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Leadership practices to address cultural and behavioural challenges in construction partnering projects

Thurairajah, N 2013, Leadership practices to address cultural and behavioural challenges in construction partnering projects , PhD thesis, The University of Salford.

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Abstract

Partnering and related forms of collaboration have been seen as a way of tackling fragmentation and lack of integration that have bedevilled attempts to improve project performance over the years. Despite the amount of interest shown in partnering, actual empirical research is sparse and much of the work is notable for its prescriptive tendencies and heavy reliance on anecdotal data with a focus on the experience of the exemplar organisations. Thus, it is important to adequately address and evaluate the challenges and potential problems in construction partnering. A synthesis of construction partnering literature shows that central to any successful partnering arrangement is the change in cultural and behavioural characteristics towards mutual trust and understanding. Therefore, it is essential to bring about cultural change, which encourages project participants to transgress conflicting interests and to build a shared culture. Leadership is seen as the source of beliefs and values that forms shared assumptions of organisational culture. Hence, it is important to focus on leadership practices to embed and transmit a collaborative culture in construction partnering projects. This research investigates cultural and behavioural challenges via a systematic literature review and refines its root causes by collecting and analysing interview data from academic and industry experts. Content analysis of root causes and challenges were represented in the form of a cultural web diagram, and categorised into rituals and routines, stories, symbols, power, structure and control system related challenges. Content analysis of relevant leadership practices pointed out the significance of embedding and reinforcing leadership practices during the construction stage of a project to address cultural and behavioural root causes. This initial conceptual framework for leadership practices was then refined using a multiple case study research approach on UK construction partnering projects. This initial conceptual framework for leadership practices was then refined using a multiple case study research approach on UK construction partnering projects. The findings of this study indicate that a threefold leadership framework comprising ‘initial embedding mechanisms’, ‘continuous embedding mechanisms’ and ‘reinforcement mechanisms’ is essential to tackle cultural and behavioural challenges and their root causes in construction partnering projects.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Haigh, RE (Supervisor)
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: N Thurairajah
Date Deposited: 22 Jul 2013 16:39
Last Modified: 05 Apr 2016 18:12
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/29290

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