Is good enough 'making do'?: An investigation of inappropriate processing in a small design and build company

Emmitt, S., Pasquire, C. ORCID: 0000-0001-6344-2031 and Mertia, B., 2012. Is good enough 'making do'?: An investigation of inappropriate processing in a small design and build company. Construction Innovation, 12 (3), pp. 369-383. ISSN 1471-4175

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Purpose: The aim was to address behaviour that led to inappropriate processing in a small design and build contracting organisation that employs direct labour. The objective was to reduce process waste and improve the value delivered to clients. This formed part of a larger knowledge transfer project (KTP) to improve performance on construction sites through the application of lean thinking.
Methodology: Action research was used to identify and bring about change within the contracting organisation. The method was applied to live construction projects in the social housing sector in the greater London area. The intervention was to raise the awareness of site personnel to the importance of finishing tasks through informal discussions and visual management techniques.
Findings: Raised awareness of the importance of finishing work to allow other trades to follow on unimpeded led to significant improvements in the quality and flow of work. This helped to contribute to significant savings in time and cost.
Practical implications: This applied research is practical and cost effective to apply to live projects managed by small and medium sized contracting organisations.
Academic implications: the observations made reveal a form of waste in construction that has not been widely recognised in the literature on Lean.
Research limitations: Findings relate to a small SME with directly employed labour, therefore the findings have limited applicability. Further applied research is required to determine the generalisation of the approach/findings to organisations that subcontract their labour
Originality/value: Provides a unique insight into the practical application of lean thinking tools and process improvement.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Construction Innovation
Creators: Emmitt, S., Pasquire, C. and Mertia, B.
Publisher: Emerald
Date: 2012
Volume: 12
Number: 3
ISSN: 1471-4175
Divisions: Schools > School of Architecture, Design and the Built Environment
Record created by: EPrints Services
Date Added: 09 Oct 2015 11:05
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2017 13:48

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