Conceptualization of Interdependency and Coordination Between Construction Tasks

Bo Terje Kalsaas1 & Rafael Sacks2

1Dr.Ing, Associate Professor, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, Department of Working Life and Innovation, University of Agder, 4846 Grimstad, Norway, Phone +47 37 25 30 00, e-mail:
2Assoc. Prof., Virtual Construction Lab, National Building Research Institute, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel, Phone +972-4-8292245, e-mail:


We address the understanding of coordination in construction by applying a theoretically informed case study approach. The main theoretical resource is coordination theory based on dependence structures between resources and activities. Empirical data from different typical construction projects are applied. The critical path method is not an adequate answer to the coordination of reciprocal interdependency in construction work, and our empirical observations confirm that in such cases planning and production are two different worlds rather than integrated activities. We offer theoretical arguments for coordination through mutual adjustment in construction production. The Last Planner System can potentially extend the benefit of planning and enable better control of the fine-grained make-ready process for production, but its shortcomings in the time-frame between Last Planner meetings have required additional practical coordination effort, which up to now has been based on the language action perspective.


Coordination theory, interdependence, production planning, Last Planner System



Kalsaas, B.T. & Sacks, R. 2011, 'Conceptualization of Interdependency and Coordination Between Construction Tasks' In:, Rooke, J. & Dave, B., 19th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Lima, Peru, 13-15 Jul 2011.

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