Organizational analysis of building projects
Hughes, W. (1989) Organizational analysis of building projects. PhD thesis, Liverpool Polytechnic
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The principles of organization theory are applied to the organization of construction projects. This is done by proposing a framework for modelling the whole process of building procurement. This consists of a framework for describing the environments within which construction projects take place. This is followed by the development of a series of hypotheses about the organizational structure of construction projects. Four case studies are undertaken, and the extent to which their organizational structure matches the model is compared to the level of success achieved by each project. To this end there is a systematic method for evaluating the success of building project organizations, because any conclusions about the adequacy of a particular organization must be related to the degree of success achieved by that organization. In order to test these hypotheses, a mapping technique is developed. The technique offered is a development of a technique known as Linear Responsibility Analysis, and is called "3R analysis" as it deals with roles, responsibilities and relationships. The analysis of the case studies shows that they tended to suffer due to inappropriate organizational structure. One of the prevailing problems of public sector organization is that organizational structures are inadequately defined, and too cumbersome to respond to environmental demands on the project. The projects tended to be organized as rigid hierarchies, particularly at decision points, when what was required was a more flexible, dynamic and responsive organization. The study concludes with a series of recommendations; including suggestions for increasing the responsiveness of construction project organizations, and reducing the lead-in times for the inception periods.