Construction management research at the individual-level of analysis: current status, gaps and future directions
Phua, F. T. T. (2013) Construction management research at the individual-level of analysis: current status, gaps and future directions. Construction Management and Economics, 31 (2). pp. 167-179. ISSN 0144-6193
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2012.707325
Individual-level constructs are seldom taken into consideration in construction management research relating to project performance. This is antithetical to the objectives of properly conceptualizing and contextualizing the research we do because many project performance outcomes, such as the extent of cooperation and level of communication or teamwork are influenced and moderated by individuals’ perceptions, values and behaviour. A brief review of the literature in organizational studies centred on culture, identity, empowerment and trust is offered. These constructs are then explored in relation to project performance issues and outcomes, and it is noted that they are predominantly studied at the project and industry levels. We argue that focusing these constructs at the individual unit of analysis has significant implications for project performance and therefore their effects need to be systematically accounted for in explanations of the success and failure of projects. Far from being prescriptive, the aim is to generate interest and awareness for more focused research at the individual level of analysis in order to add new insights and perspectives to critical performance questions in construction management. To this end, a research agenda is outlined, arguing that construction management research integrating individual-level constructs and broader, macro-contextual issues will help define and enhance the legitimacy of the field.