Breaking Socio-Cognitive Barriers to Value Generation in Integrated Teams

Daniel Forgues1, Lauri Koskela2 & Albert Lejeune3

1Professor, Department of Construction Engineering,1100 Notre-Dame St. West, École de Technologie Superieure, Montreal (QC) Canada, H3C 1K3Phone +1 514/3968668 [email protected]
2Professor, School of the Built Environment, University of Salford; UK. Phone +44 161 295 6378; [email protected]
3Professor, Department of management & technology, Université du Québec à Montréal; Canada. Phone +1 (514) 987-3000, # 4844; [email protected]


Value generation is defined as meeting client requirements while minimizing waste. Authors agree on the issues related to sequential design in handling client requirements, and suggest the use of an integrated Design approach as an alternative. Little is said, however, about the impact of adopting integrated Design new organization of work on traditional design practice, processes and tools, and about the importance of breaking down socio-cognitive barriers related to mental model fragmentation between design professionals, clients and users. This may result in cognitive inertia, a major source of waste. The objective of the research is to develop and test the use of boundary objects, such as requirement management tools in the context of integrated teams and organizations to break the cognitive inertia that hinders value generation. The research is conclusive about the effectiveness of using boundary objects such as a requirement management construct to transform practices in construction. The research also contributes to a better understanding of the new purpose of construction projects by framing its context and process dimensions within a theoretical framework, and to the evolution of practices in construction.


integrated design, value management, activity theory, boundary artefact



Forgues, D. , Koskela, L. & Lejeune, A. 2008. Breaking Socio-Cognitive Barriers to Value Generation in Integrated Teams, 16th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 435-446.

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