The Importance of Project Culture in Achieving Quality Outcomes in Construction

R. Thomas1, Marton Marosszeky2, Khalid Karim3, S. Davis4 & D. McGeorge5

1
2Associate professor, Building R9,Randwick Campus Australian Centre for Construction Innovation, The University of New South Wales Sydney 2052, Australia Tel +61 (2) 9385 4830, E-mail m.marosszeky@unsw.edu.au
3Deputy Director of Australian Centre for Construction Innovation, Building R9, Randwick Campus Australian Centre for Construction Innovation, The University of New South Wales Sydney 2052, Australia Tel +61 (2) 9385 4830, E-mail k.karim@unsw.edu.au
4Lecturer, Department of Aviation, University of New South Wales, Sydney, NSW 2052, Australia. Tel +61 (2) 9385 6767
5Professor of The Built Environment, Faculty of the Built Environment, The University of New South Wales UNSW Sydney NSW 2052, Australia, Tel +61 (2) 9385 4787, E-mail: d.mcgeorge@unsw.edu.au

Abstract

This paper presents a review of developments that have led to current construction quality management philosophies. The primary factors responsible for the relatively poor quality outcomes currently achieved by the sector are reviewed and the influences of bureaucratic and hierarchical management systems are considered. It is posited that, in general, the typical approach to procurement by the principal and head contractor is motivated more by risk shedding than by a desire to improve the control of the process. Furthermore, arguments are drawn from the literature to show that a productive culture and teamwork within the supply chain are essential for the achievement of planned quality outcomes. A study of the relationship between project cultures as assessed by Quinn’s Competing Values Framework and the quality of outcomes on thirteen construction sites is presented. Clan type cultures were found to correlate with improved quality outcomes, whereas market cultures, more common on construction projects, were found to correlate with weaker quality outcomes.

Keywords

Quality management, project culture, teamwork

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Reference

Thomas, R. , Marosszeky, M. , Karim, K. , Davis, S. & McGeorge, D. 2002, 'The Importance of Project Culture in Achieving Quality Outcomes in Construction' In:, Formoso, C.T. & Ballard, G., 10th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Gramado, Brazil, 6-8 Aug 2002.

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