Activation of Hidden Resources: Experience from a Development Initiative in a Regional Area in Denmark

Willy Olsen1, Randi Muff Ebbesen2, Soren Wandahl3 & Erik Bejder4

1Associate Professor, Department of Production, Aalborg University, Denmark, +45 9635 8956, wo@iprod.aau.dk
2Ph.D. student, Department of Production, Aalborg University, Denmark, +45 9635 7113, randi@iprod.aau.dk
3Ph.D. student, Department of Production, Aalborg University, Denmark, +45 9635 8989, soren@ iprod.aau.dk
4Associate Professor Ph.D., Department of Production, Aalborg University, Denmark, +45 9635 8950, i9eb@iprod.aau.dk

Abstract

Research for improvement of the effectiveness and the efficiency in the construction process has been in focus during the last 15 years. Although serious efforts have been made to disseminate the outcome of the research the effects seem limited. The Danish construction sector has an understanding of the necessity of improvements. However, many consider their knowledge about the latest initiatives and research results inadequate, presumably because they have difficulties linking the more theoretical approaches to their day-to-day work. A regional development initiative, BYGiNORD (in English: Build-in-the-North), started in the spring of 2003. Since then about 75 committed practitioners from the construction sector in the region have discussed new ideas and methods for improving the construction process. The discussions focus on the participants' everyday problems and their experience from practice and touch upon several issues encompassed by the concepts Lean Thinking and Lean Construction. Arrangements have been made for testing the ideas on regional construction projects in the next phase ofBYGiNORD. The experience indicates that there is a great potential for activating the often hidden resources within the construction sector itself and for creating rewarding work relations between academic institutions and practitioners in the construction sector. This paper elaborates on the experiences gained so far. They will be presented along with a discussion on how to activate a greater deal of the workforce as an important source of ideas that could stepwise improve the construction process.

Keywords

Learning region, action learning, lean construction, ownership, efficiency.

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Reference

Olsen, W. , Ebbesen, R.M. , Wandahl, S. & Bejder, E. 2004, 'Activation of Hidden Resources: Experience from a Development Initiative in a Regional Area in Denmark' In:, Bertelsen, S. & Formoso, C.T., 12th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Helsingør, Denmark, 3-5 Aug 2004.

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