Exploring the Development of Collaboration in Construction Projects: A Case Study

Sol Skinnarland1 & Solveig Yndesdal2

1Researcher and DBA Candidate, Fafo, Institute for Labour and Social Research, Enterprise Development Studies Department, Borggata 2b, 0650 Oslo, Norway (www.fafo.no), Phone +4722088600, sol.skinnarland@fafo.no
2Research and Development Manager, Kruse Smith AS. Vassbotnen 1, Forus, 4068 Stavanger, Phone +4751444200, Solveig.yndesdal@kruse-smith.no

Abstract

The production process in construction projects is carried out by several specialised participants. These project participants develop relationships that influence how the production process is progressing. Scholars within the construction management literature view the adversarial relationships often experienced within this industry as a root cause of inferior productivity levels. The data used in this paper is based on case studies from two pilot construction projects in Scandinavia in which collaborative planning based in large part on Last Planner System™ was implemented. The case studies were based on 36 interviews with managers (general contractor and subcontractors) and observation in planning meetings. The hypotheses investigated in this paper are that there are functional relationships between a) the degree of familiarity and community, b) the willingness to take others‘ perspectives, and c) the degree of engagement in activities and the degree of collaboration in construction projects. Based on the implementation process we explore in this paper the process of developing collaboration on site, in such a way that it may lead to mutual benefits for all participants in the construction project. We use a set of collaboration indicators to identify the development process which led towards strengthened collaboration. We conclude that the various activities and processes related to collaborative planning contributed to the development of collaboration within these two construction projects.

Keywords

Collaborative planning, Last Planner System, Culture of collaboration.

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Reference

Skinnarland, S. & Yndesdal, S. 2010, 'Exploring the Development of Collaboration in Construction Projects: A Case Study' In:, Walsh, K. & Alves, T., 18th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Haifa, Israel, 14-16 Jul 2010. pp 356-365

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