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Relationship management as a strategy for supply chain engagement in the civil engineering construction industry

Cheung, Yan Ki Fiona (2011) Relationship management as a strategy for supply chain engagement in the civil engineering construction industry. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.

Abstract

Many studies into construction procurement methods reveal evidence of a need to change the culture and attitude in the construction industry, transition from traditional adversarial relationships to cooperative and collaborative relationships. At the same time there is also increasing concern and discussion on alternative procurement methods, involving a movement away from traditional procurement systems. Relational contracting approaches, such as partnering and relationship management, are business strategies that align the objectives of clients, commercial participants and stakeholders. It provides a collaborative environment and a framework for all participants to adapt their behaviour to project objectives and allows for engagement of those subcontractors and suppliers down the supply chain. The efficacy of relationship management in the client and contractor groups is proven and well documented. However, the industry has a history of slow implementation of relational contracting down the supply chain. Furthermore, there exists little research on relationship management conducted in the supply chain context. This research aims to explore the association between relational contracting structures and processes and supply chain sustainability in the civil engineering construction industry. It endeavours to shed light on the practices and prerequisites for relationship management implementation success and for supply sustainability to develop. The research methodology is a triangulated approach based on Cheung.s (2006) earlier research where questionnaire survey, interviews and case studies were conducted. This new research includes a face-to-face questionnaire survey that was carried out with 100 professionals from 27 contracting organisations in Queensland from June 2008 to January 2009. A follow-up survey sub-questionnaire, further examining project participants. perspectives was sent to another group of professionals (as identified in the main questionnaire survey). Statistical analysis including multiple regression, correlation, principal component factor analysis and analysis of variance were used to identify the underlying dimensions and test the relationships among variables. Interviews and case studies were conducted to assist in providing a deeper understanding as well as explaining findings of the quantitative study. The qualitative approaches also gave the opportunity to critique and validate the research findings. This research presents the implementation of relationship management from the contractor.s perspective. Findings show that the adaption of relational contracting approach in the supply chain is found to be limited; contractors still prefer to keep the suppliers and subcontractors at arm.s length. This research shows that the degree of match and mismatch between organisational structuring and organisational process has an impact on staff.s commitment level and performance effectiveness. Key issues affecting performance effectiveness and relationship effectiveness include total influence between parties, access to information, personal acquaintance, communication process, risk identification, timely problem solving and commercial framework. Findings also indicate that alliance and Early Contractor Involvement (ECI) projects achieve higher performance effectiveness at both short-term and long-term levels compared to projects with either no or partial relationship management adopted.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 46860
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Kajewski, Stephen& Rowlinson, Stephen
Additional Information: Yan Ki Fiona Cheung is the maiden name of Fiona Lamari
Keywords: relationship management, commitment, communication, performance effectiveness, sustainability
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 04 Nov 2011 15:47
Last Modified: 24 Mar 2014 11:20

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