Team 'working' & project performance in the UK construction industry

Stuart Tennant, David Langford

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

Abstract

This research programme is currently investigating the relationship between construction site
teams and project performance. Much has been written about the benefits of team working and
over the last decade management thinking has shifted the typical team paradigm away from a
traditional operational application towards an increasingly strategic perspective. The employment
of team working within the construction industry is extensive and therefore any development on
the management of teams and team working applications may have a far-reaching significance for
the sector.
The company case-study investigates the relationship between two ever-present variables in most
construction projects: teams and performance. The team study identifies three contextual
categories that comprise of seven key characteristics prominent in most group / team
environments. The individual team variable ratings are calculated using an attitude statement
questionnaire that has been issued to all permanent construction site team members. The
questionnaire addresses all seven key variables; each variable has five attitude statements with
five possible answers. The individual responses are collated, averaged and presented collectively
as a team percentage rating by means of a radar chart. Project performance is evaluated using
seven key performance indicators. The KPI’s have been selected to create a balanced
performance measure of project ‘well-being’, incorporating the four distinct perspectives
advocated in Kaplan and Norton’s Balanced Scorecard concept. The project performance data is
gathered from three primary sources: the client or client’s representative, the team leader and
construction site team members with specific reference to the seven key performance indicators
adopted from recognised construction industry KPI’s and similarly presented on a radar chart.
Analyses of the results quantify the perceptible strength of relationship between team working
and project performance. Results also identify individual strengths and weaknesses. In particular
team characteristics that may contribute to project quality for the client and promote continuous
team improvement for the contractor. Further detailed investigation and data collection has the
potential for future development of a diagnostic toolkit that may unlock team working capability.
If construction teams are to be better managed then the interaction between site team working,
performance and the environment requires to be better understood.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLearning from Experience
Subtitle of host publicationNew Challenges, Theories and Practices in Construction
EditorsAbdul Samad (Sami) Kazi
PublisherVTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd
Pages237-249
ISBN (Print)952-5004-68-6
Publication statusPublished - 2005

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Tennant, S., & Langford, D. (2005). Team 'working' & project performance in the UK construction industry. In A. S. S. Kazi (Ed.), Learning from Experience: New Challenges, Theories and Practices in Construction (pp. 237-249). VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.