Title: Barriers to client-contractor communication: implementing process innovation in a building project in Sweden
Authors: Susanne Engström; Lars Stehn
Addresses: Luleå University of Technology, Division of Structural and Construction Engineering, SE-97187 Luleå, Sweden ' Luleå University of Technology, Division of Structural and Construction Engineering, SE-97187 Luleå, Sweden
Abstract: Client-contractor communication is vital for achieving project goals but also for adopting innovations. However, this type of communication does not take place across just one interface but across several. In the present study, barriers to client-contractor communication were addressed with the intention of specifically highlighting the potential impact of the project-based setting. A case study of a building project where process innovation was to be implemented provided the data. The analysis focused on meaning-making by different participants during progression of the project until its completion. Although the project was successfully completed, some of the aims of the process innovation were not realised as planned due to emerging meaning-making problems. A main suggestion from the reported findings was that the predominant project logic in construction may be a key barrier to client-contractor communication in implementing innovations presented by actors on the supply-side.
Keywords: clients; contractors; communication barriers; building projects; Sweden; case study; meaning; project organisation; project management; client-contractor communication; process innovation; sense-making; construction industry.
International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, 2016 Vol.8 No.2, pp.151 - 171
Accepted: 02 Dec 2013
Published online: 06 May 2016 *