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Journal Cover Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building
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  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
   ISSN (Print) 1445-2634 - ISSN (Online) 1837-9133
   Published by U of Technology Sydney Homepage  [7 journals]
  • A study of best management practices for enhancing productivity in
           building projects: construction methods perspectives

    • Authors: Argaw Tarekegn Gurmu, Ajibade Ayodeji Aibinu, Toong Khuan Chan
      Pages: 1 - 19
      Abstract: This research investigates management practices that have the potential to enhance productivity in building projects by focusing on construction methods. In phase 1 of the study, face-to-face interviews with nineteen experts were conducted to identify the best management practices for construction methods. The qualitative data analysis reached saturation and resulted in a list of best practices for construction methods that are relevant to the local industry. The second phase used an industry-wide survey to prioritize the best practices. Accordingly, project start-up plan, traffic control plan, machinery positioning strategy, project completion plan, and dynamic site layout plan were shown to be the top five best practices for construction methods. The study also revealed that high levels of implementation of best practices are associated with low levels of project delays. The use of best practices also varied according to the project costs. There were no discernible differences between the top five best practices. The authors suggest that they should be implemented jointly to improve productivity in building projects. Contractors could use the logistic regression model developed, to predict the probability of exceeding a baseline productivity factor and, on that basis, implement corrective actions to achieve the desired level of productivity. 
      PubDate: 2016-09-08
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 3 (2016)
  • A conceptual model of psychological contracts in construction projects

    • Authors: Yongjian Ke, Peter Davis, Marcus Jefferies
      Pages: 20 - 37
      Abstract: The strategic importance of relationship style contracting is recognised in the construction industry. Both public and private sector clients are stipulating more integrated and collaborative forms of procurement. Despite relationship and integrated contractual arrangement being available for some time, it is clear that construction firms have been slow to adopt them. Hence it is timely to examine how social exchanges, via unwritten agreement and behaviours, are being nurtured in construction projects. This paper adopted the concept of Psychological Contracts (PC) to describe unwritten agreement and behaviours. A conceptual model of the PC is developed and validated using the results from a questionnaire survey administered to construction professionals in Australia. The results uncovered the relationships that existed amongst relational conditions and relational benefits, the PC and the partners’ satisfaction. The results show that all the hypotheses in the conceptual model of the PC are supported, suggesting the PC model is important and may have an effect on project performance and relationship quality among contracting parties. A validated model of the PC in construction was then developed based on the correlations among each component. The managerial implications are that past relationships and relationship characteristics should be taken into account in the selection of procurement partners and the promise of future resources, support and tangible relational outcomes are also vital. It is important for contracting parties to pay attention to unwritten agreements (the PC) and behaviours when managing construction projects.
      PubDate: 2016-09-08
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 3 (2016)
  • Construction insolvency in Australia: reining in the beast

    • Authors: Jeremy Coggins, Bianca Teng, Raufdeen Rameezdeen
      Pages: 38 - 56
      Abstract: Insolvency has become endemic in the Australian construction industry. The scale of the problem has reached such proportions that both the NSW Parliament and the Senate have, in recent times, commissioned inquiries into construction insolvency. This paper aims to identify the reasons as to why the construction industry is so susceptible to insolvency, evaluate the effectiveness of any existing insolvency protection measures available to construction firms, and to identify proposed future measures to address the factors causing construction insolvency. The results of a questionnaire survey designed to discover the extent of the construction insolvency problem, as well as building contractors’ views with respect to the causes and regulation of construction insolvency, in South Australia are presented. The research found that there is an appetite amongst building contractors for the introduction of further regulation to address construction insolvency. Further, although the research found underbidding to be the biggest contributory factor towards construction insolvency, it appears to be the most difficult factor to address through regulation which explains the paucity of recommendations which directly address underbidding emanating from the Senate inquiry in 2015.
      PubDate: 2016-09-08
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 3 (2016)
  • Guest Editorial

    • Authors: Graham Brewer
      Pages: 57 - 58
      Abstract: Innovation and SMEs in the AEC sector
      PubDate: 2016-09-08
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 3 (2016)
  • Vectors of technical innovation delivery by small and medium Australian
           construction firms

    • Authors: Marie Hardie
      Pages: 59 - 70
      Abstract: Long-established Schumpeterian theory on innovation assumes that significant innovations are generated by large companies with ample spare resources. The allocation of time and money to speculative endeavours with unclear outcomes has often been regarded as beyond the scope of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). As a result, authorities sometimes advise SMEs to concentrate on the adoption of existing innovative products and processes rather than the generation of new creative ideas. Despite this traditional wisdom, some very capable individuals actively choose to participate in the SME sector because the relative absence of internal bureaucratic processes and the capacity for agile response to changing circumstances. Ten case studies of significant technical innovations generated within construction SMEs were examined in the light of common themes identified through a literature review. The case studies were classified according to existing taxonomies of innovation. Content analysis was used to map the identified themes against the published material about the innovations from patent applications, company websites, trade literature and industry magazines. The findings indicate that SME innovation stems from several distinct motivations. These drivers of innovation can be described vectors. They inspire innovative solutions but the generated innovations also drive development towards solutions for other, quite different problems.
      PubDate: 2016-09-08
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 3 (2016)
  • BIM adoption within Australian Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs):
           an innovation diffusion model

    • Authors: M. Reza Hosseini, Saeed Banihashemi, Nicholas Chileshe, Mehran Oraee Namzadi, Chika Udaeja, Raufdeen Rameezdeen, Tammy McCuen
      Pages: 71 - 86
      Abstract: Despite the envisaged benefits of BIM adoption for SMEs, BIM in SMEs has remained an underrepresented area within the available academic literature. This study proposes and draws upon a framework grounded on innovation diffusion theory (IDT) to provide an illuminating insight into the current state of BIM and the main barriers to BIM adoption within Australian SMEs. Based on analyses of 135 questionnaires completed by SMEs through partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) and grounded on the proposed framework, the current state of BIM adoption and barriers to BIM adoption for SMEs are discussed. The findings show that currently around 42% of Australian SMEs use BIM in Level 1 and Level 2 with only around 5% have tried Level 3. It comes to light that lack of knowledge within SMEs and across the construction supply chain is not a major barrier for Australian SMEs. In essence, the main barriers stem from the risks associated with an uncertain return on investment (ROI) for BIM as perceived by key players in SMEs. The findings also show the validity of the framework proposed for explaining BIM adoption in Australian SMEs.
      PubDate: 2016-09-08
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 3 (2016)
  • An innovation resistance factor model

    • Authors: Siti Salwa Mohd Ishak, Sidney Newton
      Pages: 87 - 103
      Abstract: The process and implementation strategy of information technology in construction is generally considered through the limiting prism of theoretical contexts generated from innovation diffusion and acceptance. This research argues that more attention should be given to understanding the positive effects of resistance. The study develops a theoretical framing for the Integrated Resistance Factor Model (IRFM). The framing uses a combination of diffusion of innovation theory, technology acceptance model and social network perspective. The model is tested to identify the most significant resistance factors using Partial Least Square (PLS) technique. All constructs proposed in the model are found to be significant, valid and consistent with the theoretical framework. IRFM is shown to be an effective and appropriate model of user resistance factors. The most critical factors to influence technology resistance in the online project information management system (OPIMS) context are: support from leaders and peers, complexity of the technology, compatibility with key work practices; and pre-trial of the technology before it is actually deployed. The study provides a new model for further research in technology innovation specific to the construction industry.
      PubDate: 2016-09-08
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 3 (2016)
  • Assessing construction innovation: theoretical and practical perspectives

    • Authors: Peter Davis, Thayaparan Gajendran, Josephine Vaughan, Toinpre Owi
      Pages: 104 - 115
      Abstract: Innovation is key for productivity improvement and advancements in different sectors of the economy, including the construction sector.  The criticism of the slow pace of innovation in construction industry may be unwarranted, considering the structure of the industry and nature of the construction business.  The loosely coupled nature of firms, mostly Small and Medium Enterprises (SME’s), delivering ‘projects’ through partial engagement, together with the distinction between the project innovation and firm innovation makes it difficult to extract innovations in a meaningful way.  The problem also lies in conceptualising, defining, articulating and assessing innovation in construction.  The literature is replete with research into construction innovation, however, there is limited research into understanding how innovation is perceived and narrated in practice.  The paper aims to explore how innovation is assessed and narrated in construction, specifically analysing theory and practice perspectives.  A theoretical model was constructed from a structured literature review illustrating existing discourse and narratives of construction innovation assessment.  A qualitative analysis of ‘Professional Excellence in Building’ submission documents to the Australian Institute of Building was performed to identify the practice perspective of innovation.  The findings suggest that internal organizational and process innovation account for the majority of improvements identified.  Importantly a taxonomy of narrative is developed that articulates how the construction industry in Australia views industry innovation.
      PubDate: 2016-09-08
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 3 (2016)
  • Book Review

    • Authors: Graham Brewer
      Pages: 116 - 117
      Abstract: Book Review: Construction InnovationOrstavik, F., Dainty, A.R.J. and Abbott, C., Eds. (2015). Construction Innovation. West Sussex: WILEY Blackwell. 224 pages. ISBN: 978-1-118-65553-5 
      PubDate: 2016-09-08
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 3 (2016)
  • Review of research trend in international construction projects: a
           bibliometric analysis

    • Authors: Wahyudi P Utama, Albert P.C. Chan, Hafiz Zahoor, Ran Gao
      Pages: 71 - 82
      Abstract: This paper presents the latest research development in international construction project (ICP) domain from 1995 to 2014 as revealed in the construction management related journals. A systematic document retrieval method was employed to collect relevant articles. The identified papers were analyzed by using bibliometric analysis comprising the investigation of the number of publication, the main originators of the research contributions, their affiliations, the most cited papers, and the sources of research funding as well as the research methods used. Ninety-eight relevant articles obtained from 12 major journals associated with construction management studies were successfully assessed. The results show an upward trend with some fluctuations during the period and the bibliometric information of ICP studies was successfully presented.  
      PubDate: 2016-06-13
      Issue No: Vol. 16, No. 2 (2016)
School of Mathematical and Computer Sciences
Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh, EH14 4AS, UK
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