https://doi.org/10.24928/2017/0342

Shared Understanding: The Machine Code of the Social in a Socio-Technical System

Christine Pasquire1 & Paul Ebbs2

1Professor of Lean Project Management; Centre for Lean Projects, School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, UK. christine.pasquire@ntu.ac.uk
2Research Fellow; Centre for Lean Projects, School of Architecture, Design and Built Environment, Nottingham Trent University, UK paul.ebbs@ntu.ac.uk

Abstract

The emergence of the explicit need for shared understanding as an underpinning flow in lean construction has generated some debate and exposed a need to provide a better explanation. Following an investigation comprising of a total of 27 interviews and several workshops, the data identifies and connects the relationship between inappropriate understanding and constraints to flow - represented through a conceptual model. The research further identified that introducing lean construction concepts associated with the Last Planner® System caused the participants to realise the importance of a shared understanding when previously they had not raised it as a source of constraint or problem. The research concludes that a shared understanding is critical to the social aspects of a sociotechnical system and needs to be precise and project specific to achieve the desired outcomes. In this way, a shared understanding can be considered to be the equivalent of a machine code in an operating system - if the understanding breaks down then so does the project delivery system.

Keywords

8th flow; common understanding; shared understanding; lean construction

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Reference

Pasquire, C. & Ebbs, P. 2017, 'Shared Understanding: The Machine Code of the Social in a Socio-Technical System' In:, 25th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Heraklion, Greece, 9-12 Jul 2017. pp 365-372

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