• Marianne Beedholm Rasmussen
For several years the work productivity in the Danish construction industry has been an increased focus area due to the weak development since the 1980s. However, immediate improvements have not happened. The productivity trends in other European countries and the dispersion of productivity in the construction industry in Denmark indicate that more positive development is possible.
How to achieve higher efficiency and a more positive development is therefore analyzed through further identification of the problem. Based on a survey conducted by other students, problem analysis and diverse sources, this thesis concludes that lack of interpersonal communication and errors in this aspect among the participants is an essential problem as far as achieving higher efficiency in the construction industry.
Communication is a primary activity in the project organizations of the construction industry, and several studies indicate that flawed communication is a frequent cause of a poor climate of cooperation, failure, conflict and wasted resources. The structure of temporary projects, changing partners and fragmentation in the construction industry makes communication complex because the degree of repetition and continuity within and between activities is low. Additionally, disciplinary fragmentation, time pressures and unilateral focus on price makes communication difficult in the construction projects.
On this basis present thesis discusses how to obtain more effective and interest-based communica-tion in the project organizations of the construction industry. Meanwhile, communication difficulties that may arise among the participants and how to reduce these are elucidated. Furthermore, it is studied how to reduce communication breakdown caused by disciplinary fragmentation.
Through theoretical studies, previous research, analyses and interviews with construction managers a number of attention areas are addressed concerning improvement of communication. These are for instance informal communication, group development, feedback, variation in different types of communication and distortion due to noise in the communication process. It is proposed that increased emphasis on communication and knowledge of these areas are necessary if more effective communication is to be achieved in the industry. Additionally, it seems to require changes in the industry's traditional organization if communications are to become significantly more effective and interest-based.
Tendering based on other criteria than price and the use of key indicators have a positive influence on communication. The use of communication skills as selection and assignment criteria can presumably increase the participants’ attention on communication and motivate to an improvement of competence in the field. To reduce communication breakdown due to disciplinary fragmentation it is proposed to increase the use of interdisciplinary cooperation during educations. Thus an increased comprehension and mutual respect between the professions, their expertise, diversity and needs are possible. Furthermore, newer forms of collaboration, which concentrate on common objectives, are brought into focus. This improves the conditions for sharing organizational knowledge, for knowledge creation and for organizational learning. As a result, effective and interest-based communication has far better conditions too.
Finally, topics related to the implementation of a better communication culture in the construction industry are considered and the specific findings of the present thesis are put into perspective.
Publication date5 Jan 2011
Number of pages91
ID: 43331100