This paper explores the relevance of Takahiro Fujimoto’s theory of the role capabilitybuilding played in the emergence of the Toyota Production System to design and construction. It is the third in a series on this topic. The research question is whether Fujimoto’s explanation of how capability was built within Toyota can help project teams build better capability leading to system-level improvement. In this new paper the authors connect Fujimoto’s evolutionary perspective with the possibility that complex systems theory is a useful starting point for understanding design and construction. The authors explain Fujimoto’s theory and how they used it to evaluate building-capability for Integrated Design Scheduling and Management on several projects they reviewed retrospectively. Key findings are: 1, effective use of routines is important and a prerequisite for effectiveness; 2, routinized capability (regular patterns of doing essential things) is essential to affect change at system level; 3, entrepreneurial leadership is necessary for effective capability-building, and 4, system emergence, where there is no relationship between the content and pattern of system changes, together with routinized capability is possible although rare; 5; this is also possible, but even more rare with a second, systems level of problem solving.
Theory, capability, complexity, emergence, evolutionary