Value for Whom?

Frode Drevland1 & Patricia A. Tillmann2

1Assistant Professor, NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Trondheim, Norway, +47 920 64 262, [email protected]
2Senior Lean Manager, University of California San Francisco, California, +14152799102, [email protected]


Designing, building and optimising projects as production systems producing value can be said to be the aim of construction management from an engineering perspective. However, the question is whose value are we optimising the system for? The lean philosophy tells we should deliver value to all the projects customers. However, here anyone that is impacted by the project is considered a customer, not just the paying client. Do all customers matter and is delivering value for all of them of equal importance? In this paper, we explore this matter by first looking into the literature on stakeholder management. Finding no suitable answers there we attack the question by considering the motivations for delivering value by a literature review and interviews with industry professionals. Finally, we discuss the implications that considering the perspective of multiple stakeholders brings to project management. The paper argues that the key to deciding whose value matter lies in understanding the motivation for why valueis delivered. However, to what degrees different factors motivates someone will be highly dependent on their philosophical outlook, thus making the matter of value for whom a philosophical question.


Lean construction, value, theory, value philosophy, stakeholder management



Drevland, F. & Tillmann, P. A. 2018. Value for Whom?, 26th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 261-270.

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