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Article
Publication date: 28 June 2018

Sadegh Aliakbarlou, Suzanne Wilkinson and Seosamh B. Costello

The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of what clients value from contractors’ services. Understanding client values and the way by which clients…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of what clients value from contractors’ services. Understanding client values and the way by which clients perceive value will contribute to client-perceived value within contracting services.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted to understand how clients perceive value in the construction industry. In addition, conducting expert interviews and document analysis helped in achieving the research purpose.

Findings

The findings show that values associated with time, cost and quality can be considered as important client values, while they are not exclusive values for assessing contractor service anymore. Construction clients are concerned about health and safety, low rate of environmental impact, guarantees, creativity, technology transfer, value for money, reliability and tangibles of their contractors’ services. In addition, they value their contractors’ behaviour, attitude and professionalism.

Research limitations/implications

The study has disseminated different client values, through classified outcomes, to make the knowledge area more available to construction service providers. This study’s findings helped in understanding client values and how clients perceive value from contractors’ services. With this information, contractors are able to provide better services to clients. Satisfactory delivery of the values identified in this study is believed to have the greatest impact on client-perceived value within contracting services. Developing a management strategy that recognises, prioritises and satisfactorily delivers these values is essential to ensure that highest level of client-perceived value is achieved.

Originality/value

The construction literature is focussed on traditional values related to time, cost and quality, while this study highlighted the role of values such as trust, commitment, communication and other non-result-ordinated values essential for achieving client satisfaction. This study’s findings proposed a new practical assessment concept to value construction contractor services.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 September 2017

Che Khairil Izam Che Ibrahim, Seosamh B. Costello, Suzanne Wilkinson and Derek Walker

The purpose of this paper is to explore innovation in alliance contracting in the New Zealand construction industry in terms of features (i.e. development process…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore innovation in alliance contracting in the New Zealand construction industry in terms of features (i.e. development process, risk/reward framework and leadership structure) that could influence successful project outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed a qualitative research methodology. Three alliancing projects have been identified as the cases. By using interviews with the project’s owner and non-owner participants and related project documentation, the relevant features in the three examined cases were identified and compared.

Findings

The findings revealed differences in the reasoning why a particular alliance approach was implemented, how the alliance selection process was conducted and what kind of leadership structure was adopted. Interestingly, a number of unique and innovative practices to alliancing were also highlighted, notably the innovative agreements, innovative governance structure and innovative functional teams that influence the synergistically creative solutions to suit the clients’ needs.

Practical implications

The innovative practices identified in this study have brought the alliancing concept to a new level of practice in the industry. The findings provide a basis and a platform for discussion, both nationally and internationally, to gain greater understanding in managing different alliance contracting towards breakthrough outcomes.

Originality/value

This study extends the alliancing procurement literature, in particular, but also provides significant insights into innovative advancements to the collaborative procurement approaches.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 17 July 2018

Che Khairil Izam Che Ibrahim, Seosamh B. Costello and S. Wilkinson

Team integration is a concept that has been widely fostered in alliances as a way of improving collaborative relationships between diverse organisations. However, deeper…

1039

Abstract

Purpose

Team integration is a concept that has been widely fostered in alliances as a way of improving collaborative relationships between diverse organisations. However, deeper insights into the practice of high levels of team integration remain elusive. The purpose of this paper is to develop a deeper understanding of team integration through the “lived experience” of practitioners in an alliance.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed a qualitative research methodology. Using a phenomenological examination, via the lived experiences of 24 alliance practitioners, the practice of alliance team integration has been investigated based on the key indicators that foster alliance team integration: team leadership, trust and respect, single team focus on project objectives and key results areas, collective understanding, commitment from project alliance board, single and co-located alliance team, and free flow communication.

Findings

The findings highlight that alliancing gives the project teams’ flexibility to change and adapt, to advance the collaborative environment and that successful integration of multi-disciplinary project teams requires commitment to the identified indicators. These findings have led to the development of a framework of leadership for successful alliance integrated practices. It is proposed that to influence the leadership for the purpose of achieving successful integration practice, a team-centric approach is required which includes four elements: task and relationship-oriented behaviours; collaborative learning environments; cultivating cross-boundary networks; and collaborative governance.

Practical implications

As team integration is the central tenet of alliance projects, greater understanding regarding the leadership of integration practice is of value in leveraging the benefits of outstanding performance. Also, the results of the study are expected to be informative and provide insight for alliance teams to help them proactively recognise how the context of integrated teams is influenced by specific indicators, impacting on the extent of integration practice.

Originality/value

This study contributes to the current body of knowledge concerning the insights from the “lived experience” of alliance teams towards achieving a greater understanding of what contributes to the leadership of successful integration practices.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 25 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 February 2017

Zulkfli Sapeciay, Suzanne Wilkinson and Seosamh B. Costello

This paper aims to explore New Zealand construction practitioners’ approaches to organisational resilience practice in built environment discipline, based on survey and…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore New Zealand construction practitioners’ approaches to organisational resilience practice in built environment discipline, based on survey and interview results. The objective was to explore the resilience practice within the construction sector with the intention of developing a resilient assessment tool specifically for construction organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted to gather information on assessment tools for measuring organisational resilience, their characteristics and indicators. Subsequently, a set of questions was formulated to collate opinions from construction practitioners in New Zealand, using a questionnaire survey and semi-structured interviews.

Findings

This paper concludes by showing that the construction industry lacks resilience practice, especially from an organisational perspective. The findings suggest that the industry would benefit from a resilience assessment tool to help improve resilience. The adoption of such a tool could potentially enhance organisational capacity to recover quickly from crises and disasters.

Practical implications

Improving the resilience of construction organisations to natural disasters not only minimises the negative consequences to their organisations post-disaster and enhances their organisational performance during business as usual but also helps to improve community resilience.

Originality/value

Improving the resilience of construction organisations also helps to improve community resilience and overall post-disaster recovery. However, at present, little research has been conducted on how construction organisations deal with the risk of natural disasters.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Sadegh Aliakbarlou, Suzanne Wilkinson, Seosamh B. Costello and Hyounseung Jang

The purpose of this paper is to explore and prioritize the key client values within contracting services for reconstructing the built environment in post-disaster situations.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore and prioritize the key client values within contracting services for reconstructing the built environment in post-disaster situations.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review, semi-structured interviews and questionnaire survey were included in this study. A comparative analysis was used to obtain different perspectives between public and private sectors.

Findings

A total of 39 client values were identified in this study. Clients for disaster reconstruction services put more emphasis on values such as timeliness, availability of resources, competency, building a trust-based relationship, financial stability, and communication techniques than contract price. Public and private clients have a different perspective regarding the importance of the identified values, while these are not statistically significant for the most important values.

Research limitations/implications

The construction literature is focussed on business-as-usual rather than post-disaster reconstruction. To ensure that reconstruction programmes after a disaster are successfully implemented, it is necessary to identify and prioritize the client values within contracting services. Focussing the attention of the service providers on these values is believed to have the greatest impact on the programmes’ success.

Practical implications

Understanding the client values identified by this study can aid contractors to better prepare for reconstruction programmes and provide improved services to clients.

Originality/value

A number of important client values within contracting services that appear to have a bearing on the success of disaster reconstruction programmes were identified in this study.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 26 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 11 April 2016

Suzanne Wilkinson, Alice Yan Chang-Richards, Zulkfli Sapeciay and Seosamh B. Costello

Improving the resilience of the construction sector helps countries recover quicker from crises and can assist with improving community resilience and recovery. This study…

1023

Abstract

Purpose

Improving the resilience of the construction sector helps countries recover quicker from crises and can assist with improving community resilience and recovery. This study aims to explore ways in which the construction sector might improve its resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper examined past disasters and the role construction plays to understand what and how better construction resilience can be built, and the impact this will have on recovery and reconstruction.

Findings

The findings showed that after a crisis, the construction sector is called upon to manage building and infrastructure recovery and reconstruction. Construction organisations are needed by the community, as they provide physical resources, people, materials, logistics, management and technical expertise and rebuilding. To ensure that recovery and reconstruction programs are successfully implemented, it is necessary for the construction sector to be resilient. To achieve improved resilience in the construction industry, disaster resilience management needs to become mainstreamed into construction processes.

Research limitations/implications

Although larger organisations have some preparation to respond to crises, including having emergency or disaster plans, smaller companies struggle to achieve a reasonable level of resilience. It appears that senior management and key people in construction organisations are familiar with the procedures but that the majority of staff in organisations lack knowledge and skills.

Practical implications

Understanding the role the construction sector plays in disasters and providing directions for improving construction sector resilience will ultimately improve recovery and reconstruction outcomes.

Social Implications

This paper discusses how communities rely on services provided by construction organisations to enable them to recover from emergencies and crises. Pre-disaster construction company resilience impacts on the ability of construction companies to function post-disaster.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on a number of cases and shows where and how the construction sector has worked in disasters and provides a new analysis of the role the industry plays, and the various disaster stages where the industry has maximum impact.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 7 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 September 2015

Che Khairil Izam Che Ibrahim, Seosamh B. Costello and Suzanne Wilkinson

The purpose of this paper is to report on a doctoral thesis that developed an Alliance Team Integration Performance Index (ATIPI), an assessment tool for measuring team…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report on a doctoral thesis that developed an Alliance Team Integration Performance Index (ATIPI), an assessment tool for measuring team integration performance in alliance projects. It provides a summary of the thesis findings, shares the candidate’s doctoral journey and discusses both the thesis “with publication” format and the doctoral programme at the University of Auckland.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed a qualitative and quantitative research methodology (mixed methods research). Research methods applied as reported in this thesis include the Delphi questionnaire survey, interviews and empirical questionnaire surveys with the alliance experts involved in road infrastructure projects.

Findings

Results from the thesis indicate that the ATIPI is characterized by three elements: first, the most significant Key Indicators (KIs), signifying their dominant influence; second, the suitable quantitative measures for each of the KIs, to promote objective assessment over time; and third, the performance-level boundaries for each KI, to reduce the subjectivity of assessment and promote consistency. The assessment tool was found to be both practical and applicable based on a validation interview and subsequent testing with alliance experts on real life alliance infrastructure projects.

Practical implications

As team integration is the central tenet of alliance projects, the ATIPI is an ideal assessment tool to facilitate the measurement of team integration performance consistently and objectively over the life cycle of alliance projects. Also, the ATIPI is expected to make a fundamental and positive difference towards improving the integration practice of alliance teams.

Originality/value

This study extends the team integration literature by providing significant insights into the practical evaluation of team integration performance, specifically in alliance projects.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 July 2016

Che Khairil Izam Che Ibrahim, Seosamh B. Costello and Suzanne Wilkinson

The purpose of this paper is to explore the applicability of the Alliance Team Integration Performance Index (ATIPI) model as an assessment tool to measure the performance…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the applicability of the Alliance Team Integration Performance Index (ATIPI) model as an assessment tool to measure the performance of team integration in alliance road infrastructure projects in New Zealand.

Design/methodology/approach

This study takes a case study approach, using a qualitative research method. Three road infrastructure projects under project alliance from the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) were selected as the cases. Data were collected through the interviews with a representative from the alliance management team from each case. Project records and documentation were also used to assist and support the actual data from the interviews.

Findings

The findings indicated that the ATIPI is performing as expected and found to be both practical and applicable to measure the team integration performance in light of real life case studies of alliance road infrastructure projects. Across the three case studies, there is evidence that high levels of integrated performance is consistently fostered by the project teams over the lifecycle of projects. In addition, based on the cross-case analysis from the application of the ATIPI on three cases, further work could enhance the probability of the utilization of the tool to manage different project alliance teams consistently and objectively.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to three alliance road infrastructure projects in New Zealand. Further research into different alliance projects is required to establish a comprehensive database of alliance team integration performance, so that the model could be more beneficial for owner and non-owner participants, for benchmarking purposes.

Practical implications

As team integration practice can directly result in high performing teams in alliance projects, the ATIPI is an ideal model to facilitate the continuous evaluation of team integration performance consistently and objectively over the lifecycle of the projects.

Originality/value

This study extends the team integration literature in construction research by providing significant insights into the empirical evaluation of alliance team integration performance, as well as providing added value for the enhancement of any future development of performance evaluation models in construction research.

Details

Benchmarking: An International Journal, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-5771

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 April 2015

Che Khairil Izam Che Ibrahim, Seosamh B. Costello and Suzanne Wilkinson

The purpose of this paper is to validate a list of key indicators (KIs) of team integration identified from construction management literature, identify the most…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to validate a list of key indicators (KIs) of team integration identified from construction management literature, identify the most significant KIs and provide suggestions on how to influence team integration, based on the opinion of an established construction peer group in New Zealand.

Design/methodology/approach

A literature review was conducted to identify and consolidate a set of KIs of team integration. Subsequently, a set of questions was designed to gain insight and opinion in terms of the significance and ranking of the identified indicators, as well as suggestions on how to influence the integration practice.

Findings

Analysis of the survey results showed that all relevant indicators have a strong influence towards determining the success of team integration in construction projects. The top-ranked indicators that contribute towards successful team integration are all relationship orientated as follows; single team focus on goals and objectives, trust and respect, commitment from top management, free flow communication and no blame culture. A framework for influencing these indicators of team integration is proposed which includes four elements: first, team formation; second, contractual model; third, teamwork principle; and fourth, operational monitoring.

Research limitations/implications

The findings are limited to practitioners’ perceptions who are registered with an established construction peer group in New Zealand.

Practical implications

The results of the study are expected to provide insight for construction practitioners to help them embrace team integration practice and, hence, provide both the opportunity and a platform to enhance and measure their team performance.

Originality/value

The paper recognises that while the process of integration is a result of a combination of many indicators, it further extends the team integration literature by providing insights into what are the dominant relationship indicators of team integration, and how to influence these indicators based on a proposed framework.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 7 June 2013

Khairil Izam Ibrahim, Seosamh B. Costello and Suzanne Wilkinson

The purpose of this paper is to identify, review and classify the key practice indicators of successful team integration in construction projects, with the intention of…

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Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify, review and classify the key practice indicators of successful team integration in construction projects, with the intention of gaining a greater insight into how they influence team dynamics.

Design/methodology/approach

This is a review paper that draws on existing research and, through observation of previous studies, identifies patterns to produce a greater understanding of the indicators affecting team integration in construction projects.

Findings

The review identified 15 key practice indicators of team integration from the literature, which together form the basis for transforming disparate project teams into a highly integrated team. It is argued that although there is an element of interdependence between some of the indicators, for the purpose of defining team integration practice by means of key indicators it is important to consider them independently because each indicator represents a key element of team integration practice. The indicators were classified as either “Relationship Oriented Indicators”, whereby the relationship between project teams is directly influenced through human behaviours, or “Non‐Relationship Oriented”, whereby relationships are indirectly influenced by putting systems or processes in place to promote, or at the very least allow, members of different functions to collaborate.

Practical implications

The process of integration is a result of a combination of many indicators and this review presents a complete picture of team integration for construction projects developed from past team integration research. It is hoped that the proposed framework will make a contribution by providing the necessary groundwork for further research and development in this area, with the aim of bridging the current gaps in the understanding of team integration in the construction management discipline.

Originality/value

Although there is a diversity of current thinking on team integration practice in construction projects, there is currently no consolidated set of key indicators embedded in integration practice. This study achieves that while recognising a complex system of interdependency between some of the indicators. It further extends the team integration literature by providing deeper insights into the characterisation and importance of exercising and improving integration practice.

Details

Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 19 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1352-7592

Keywords

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