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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2020

Mirian Sayuri Vaccari, David Sanderson, Martin Loosemore and Mohammad Mojtahedi

The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges of transitional shelter provision for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in urban informal settlements. While there has…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the challenges of transitional shelter provision for internally displaced persons (IDPs) in urban informal settlements. While there has been considerable research on postdisaster transitional shelters, less is known on shelters for IDPs in urban informal settlements.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study is presented based on field research at the communities in Olaria and City in São Paulo, Brazil. Collection of data included personal communication with the dwellers, surveys and interviews with representatives from Techo, one of the few organizations that provide transitional shelters for IDPs. A review of documents regarding the construction, design and users' adaptation of transitional shelter was also undertaken. Data was analyzed using thematic analysis.

Findings

The study found that Techo's program impacts positively on the nonphysical aspects of shelter, such as physical and mental health, security, household responsibilities and community participation. However, Techo's transitional shelter for IDPs in urban informal settlements and most postdisaster transitional shelters share similar problems. These programs respond to the needs of a small proportion of the affected populations with shelters of minimum quality and low durability.

Research limitations/implications

This paper is limited to a single case study of the NGO Techo and further case study research is recommended to further develop and validate the study results in other urban development contexts.

Originality/value

This research contributes to describing and understanding the context and the provision of transitional shelters to IDPs in urban informal settlements and impacts in the community. With increasing numbers of IDPs settling in urban informal settlements in many parts of the world, this paper is valuable to policymakers, NGOs and researchers operating in this field to facilitate community development.

Details

Disaster Prevention and Management: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0965-3562

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 15 February 2021

Samad M.E. Sepasgozar, Sara Shirowzhan and Martin Loosemore

Advanced construction technologies (ACTs) are transforming infrastructure projects, yet there has been little research into and theorization of the process by which these…

Abstract

Purpose

Advanced construction technologies (ACTs) are transforming infrastructure projects, yet there has been little research into and theorization of the process by which these innovations are diffused. The purpose of this paper is to address this paucity of research by exploring the problems of information asymmetries between vendors and customers in the ACT diffusion process. Specifically, the paper explores whether information asymmetries exist between vendors and customers in the ACT diffusion process and what forms they take.

Design/methodology/approach

A structured survey of 153 vendors and customers of advanced construction technologies was undertaken across three international ACT exhibitions in Australia.

Findings

By comparing the perspectives of both customers and vendors across 15 technology diffusion process variables using importance-performance analysis and principal component analysis, significant differences are found between vendors’ and customers’ perceptions of how effectively information flows in the ACT diffusion process. The results show that vendors are significantly more optimistic than customers about information asymmetries on a wide range of diffusion variables. They also highlight significant potential for information asymmetries to occur which can undermine the advanced technology diffusion process.

Originality/value

The results provide important new conceptual and practical insights into an under-researched area, which is of increasing importance to a major industry, which is being transformed by advanced technological developments.

Article
Publication date: 31 May 2022

Martin Loosemore, Robyn Keast and Jo Barraket

Social procurement is becoming an increasing policy focus for governments around the world as they seek to incentivise new collaborative partnerships with private organisations in…

Abstract

Purpose

Social procurement is becoming an increasing policy focus for governments around the world as they seek to incentivise new collaborative partnerships with private organisations in industries like construction to meet their social obligations. The limited construction management research in this area shows that the successful implementation of these policies depends on a new generation of social procurement professionals who are promoting these policies into an institutional vacuum with little organisational identity, legitimacy and support. The purpose of this paper is to investigate what these actors do to promote and build support for the implementation of these policies in their organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

A thematic analysis of in-depth semi-structured interviews with 15 social procurement actors in the Australian construction industry is presented.

Findings

Results portray an experimental, disconnected and nascent institutional field of practice with a high degree of role ambiguity and conflict. In the absence of a clear organisational identity and legitimate power-base, social procurement actors are forced to rely on incremental rather than radical innovation and the power of stories to persuade others to engage with their vision for creating social value through construction.

Originality/value

Contributing new insights to the emerging “practice theme” in social procurement research, this paper provides important conceptual and practical information about the attributes which determine their success, how they fit into existing organisational structures and how they build support to achieve enabling institutional change. Academically, the results advance understanding of how social procurement professionals are implementing these policies into their organisations. Practically, they provide new information which enable social procurement professionals to improve their practices and construction companies to recruit the right people into these roles and design their organisations to more effectively support them.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 30 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 June 2020

Martin Loosemore, David Higgon and Joanne Osborne

This paper responds to the need for more construction project management research in the emerging field of social procurement. It contributes by exploring the potential value of…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper responds to the need for more construction project management research in the emerging field of social procurement. It contributes by exploring the potential value of cross-sector collaboration and project-based intermediation in meeting new social procurement imperatives.

Design/methodology/approach

A thematic exploratory case study analysis is presented of seventy-three interviews undertaken with stakeholders involved in a unique project-based intermediary developed by a major Australian construction company to leverage the power of cross-sector collaboration in response to social procurement imperatives on its projects, based on semi-structured interviews with 33 disadvantaged job seekers, 40 organisational stakeholders (employment agencies; not-for-profits, Indigenous, disability and refugee support organisations; training organisations; subcontractors; government agencies and departments; community organisations) and observational and documentary data over the duration of a unique project-based intermediary called a Connectivity Centre, developed by a major Australian contractor to deliver on its emerging social procurement requirements.

Findings

The results show that cross-sector collaboration within the construction industry can produce highlight numerous cognitive, behavioural, health, situational and affective social impacts for the project community and shared-value benefits for the range of organisations involved. However, it is found that cross-sector collaboration through project-based intermediation in a construction context is challenging due to the fragmented and dynamic nature of construction project teams and the communities they have to engage with. Encouraging people and organisations to collaborate who operate in industries and organisations with different and sometimes competing institutional logics and objectives (even if they are linked by common values) requires a set of knowledge, competencies and relationships not recognised in current global project management competency frameworks.

Originality/value

This research contributes new insights to the emerging but embryonic body of research into construction social procurement by demonstrating the value of emerging theories of social procurement, social value, cross-sector collaboration and intermediation in enhancing our currently limited understanding of the complex challenges involved in responding to new social procurement requirements in the construction industry. It explores and documents the potential value of project-based intermediaries in developing and managing the new cross-sector relationships, roles, relational competencies and practices, which are required to effectively respond to and measure the impact of emerging social procurement policies in the construction industry. These findings have a potentially significant social impact by providing new insights for policymakers and the construction industry, to optimise the industry’s response to emerging social procurement policies.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 27 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 September 2020

Shang Zhang, Riza Yosia Sunindijo, Martin Loosemore, Shejiang Wang, Yajun Gu and Hongfei Li

The image of the construction industry in China, as in many other countries, is tarnished by its poor safety record. With the rapid development of subway systems in Chinese urban…

Abstract

Purpose

The image of the construction industry in China, as in many other countries, is tarnished by its poor safety record. With the rapid development of subway systems in Chinese urban areas, construction workers are being exposed to new risks which are poorly understood and managed. Subway construction projects are large scale and scattered over many construction sites, and involve numerous stakeholders and sophisticated technologies in challenging underground environments. Accident rates are high and have significant economic and social consequences for the firms and people involved. Addressing the gap in research about the safety risk in these projects, the purpose of this paper is to advance understanding of the factors influencing the safety of Chinese subway construction projects with the overall objective of reducing accident rates.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted with 399 subway construction professionals across five stakeholder groups. Follow-up interviews were also conducted with five experienced experts in safety management on subway projects to validate the results.

Findings

It was found that the eight most critical factors perceived by stakeholders to influence safety risks on Chinese subway projects are: project management team; contractor-related factors; site underground environment; safety protection during the use of machines; safety management investment; site construction monitoring and measurement; hazard identification and communication; and use of machines in all stages. This indicates that in allocating limited project resources to improve the safety of subway projects, managers should focus on: developing safety knowledge and positive attitudes in leadership teams; formulating effective risk management systems to identify, assess, mitigate, measure and monitor safety risks on site; improving communications with stakeholders about these risks and effectively managing plant, equipment and machinery.

Originality/value

This research contributes a new multi-stakeholder perspective to the lack of safety research in Chinese subway construction projects. The research findings provide important new insights for policymakers and managers in improving safety outcomes on these major projects, producing potentially significant social and economic benefits for society and the construction industry.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 August 2018

Samad M.E. Sepasgozar, Steven Davis, Martin Loosemore and Leonhard Bernold

Research into the construction industry’s adoption of modern equipment technologies, such as remote-controlled trucks, excavators and drones, has been neglected in comparison to…

1788

Abstract

Purpose

Research into the construction industry’s adoption of modern equipment technologies, such as remote-controlled trucks, excavators and drones, has been neglected in comparison to the significant body of research into the adoption of information technology in construction. Construction research has also neglected to adequately consider the important role of vendors in the innovation diffusion process, focussing mostly on the role of the customer. Set within the context of Australia’s construction industry, the purpose of this paper is to address these gaps in knowledge by exploring the role of customers and vendors in the diffusion of modern equipment technologies into the construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Using contemporary models of innovation diffusion which move beyond the simple dualistic problem of whether innovation is supply-pushed or demand-pulled, 19 semi-structured interviews were undertaken with customers and vendors involved in two major modern equipment technology trade exhibitions in Australia. This was followed by the collection of documentary data in the form of photos, directory books, marketing material, catalogues, websites and booth and exhibition layouts to validate the proposed model and provide insights into vendor marketing strategies. These data were analysed using both content analysis and principal component analysis (PCA).

Findings

According to the PCA and content analysis, vendor’s engagement in the adoption of modern equipment technologies falls into three stages that correspond to three stages in the customer’s adoption process. In the first stage, customers identify possible solutions and recognise new technologies following a previous recognition of a need. Vendors provide facilities for attracting potential customers and letting customers know that their technology exists and can help solve the customer’s problem. The second stage involves customers gaining knowledge about the details of the new technology, and vendors focusing on detailed knowledge transfer through written materials and demonstrations of the functionality of the new technology. In the third stage, customers have specific questions that they want answered to assist them in comparing different vendors and solutions. By this stage, vendors have built a close relationship with the customer and in contrast to earlier stages engage in two-way communication to help the customer’s decision process by addressing specific technical and support-related questions.

Originality/value

The originality and value of this research is in addressing the lack of research in modern equipment technology adoption for building construction and the lack of data on the role of vendors in the process by developing a new empirical framework which describes the stages in the process and the ways that customers and vendors interact at each stage. The results indicate that conceptually, as the construction industry becomes more industrialised, current models of innovation adoption will need to develop to reflect this growing technological complexity and recognise that vendors and customers engage differently in the adoption process, according to the type of technology they wish to adopt.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 25 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 June 2019

Martin Loosemore, Riza Yosia Sunindijo, Fatma Lestari, Yuni Kusminanti and Baiduri Widanarko

The purpose of this paper is to assess, compare and explain safety climate differences between the Indonesian and Australian construction industries.

1041

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to assess, compare and explain safety climate differences between the Indonesian and Australian construction industries.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports a comparative safety climate survey of 415 construction personnel working in the Australian and Indonesia construction industries.

Findings

Surprisingly, the results show that the safety climate in Indonesia and Australia are similar and that the differences in safety performance, safety climate must be interpreted within the context of wider health and safety norms, regulations, awareness, knowledge and typical work environments to make any sense.

Research limitations/implications

This research contributes a missing international comparative dimension to the emerging research on construction safety climate. Indonesian studies are notably absent from this literature, despite the size of the country and the poor health and safety record of its construction industry. Similar comparisons between safety climate in other countries need to be made.

Practical implications

This research allows construction managers operating across international boundaries to better understand the cultural and institutional context in which safety climate is developed. This will assist in the development of more culturally sensitive safety management strategies.

Social implications

The construction industry’s poor safety record has serious implications for both individuals working in the industry, their immediate families and the communities in which they live. By improving the safety record of the industry these impacts can be reduced.

Originality/value

This research reveals, for the first time, the cultural and institutional complexities of comparing safety climate across different countries. The results contribute to safety climate research by highlighting the importance of cultural and institutional relativity in making international comparisons of health and safety research.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 November 2017

Samad M.E. Sepasgozar and Martin Loosemore

The purpose of this paper is to address the gap in knowledge by exploring the role of customers and vendors in diffusion of modern equipment technologies into the construction…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address the gap in knowledge by exploring the role of customers and vendors in diffusion of modern equipment technologies into the construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

To address the need to consider both vendors and customers in the innovation diffusion process and the need for in-depth cross-sectional studies, semi-structured interviews were undertaken with 147 participants including 85 vendors and 62 customers of modern construction technologies at company, project and operational levels in Australia and North America. Thematic analysis and an analytic hierarchy process illustrate the critical role of both customers and vendors in the diffusion process of modern equipment technologies.

Findings

A new conceptual model is presented which classifies modern equipment technology customers into four categories: visionaries (group I); innovators (group II); pragmatists (group III); and conservatives (group IV) based on the way in which they interact with vendors in the innovation diffusion process. The results also reveal that there is a significant emotional/affective aspect of innovation diffusion decisions which has not been recognised in previous research.

Originality/value

The major contribution of this study is that it analyses the role of both vendors and customers in the equipment technology diffusion process at three different levels (strategic, project and operational) in large corporations and small-to-medium-sized businesses. The findings not only advance construction innovation research beyond traditional linear models of innovation, but also provide new knowledge which enable customers and vendors to interact more effectively in the diffusion of new construction equipment technologies.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 24 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 25 April 2024

Suhair Alkilani, Martin Loosemore, Ahmed W.A. Hammad and Sophie-May Kerr

The purpose of this paper is to use Bourdieu’s Theory of Capital–Field–Habitus to explore how refugees, asylum seekers and migrants accumulate and mobilise social, cultural…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to use Bourdieu’s Theory of Capital–Field–Habitus to explore how refugees, asylum seekers and migrants accumulate and mobilise social, cultural, symbolic and economic capital to find meaningful work in the Australian construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper reports the results of a survey of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants who have either successfully or unsuccessfully searched for employment in the Australian construction industry.

Findings

The findings dispel widely held negative stereotypes of about this group by describing a highly capable workforce which could address significant skills shortages in the industry, while concurrently diversifying the workforce. However, it is found that refugees, asylum seekers and migrants face considerable barriers to finding meaningful employment in the construction industry. In circumventing these barriers, education institutions, charities and community-based organisations play an especially important role, alongside friends and family networks. They do this by helping refugees, asylum seekers and migrants accumulate and deploy the necessary capital to secure meaningful work in the construction industry. Disappointingly, it is also found that the construction industry does little to help facilitate capital accumulation and deployment for this group, despite the urgent need to address diversity and critical skills shortages.

Originality/value

Employing Pierre Bourdieu’s Theory of Capital–Field–Habitus, the findings make a number of new theoretical and practical contributions to the limited body of international research relating to the employment of refugees, asylum seekers and migrant workers in the construction. The results are important because meaningful employment is widely accepted to be the single most factor in the successful integration of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants into a host society and the construction industry represents an important source of potential employment for them.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 4 January 2024

Geoff Woolcott, Martin Loosemore, Robyn Keast, Ariella Meltzer and Suhair Alkilani

Construction is one of Australia’s largest employers of young people and the industry is facing a major labor shortage, with young people expected to account for much of the…

Abstract

Purpose

Construction is one of Australia’s largest employers of young people and the industry is facing a major labor shortage, with young people expected to account for much of the shortfall. Surprisingly however, there been little research into the pathways for young people into construction employment. The aim of this paper is to address this gap in research by exploring whether project-based intermediaries can support the development of disadvantaged young people’s trust in the often-problematic systems which are meant to help transition them into employment in construction.

Design/methodology/approach

Employing an in-depth case study approach, this research mobilizes theories of personalized and generalized trust to report the results of interviews with 15 sectoral leaders; focus groups with 12 young people working in construction; and interviews with 11 young people being transitioned into construction employment through a unique project-based intermediary developed by a major Australian construction company as part of its social procurement requirements.

Findings

Findings show that project-based intermediaries can play an important trust-building role in transitioning disadvantaged young people into work in construction. They do this by bridging a young person’s strong social ties (family and friendship) and weak social ties (with government and construction industry organizations), both of which can be problematic when used in isolation to seek employment in construction. By performing a crucial bridging role between a young person’s individual self-interest in acting alone to find work and their collective interest in being part of a collaborative group, the project-based intermediary creates a new form of linking social capital, enabling social procurement policies which target young people to work while also addressing wider systemic problems in Australia’s employment systems.

Originality/value

This research addresses the lack of employment research into young people in construction and the paucity of theory in social procurement research more broadly. It takes an original approach in aligning theories related to a duality of personalized trust and generalized trust seen against the duality of individual intentionality and agency (self-focused) and shared intentionality and agency (group-focused). By doing so it provides new conceptual and practical insights into the important role that construction project-based intermediaries like the one studied here can play in providing innovative cross-sector and collaborative solutions to the world’s growing youth unemployment crisis.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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