Approaching Construction as a Logistical, Economical and Social Process

Bjorn Andersen1, Trond Bolviken2, Hege Skarbekk Dammerud3 & Sol Skinnarland4

1Researcher, Fafo, Institute for Applied Social Research, Borggata 2B, P.O. Box 2947 Tøyen, N- 0608 Oslo,
2Director, Business Development and Strategy, Veidekke Entreprenør AS, P.O. Box 506 Skøyen, N-0214 Oslo, (Veidekke Entreprenør AS is a Norwegian subsidiary of Veidekke ASA, one of the major Scandinavian construction and real-estate-development companies)
3Design manager, Veidekke Entreprenør AS,
4Researcher, Fafo, Institute for Applied Social Research, Borggata 2B, P.O. Box 2947 Tøyen, N- 0608 Oslo,


Industrialised construction can be understood as production of commodities through a flow of transformations. The commodities have a dual character, possessing both usevalue and exchange value. This leads to the understanding of production as a physical/logistical process (producing use value) and an economical process (producing exchange value). However, the production process is always carried out by a group of people, by a social system. Understanding the social context under which the production process takes place is therefore crucial. If we do not understand “the social system of production”, our ability to understand and improve the production system will be limited. Improvements in the logistical process (the Last Planner System, Production System Design, etc) or in the economical processes (Value Chain Analysis, etc), will always have to be carried out within a specific social environment or system embedded in specific company cultures. In this paper we address the social infrastructure and the company culture of the construction processes as prerequisites for successful improvements in the logistical and economical processes in construction


flow of transformations, lean construction, physical logistics, social logistics, company culture, social infrastructure,



Andersen, B. , Bolviken, T. , Dammerud, H.S. & Skinnarland, S. 2008, 'Approaching Construction as a Logistical, Economical and Social Process' In:, Tzortzopoulos, P. & Kagioglou, M., 16th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Manchester, UK, 16-18 Jul 2008. pp 27-38

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