The point of departure of this paper are assertion statements about advantages and unsuitable elements of the use ofpartnering in the construction industry today. Next, the view is turned towards the manufacturing industry for inspiration on how a learning environment is formed by making strategic partnering suitable for the nature of the construction industry. It is argued that effectiveness and efficiency in the construction industry can be improved by giving the partnering cooperation a strategic focus which involves the development of competing Resource Basins, i.e. groups of long term cooperating companies in the supply chain, or rather, in the supply network. The suggested way to form a learning environment combines some of the advantages from the production philosophies Supply Chain Management, Agile Manufacturing and Extended Enterprise in connection with Virtual Enterprise with the characteristics of construction. The idea is to establish a joint grounding in a group of companies. The solidarity and cooperation between the companies exist independently of specific projects. It forms a learning environment in the resource basin in which knowledge gained from different projects is collected and distributed to all the members of the resource basin. At the beginning of a specific project, i.e. a potential customer knocks at the door, the most suitable resources from the basin are assigned to the job. These resources form a project group for this project. This differs from a traditional project group in the building sector because these resources already are thoroughly familiar with each other, i.e. they have shared common cooperation values, and they have developed integrated logistic systems, quality systems, information systems, continuous improvement systems etc. Finally, barriers and thoughts about how this learning environment can be brought into the construction industry are discussed.
Strategic Partnering, Resource Basins, Supply Chain Management, Agile Manufacturing, Extended Enterprise and Virtual Enterprise.