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Development of high reliability construction work systems: lessons from production practices of high performance work crews

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The construction industry faces important performance problems such as low productivity, poor quality of work, and work-related accidents and injuries. Creating a high reliability work system that is simultaneously highly productive and exceptionally safe has become a challenge for construction

The construction industry faces important performance problems such as low productivity, poor quality of work, and work-related accidents and injuries. Creating a high reliability work system that is simultaneously highly productive and exceptionally safe has become a challenge for construction practitioners and scholars. The main goal of this dissertation was to create an understanding of high reliability construction work systems based on lessons from the production practices of high performance work crews. High performance work crews are defined as the work crews that constantly reach and maintain a high level of productivity and exceptional safety record while delivering high quality of work. This study was conceptualized on findings from High Reliability Organizations and with a primary focus on lean construction, human factors, safety, and error management. Toward the research objective, this dissertation answered two major questions. First, it explored the task factors and project attributes that shape and increase workers' task demands and consequently affect workers' safety, production, and quality performance. Second, it explored and investigated the production practices of construction field supervisors (foremen) to understand how successful supervisors regulate task and project demands to create a highly reliable work process. Employing case study methodology, this study explored and analyzed the work practices of six work crews and crew supervisors in different trades including concrete, masonry, and hot asphalt roofing construction. The case studies included one exceptional and one average performing crew from each trade. Four major factors were considered in the selection of exceptional crew supervisors: (1) safety performance, (2) production performance, (3) quality performance, and (4) the level of project difficulty they supervised. The data collection was carried out in three phases including: (1) interview with field supervisors to understand their production practices, (2) survey and interview with workers to understand their perception and to identify the major sources of task demands, and (3) several close field observations. Each trade's specific findings including task demands, project attributes, and production practices used by crew supervisors are presented in a separate chapter. At the end the production practices that converged to create high reliability work systems are summarized and presented in nine major categories.

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Date Created
2012

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Quantifying the impact of incentives on cost and schedule performance of construction projects in United States

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In today's era a lot of the construction projects suffer from time delay, cost overrun and quality defect. Incentive provisions are found to be a contracting strategy to address this potential problem. During last decade incentive mechanisms have gained importance,

In today's era a lot of the construction projects suffer from time delay, cost overrun and quality defect. Incentive provisions are found to be a contracting strategy to address this potential problem. During last decade incentive mechanisms have gained importance, and they are starting to become adopted in the construction projects. Most of the previous research done in this area was purely qualitative, with a few quantitative studies. This study aims to quantify the performance of incentives in construction by collecting the data from more than 30 projects in United States through a questionnaire survey. First, literature review addresses the previous research work related to incentive types, incentives in construction industry, incentives in other industry and benefits of incentives. Second, the collected data is analyzed with statistical methods to test the significance of observed changes between two data sets i.e. incentive projects and non-incentive projects. Finally, the analysis results provide evidence for the significant impact of having incentives; reduced the cost and schedule growth in construction projects in United States.

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Date Created
2015