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  • 1.
    Engström, Susanne
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Automation, decentralisering och prestationsutveckling: analys av förändringsmönster vid svenska företag under ett decennium2002Licentiate thesis, monograph (Other academic)
    Abstract [sv]

    Svenska företag har sedan slutet av 1980-talet genomfört förändringar i syfte att förbättra sin prestation inom ett eller flera områden. Långt ifrån alla har dock varit framgångsrika. Förändringsaktiviteterna har tilldragit sig många forskares intresse, och generellt är forskningen inom området överens om att utformningen av företagets organisation har betydelse för utfallet av implementeringen av avancerade teknologiska lösningar. Samma grad av konsensus finns inte vad gäller frågan om utfallet blir bättre om förändringsarbetet huvudsakligen är inriktat på teknologiska förändringar, organisatoriska förändringar eller till kombinationer av dessa. I denna uppsats presenteras fyra studier, tre kvantitativa och en kvalitativ. Syftet med de studier som jag genomför är att kartlägga förändringsmönstret genom att: S1: analysera till vilken grad företag fokuserar sina förändringar tilli. utveckling av tekniska system (T-förändring, förändring med T- fokusii. utveckling av arbetsorganisation (O-förändring, förändring med O- fokus)iii. eller till kombinationer av dessa två utvecklingsalternativ (OT- förändring, förändring med OT-fokus) samt studera förändringsmönstrets prestationspåverkan genom att:S2: analysera vilken betydelse olika förändringfokus enligt i-iii kan ha för utvecklingen av företags prestation. Detta i syfte att undersöka om det går att påvisa att någon fokus enligt i-iii är förenat med större positiv inverkan på prestationsutvecklingen än andra. Resultatet pekar på: (S1) att företag i stor utsträckning förändrar såväl sin teknologi som sin organisation. Ju längre tidsperiod som beaktas desto fler företag genomför förändringar inom båda dessa områden. Bland de studerade företagen inom tillverkande sektor som inte kombinerar de två utvecklingsalternativen dominerar utveckling av arbetsorganisation. Bland handels-/tjänsteföretagen dominerar istället utvecklingen av tekniska system. (S2) att olika förändringsfokus enligt i-iii har olika betydelse för utvecklingen av företags prestation i de olika studierna, men att det sammantagna resultatet talar för en kombinerad utveckling, åtminstone över en längre tidsperiod betraktat och om man bland tillverkande företag fokuserar bearbetningen. Resultaten indikerar några möjliga förklaringar till varför det är så svårt att uppnå konsensus vad gäller (S2). En möjlig orsak till att olika studier uppvisar olika resultat är att prestationseffekterna är tidsfördröjda och att tidsfördröjningen är olika för olika förändringsfokus. En annan möjlig orsak är att den studerade tidsperioden har betydelse för bedömningen av förändringsfokus hos företagen, vilket i sin tur har betydelse för de slutsatser som man kan dra beträffande sambandet mellan förändringsfokus och prestation. För att kunna öka kunskapen inom området krävs bland annat att forskare i framtida studier tar bättre hänsyn till tidsfördröjningen mellan genomförd förändring och prestationsutfall. Mätning av förändringsutfall försvåras även av att företag har en begränsad kunskap om vad de kan uppnå med de organisationer de implementerat eller avser att implementera samt att kunskapen om hur man kan genomföra mätningar av organisationsförändringar förefaller mycket begränsad. Detta skulle kunna vara ett intressant område för fortsatt forskning.

  • 2.
    Engström, Susanne
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Managing information to unblock supplier-led innovation in construction: barriers to client decision-making on industrialized building in Sweden2012Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The overall purpose of this thesis is to further the understanding of the role of the construction client as a decision-maker on supplier-led innovation. The analysis targets the ability of Swedish professional building clients to manage information about innovations extending beyond their current frames of reference. In the thesis it is discussed how this ability can be understood in terms of its potential impacts on clients’ judgments, decision-making and the subsequent implications in terms of blocking/unblocking supplier-led innovations. Innovations addressed in this research are offsprings of contemporary industrialized building, where contractors and material suppliers over many years have developed self-owned methods, organization and technical solutions. Clients, however, do not seem to assist this progress and there are indications that they still experience industrialized building innovations as new and different from what is perceived as “conventional”.The theoretical frame of reference draws from organizational information processing theory and the communication of meaning, integrating descriptive decision theory about human judgment. Recognizing that there is an issue of subjectivity in terms of interpretations, meanings and judgments, a multiple methods approach has been employed for qualitative data collection addressing clients and contractors in and between building projects. From the theoretical and empirical discussions brought together and considered from the perspective of previous research within the field of study, four propositions are elicited. These propositions concern the impact of client uncertainty, interpretation and meaning-making gaps, clients’ approaches to managing such gaps and the project-based setting, on the blocking/unblocking of supplier-led innovations.In their decision-making clients do not only lack data but, even more so, need to deal with the human problem of managing multiple meanings and conflicting interpretations concerning industrialized building. However, clients’ ability to manage information accordingly is found to be low. It is further suggested that if the innovation differs significantly from the conventional (status quo), conflicting meanings must be managed in ways so that they can surface, interact and potentially suggest that different conclusions, at odds with established beliefs, can be drawn by the decision maker. Thus, defining meaning in terms of e.g. stating solutions in tenders, establishing policies and decision criteria can simultaneously support decision-making on conventional alternatives and block innovation. Furthermore, the impact of the predominant project-logic in construction is suggested to restrain and decouple meaning-making and thus be a potential communication barrier between clients and contractors on implementing innovations, in particular such innovations that lead to new building process settings.

  • 3.
    Engström, Susanne
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Overcoming barriers to innovation: demonstrating an argument in favour of communication arenas2014In: Proceedings 30th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, Association of Researchers in Construction Management , 2014, 1007-1016 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Continuous development efforts including steady-state innovations are necessary for such purposes as of improving short-term performance. However, there is also the need to enable more radical renewal, where development efforts typically stretch beyond the single-project milieu. Supplier-led innovation towards e.g. affordable, sustainable building constitutes such an example. To open up for more radical renewal, one implication of an earlier proposed innovation-barrier/enabler model is the need for sustainable client-contractor arenas for communication, enabling the continuous re-thinking of current experience and understanding by allowing for clients' and contractors' different/conflicting meanings to surface and interact. In Swedish building such arenas seem to be lacking. Underpinning the argumentation is previous research addressing barriers for supplier-led innovation from theoretical perspectives of organizational information-processing and descriptive behavioural decision-making. To better understand the significance of suggested arenas, data were collected in three steps. First, representatives of a building company were interviewed about their personal views regarding barriers/enablers for supplier-led innovation and what primarily determine clients' accept/reject of the builder's standardized system solution. Second, the building-company representatives met with representatives from three client organizations for a round-table discussion concerning barriers to innovation and sector renewal, and means to overcome. Finally, follow-up interviews with building-company representatives sought to capture personal reflections following from foregoing discussion. Collected data were analysed in relation to the previously proposed model, thus simultaneously developing the model and making it more accessible to building practitioners. Cross-analyses of interviews and client-contractor discussion revealed multiple gaps of understanding. Furthermore, to open up for innovation challenging steady-state it is suggested that both client organizations and contractor organizations need to pay close attention to how meanings and understandings are formed and shared within as well as between organizations. A subsequent implication is the need for a more systematically employed communication arena, stretching beyond the short-term project milieu.

  • 4.
    Engström, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Hedgren, Erika
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Sustaining inertia?: Construction clients' decision-making and information-processing approach to industrialized building innovations2012In: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 12, no 4, 393-413 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose – Humans tend to rely on beliefs, assumptions and cognitive rules-of-thumb for making judgments and are biased against taking more uncertain alternatives. Such inertia has implications for client organizations' decision making about innovations, which are inherently more uncertain than conventional alternatives. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to furthering the understanding of barriers to overcoming inertia in client decision making in new-build. Design/methodology/approach – A descriptive behavioural decision-making perspective is combined with an organizational information-processing perspective. To identify and discuss individual and organizational barriers that potentially distort clients' decision making on innovation, the analysis addresses aggregated data from four studies. The analysis focuses on inferences and interpretations made by decision makers in Swedish client organizations, their information-processing practices and the subsequent impacts on perceived meanings and judgments about industrialized multi-storey, timber-framed building innovations, which are perceived by Swedish clients as new and different building alternatives. Findings – Cognitive and organizational barriers maintain status-quo decisions. Clients are inclined to make biased judgments about industrialized-building alternatives because non-applicable cognitive rules-of-thumb, based on their experiences of conventional-building alternatives, are used. Furthermore, client organizations' information-processing practices do not allow different meanings to surface, interact and potentially suggest different conclusions, at odds with established beliefs. Originality/value – The paper's conclusions highlight how inertia is sustained in client decision making in new-build. They illustrate the limitations of a common engineering approach, i.e. supporting decision making about innovations by focusing on providing more information to the decision maker in order to reduce uncertainty, as well as managing multiple meanings by reductionism.

  • 5.
    Engström, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Levander, Erika
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Clients as drivers of innovation: lessons from industrialised construction in Sweden2010In: Ph.D. Research Workshop on Technology and Innovation in Construction: Held at Department of Civil, Mining and Environmental Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Porsön, Luleå, 29 September 2010 / [ed] Paul Chan; Ylva Sardén, 2010, 10-20 p.Conference paper (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    In the construction sector, the rate of innovations is perceived to be low. Stakeholder pressure has been identified as an important trigger for innovation. But do Swedish construction clients positively respond to, and thus drive, innovation? The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding of the client's role, as a decision maker, for improving the rate of innovation in construction. This by learning from the case of industrialised construction (IC) in Sweden. Swedish construction clients are generally positive to the expected benefits of IC, but are not actively driving the change towards industrialisation. IC challenges common practice as well as stakeholder expectations and schemata on which decisions are made. Case studies addressing Swedish clients' response to IC show that the uncertainties related to potential future regret are prominent issues. Empirical evidence also indicates high levels of equivocality which, according to information processing theory, cannot be reduced by simply increasing the amount of information. To enable client-driven change, improved information processing capability is suggested. Clients that gather and process information on innovation can reduce bias in decision making. Early adopters of innovations such as IC must also manage high levels of equivocality as the amount of information is low and common practice is challenged. A higher involvement of clients in innovation development is advised.

  • 6.
    Engström, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Levander, Erika
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Clients as drivers of innovation: lessons from industrialised construction in Sweden2011In: Proceedings of the 6th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organisation: Shaping the Construction/Society Nexus / [ed] Kim Haugbølle ; Stefan Christoffer Gottlieb ; Kalle E. Kähkönen ; Ole Jonny Klakegg; Göran A. Lindahl ; Kristian Widén, Hørsholm: Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University , 2011, Vol. 1 ; Clients and Users, 13-24 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 7.
    Engström, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Lidelöw, Sofia
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    From the Pilot Project to the Mainstream Practice: Learning Explored in Planning and Design of a Low-Energy Quarter2015In: Procedia Economics and Finance, E-ISSN 2212-5671, Vol. 21, 288-296 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Pilot projects are common platforms for developing/testing construction methods or solutions for e.g. low-energy house-building. Whereas studies report on their technical/engineering outcomes, little is known from a learning perspective. In our study of pilot-project learning, the planning for and assessment of learning from a “low-energy quarter” pilot was explored. In step one, the initiators and the local authority participantswere addressed. The findings of the interviews indicatedthe changed understandings during the pilot of e.g. the planning and design criteria for sustainable building. Although stressed at the pilot outset, it seems that the learning among the stakeholders was not so well documented or systematically evaluated and shared so that the mainstream practice could have been informed or changed

  • 8.
    Engström, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Sardén, Ylva
    Stehn, Lars
    Towards improving client-contractor communication in industrialised building2009In: Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference, 2009, September 7-9, Albert Hall, Nottingham / [ed] Andrew Dainty, Reading: Association of Researchers in Construction Management , 2009, 21-30 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Criticism of the building sector in Sweden, concerning for example high cost and poor quality, has lead to a growing interest in industrialised building. However, the effect on the sector and the overall building market is still quite insignificant. One business challenge for industrialised building companies to face in order to become more competitive is to further improve client/market interaction, improve mutual understanding and to reduce uncertainties in client relations. In this ongoing work the communication between industrialised building companies and building clients is examined. The aim is to identify important points of client-contractor communication that affect project outcome and present barriers to effective communication. In addition to a literature review, with the aim to define effective communication , the client-contractor communication in different building projects has been studied. Empirical data was collected through interviews and workshops, observations and project-specific documentation, addressing both clients and contractors. The results indicate that, in order to improve client-contractor communication, it seems important to assess if a barrier to effective communication is client uncertainty, and concerned with lack of information, or if it is client equivocality, which requires richer information rather than more information. The barrier must then be addressed accordingly. In the industrialised building context, client-contractor communication is probably distorted by lack of market/client knowledge concerning the industrialised building process, but also by previous experiences from traditional building.

  • 9.
    Engström, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Industrilized and sustainable construction.
    Stehn, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Industrilized and sustainable construction.
    Barriers to client-contractor communication: Implementing process innovation in a building project in Sweden2016In: International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, ISSN 1740-2891, E-ISSN 1740-2905, Vol. 8, no 2, 151-171 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Client-contractor communication is vital for achieving project goals but also for adopting innovations. However, this type of communication does not take place across just one interface but across several. In the present study, barriers to client-contractor communication were addressed with the intention of specifically highlighting the potential impact of the project-based setting. A case study of a building project where process innovation was to be implemented provided the data. The analysis focused on meaning-making by different participants during progression of the project until its completion. Although the project was successfully completed, some of the aims of the process innovation were not realised as planned due to emerging meaning-making problems. A main suggestion from the reported findings was that the predominant project logic in construction may be a key barrier to client-contractor communication in implementing innovations presented by actors on the supply-side

  • 10.
    Engström, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Stehn, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Sardén, Ylva
    Competitive impact of industrialised building: in search for explanations to the current state2009In: Twenty-Fifth Annual Conference, 2009, September 7-9, Albert Hall, Nottingham / [ed] Andrew Dainty, Reading: Association of Researchers in Construction Management , 2009, 413-424 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Industrialised building has been proposed as a means of satisfying changes needed in the Swedish building sector. Over the last decade industrialised building has also developed as a niche within this sector. Given its potential, however, some stakeholders think that industrialised building has not yet had the impact they expected, and that the building sector is still in need of change to meet demands for cost reduction, quality improvement and longer managerial time-spans. Consequently, questions arise regarding the competitive position of industrialised building today, and the underlying causes for its present state. This study is based on a literature review, assessing industrialised building over recent decades, and on complementary interviews with researchers and practitioners. The findings are summarised in a conceptual model that outlines the sought effects of industrialised building, as well as the forces that drive and restrain change towards industrialised building. The demands on the building sector are the main drivers of change for the industry. However, the market itself is not actively driving change towards industrialised building, and the information and understanding required to support clients' decision on whether to enforce market power in one or the other direction is not readily available. How building clients value different building possibilities is also unclear. Suggested future challenges are to reduce client uncertainty, to improve client power and to facilitate the comparison of performance between traditional and industrialised building alternatives.

  • 11.
    Hedlund, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Hörte, Sven-åke
    Changes in development approaches of technological and work organization and the impact on performance2000Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The paper analyses the joined data and results of two separate studies together covering the change actions of 49 Swedish manufacturing companies during a ten-year period, 1988-1997. The purpose is to reveal the long-term change patterns of synchronous or non-synchronous change of technology and work organisation. The results are that during the studied ten-year period a lesser percentage of companies pursue synchronous change than non-synchronous. The general change pattern is indicating more focus on change of organisation than on technology, and this tendency has grown stronger in resent years. The results presented in this paper also indicate that synchronously changing companies during 1988-1997 tend to have had greater performance increases during recent years than non-synchronously changing companies.

  • 12.
    Hedlund, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Hörte, Sven-åke
    Changes in development approaches of technology and work organization and the impact on performance2000In: Operations Management "Crossing Borders and Boundaries: The Changing Role of Operations": Papers from the 7th International Conference of the European Operations Management Association Ghent, Belgium June 4-7 2000 / [ed] Roland Van Dierdonck; Ann Vereecke, Ghent: University, Faculty of economics and business administration , 2000, 267-274 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 13.
    Hedlund, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Hörte, Sven-åke
    Technological and organisational development and its management1999In: Managing Operations Networks: Venice, Italy, June 7th-8th 1999 / [ed] Emilio Bartezzaghi; Roberto Filippini; Gianluca Spina; Andrea Vinelli, Padova: Servizi Grafici Editorali , 1999, 829-836 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
  • 14.
    Hedlund, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Hörte, Sven-åke
    Technological and organizational development and its management1999Report (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    The technological- and organisational development 1992-1997, and the corresponding changes of seven internal and four external performance measures of 56 Swedish firms are analysed, as well as the way the change efforts are managed. The general results are that the firms have moved towards higher levels of decentralisation and automation. The internal performance of the firms has improved if firms have upgraded the technology, or both their technology and organisation. Investments in increased automation tend to improve the quality performance of the firms, while the opposite result is associated with the introduction of a more decentralised organisation. The results for the external performance support that higher automation is related to higher quality, but this is at the expense of less flexibility in product change. The managerial implications discussed are if firms should focus on improved technology, organisation or both, and how to manage the change process.

  • 15.
    Hedlund, Susanne
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Hörte, Sven-åke
    Teknologi, Organisation och Management (TOM): slutrapport2000Report (Other academic)
  • 16.
    Johnsson, Helena
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Engström, Susanne
    Ett industriellt byggande kräver aktiv beställare2009In: Husbyggaren : bygg, el, VVS, anläggning, ISSN 0018-7968, Vol. 51, no 7, 6-8 p.Article in journal (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
  • 17.
    Levander, Erika
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Engström, Susanne
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Sardén, Ylva
    Länsstyrelsen i Norrbotten.
    Stehn, Lars
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Construction clients' ability to manage uncertainty and equivocality2011In: Construction Management and Economics, ISSN 0144-6193, E-ISSN 1466-433X, Vol. 29, no 7, 753-764 p.Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    While risk and uncertainty management have received much attention within construction management research, management of information interpretation remains unexplored. Situations that are generally overlooked are those where increased amounts and flow of information are not the solution to the human problem of managing multiple meanings of information and conflicting interpretations, i.e. ‘equivocality’. The aim is to identify and differentiate between construction clients’ uncertainty and equivocality about industrialized construction in Sweden, and, in the light of those findings, to evaluate clients’ current information processing practice on investment decisions in new-build in order to assess and discuss clients’ ability to manage uncertainty and equivocality. Based on information processing theory, analysis of aggregated data from three previous studies shows that there is a need to manage both uncertainty and equivocality. At the same time, clients’ ability to do this is found to be limited. Consequently, when industrialized construction moves clients beyond their current frame of reference, clients’ information processing practice does not support decision making. It is also proposed that differentiating between uncertainty and equivocality will enable a more profound understanding of the sequential order for information processing, i.e. that one must define questions (reduce equivocality) before one can find answers to the questions (reduce uncertainty).

  • 18.
    Lidelöw, Sofia
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Engström, Susanne
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Furthering sustainable building or not?: Discussing contractors' reflections on a sustainable building pilot project2015In: Proceedings of the 31st Annual ARCOM Conference: 7-9 September 2015, Lincoln, UK / [ed] Ani Raiden; Emmanuel Aboagye-Nimo, Lincoln: Association of Researchers in Construction Management , 2015, Vol. 1, 447-456 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Governmental initiatives in Sweden that aim to support the shift towards a more sustainable building stock are frequently organized as pilot (or demonstration) projects. Pilot projects have been suggested to provide platforms for learning, where for example communication can be enhanced across actors and domains, and changes in practices can be supported. However, they have also been associated with a limited diffusion of project outcomes to mainstream practice as well as difficulties fulfilling project intentions and demands regarding sustainability. In an on-going study of a pilot project for the planning and design of a housing area in a sub-arctic environment, the advancement in the understanding and use of sustainable building practices in a sustainable building pilot project is explored. Interviews were conducted with representatives of the five local contractors that participated in the pilot project, addressing their retrospective descriptions and reflections from a personal and an organizational viewpoint. In keeping with earlier sustainable building research, the project initiators' intention was to develop a shared and holistic understanding of sustainable building. Multiple stakeholders were invited to participate and during interviews the cooperation among contractors was generally put forth as a positive pilot project experience. However, our findings expose tensions between sustainable building intentions and sustainable building as operationalized in the pilot project. Three types of barriers to the advancement of the understanding and use of sustainable building practices are recognised: a skewed balance of sustainability domains; neglect of local context; and a skewed balance of stakeholder perspectives. While intangible pilot project outcomes such as these are commonly neglected, their further study could provide valuable insights into the advancement of sustainable building. Acknowledging the complexity of defining and applying sustainable building, we also propose that more attention should be paid to managing stakeholders' multiple and conflicting views in sustainable building projects.

  • 19.
    Sardén, Ylva
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering.
    Engström, Susanne
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Structural and Construction Engineering.
    Modern methods of construction: a solution for an industry characterised by uncertainty?2010In: ARCOM twenty-Sixth Annual Conference 2010, September 6-8, Leeds / [ed] Charles O. Egbu; Eric Lou, Reading: Association of Researchers in Construction Management , 2010, 1101-1110 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Modern methods of construction (MMC) are suggested to deal more effectively with uncertainties that construction commonly presents to clients and contractors, i.e. uncertainties inherent in traditional construction regarding e.g. time, defects, safety, environmental impact, costs, profits and lifecycle performance. But do MMC really reduce these uncertainties? Furthermore, MMC change stakeholders’ frames of references and they also carry their own inherent uncertainties from the previous century, e.g. poor quality and social exclusion. Perhaps MMC introduce more uncertainty than they reduce? These questions are addressed in this review that covers current research from the leading construction management journals as well as institutional reports from Sweden and UK. Uncertainties inherent in traditional construction are put in relation to the attributes offered by MMC, and the attributes are discussed with respect to their ability to reduce uncertainty, for clients and contractors respectively. Conclusions from the review are that the industrialized construction process, when fully implemented, does contribute to uncertainty reduction through its predictability regarding time schedules, costs, and improved working conditions. On the other hand, this implies standardized processes which also lead to a greater need for standardized components, early decision of the final design and a non-transparent production process that is hard to monitor for the client. These attributes of MMC challenge roles, responsibilities and put new demands on different stakeholders of the construction process, which contribute to uncertainty for both client and contractor.

  • 20.
    Stehn, Lars
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Industrilized and sustainable construction.
    Engström, Susanne
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Industrilized and sustainable construction.
    Lidelöw, Helena
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Industrilized and sustainable construction.
    Serrander, Peter
    AB Fristad Bygg, Sverige.
    Projekt: Beställarrollen i ett industriellt byggande i trä2010Other (Other (popular science, discussion, etc.))
    Abstract [sv]

    Att reducera beställarens osäkerhet vid beslut om att initiera byggprojekt genom att ta fram förslag på styrmedel anpassade för den industriella byggprocessen. För att utveckla dessa nya styrmedel avser projektet attstudera beställarnas nuvarande styrmedel, vilka huvudsakligen är utvecklade med utgångspunkt från det traditionella byggandet och därför anpassade efter detta, studera de specifika krav som en industriell byggprocess ställer, och jämföra beställarnas styrmedel med dessa krav för att identifiera eventuella gap och hinder för beställare att, vid beslut om att initiera byggprojekt, kunna beakta industriella byggalternativ tillsammans med mer traditionella.  

  • 21.
    Uusitalo, Petri
    et al.
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Industrilized and sustainable construction.
    Engström, Susanne
    Luleå University of Technology, Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Industrilized and sustainable construction.
    Detecting and understanding bottlenecks in production using multiple methods2017In: ICCREM 2016: BIM Application and Offsite Construction - Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Construction and Real Estate Management 2016 / [ed] Wang Y.,Al-Hussein M.,Shen G.Q.P.,Zhu Y., Reston, VA: American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), 2017, 307-315 p.Conference paper (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In a competitive situation where clients demand for high responsiveness to order-specific requirements, suppliers of volumetric preassemblies are struggling to maintain efficiency in production. In operation management literature, bottleneck detection has been suggested as key to continuous improvement processes in manufacturing. Yet, there is no consensus on definition and detection of bottlenecks. In an ongoing study, aiming to better understand manufacturing implications of high responsiveness to unique clients' specifications, a volumetric preassembly company providing prefabricated bathroom pods was addressed. Bottlenecks were explored based on three methods suggested in the literature i.e. by asking knowledgeable employees, by observing WIP inventory, and by analyzing process data in a field experiment. By juxtaposing the results, a mixed and somewhat contradictory view was displayed of bottlenecks and their potential root causes. Thus, a more complex view emerges of how to understand and address bottlenecks to improve production efficiency, highlighting the need to potentially extend shop-floor assessments to include supplier and client interfaces.

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