC level.

Details

Supply Chain Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1359-8546

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Romana Berariu, Christian Fikar, Manfred Gronalt and Patrick Hirsch

The purpose of this paper is to present a system dynamics (SD) model that allows one to simulate resource deployment to fulfill increasing needs for commodities such as…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a system dynamics (SD) model that allows one to simulate resource deployment to fulfill increasing needs for commodities such as food and other consumables during disaster situations. The focus is on managing a suddenly increased demand (hoarding behavior) of an affected population under restricted transport conditions. The model aims to support decision makers by fostering comprehension of the systemic behavior and interdependencies of those complex settings.

Design/methodology/approach

Through literature review and case study analyses the SD model was established and implemented with STELLA 10.1.1.

Findings

The needs of relief units for response operations and supply of evacuees in the affected region result in conflicting needs under limited transport conditions during disaster situations. Therefore, uncertainties and dynamic parameters as, e.g., occurring delays, limited information, or delivery constraints and their influence on resource deployment under a sudden demand, have been identified and incorporated in this work. The authors found that an oscillating behavior within the system is possible to occur and is more intensified in case of regarding the additional needs of evacuees and relief units.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the high level of abstraction, it is not possible to incorporate all influencing variables in the SD model. Therefore, the authors focused on the most important ones with regard to the model objective.

Practical implications

To focus on awareness raising is of importance for decision makers in the context of disaster management. Furthermore, the authors found that the oscillating behavior is more irregular in case of assuming a higher increase rate of the water gauge than if a low increase rate is assumed.

Originality/value

To the best of the authors’ knowledge, none of the work already done refers to providing a flood-prone area with commodities under consideration of a sudden demand, by applying the SD approach. The presented model contributes on the generation of systemic insights of resource deployment under consideration of conflicting needs in times of a river flood to support decision makers in those situations.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Gerald Aschauer, Manfred Gronalt and Christoph Mandl

This paper aims to present a system dynamics model for the interdependencies between logistics strategies and freight transport. As efficient freight transport operations…

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2785

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a system dynamics model for the interdependencies between logistics strategies and freight transport. As efficient freight transport operations are a crucial part within securing the competitiveness of a company, the “right” logistics strategy plays a key role within realization of efficient transportation movements lowering environmental impacts.

Design/methodology/approach

Freight transport is affected by different parameters determined within a logistics strategy. This research approach models interdependencies between logistics strategies and transportation movements through a systemic point of view.

Findings

The paper starts with an overview of challenges in freight transport and highlights the parameters of a logistics strategy. Afterwards, the qualitative and quantitative model is presented. Numerical experimentation further illustrates the applicability while providing additional intuitively insights.

Originality/value

The authors present a system dynamics model for the interdependencies between logistics strategies and freight transport. The developed model allows the comprehensive description and analysis of the system operations (parameters of logistics strategy) and taking also transport relevant factors (toll, CO2 internalization, infrastructure capacity) into account. The model should serve as a basis for the realization of sustainable transport operations. Thus, it may prove as useful to loaders/industry, logistics service providers as well as policy stakeholders regarding the realization of efficient, sustainable transport movements in future.

Details

Management Research Review, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-8269

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2016

Romana Berariu, Christian Fikar, Manfred Gronalt and Patrick Hirsch

– The purpose of this paper is to present a training model for decision makers that covers the complexity which is inherent in decision-making processes in times of floods.

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1144

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a training model for decision makers that covers the complexity which is inherent in decision-making processes in times of floods.

Design/methodology/approach

Through literature review, case study analysis and iterative interviews with decision-makers, the model was established. It enables one to simulate different scenarios depending on selected influencing factors and was implemented with Stella 9.1.

Findings

Flood events are highly complex and their development process is significantly influenced by various conditions. The findings show that the most important factor is the water level which determines the time available to respond. The presented System Dynamics (SD) model has the capability to capture such complex settings. Through what-if analysis and the comparison of different scenarios, learning effects are achieved by using the model.

Research limitations/implications

The level of abstraction is high. Not all influencing variables can be incorporated due to the variety of flood events. Based on experts’ recommendations, the most relevant factors were included as areas of focus in the model.

Practical implications

The generated model is presented to facilitate holistic comprehension of the modelling process. It offers the possibility to start learning processes through scenario analyses in order to strengthen decision-makers’ understanding of complexity.

Originality/value

To the best of our knowledge, there are no comparable studies that focus on the generation process of building an SD-model for educational purposes in flood response.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

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