Vol 1 Issue 1

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Work-Family Life of Consultant Quantity Surveyors in Singapore
Low Sui Pheng, Liu Jun Ying and Leow Wei Yang

At the work-family interface, work-family conflict has been a highly researched area. While earlier research work on work-family conflict had largely focused on how the work-life on employees can affect their family-life experiences, it has now been widely agreed that the family-life of employees can also influence their work performance. Work-family researches have also identified three primary types of work-family conflict, namely: time-based conflict, strain-based conflict and behavior-based conflict. Each type of work-family conflict is measured bi-laterally, that is, the spillover effect from work to family and vice versa. Using a validated multi-item construct-based questionnaire, a survey was carried out on a sample of consultant quantity surveyors in Singapore. The purpose of the study is to find out whether the respondents experienced all forms of work to family conflict greater than in the direction from family to work conflict. The findings showed that consultant quantity surveyors in Singapore encountered greater time – and strain-based conflict arising from their work which spillover to their family lives. The study also found no difference in work-family conflict experienced by male and female consultant quantity surveyors. Recommendations such as revising the work demands placed on employees are proposed to the employing organization so as to improve the work-family experience of consultant quantity surveyors.

Implementing Innovation within the UK Construction Industry
Malik M A Khalifan, Mohammed Arif, Mukesh Kashyap and Salman Asad

The purpose of this paper is to highlight the benefits of innovation and demonstrate how organizations can promote innovation and innovative thinking within their organization as well as in the supply chain. Two case studies are presented using Ying’s (1994) methodology. The first case study is of a construction support service joint venture aimed to reveal how the joint venture made efforts to promote innovation and used it as a tool to improve service delivery. The second case study is of a local authority, aimed to demonstrate how a leading public sector client has established procurement processes on innovation, and innovative thinking in management and integration of their supply chain. The findings reveal that; (i) promotion of innovation and innovative thinking across the supply chain offers major benefits to clients and service providers in terms of improved service delivery and savings in schedule and cost; (ii) client and procurement route play a major role in promoting innovation; and (iii) there were few delays, and added value among others. The existing literature provides evidence about the importance of innovation and potential benefits but, in practice there is little guidance to adopt tools and processes to quantify the real benefits from innovation. Accordingly, this paper demonstrates conditions which can provide a context within which innovation thrives. These case exemplars offer transferable learning opportunities for other construction firms seeking to promote innovation throughout their supply chains.

Construction Industry Strategic Management Under The Wave Of Globalization In The Current Financial Crisis
Rita Yi Man Li and Don Henry Ah Pak

The sub-prime mortgage crisis has led to a painful time in the U.S financial sector and construction industry. Statistics have shown that there has been an increase in the unemployment rates in all the states in the U.S construction sector over the past one year. The financial downturn has also lead to a contraction in construction business in eighteen countries studied in this paper. In the wake of the current financial tsunami, various stakeholders are busy in finding the way to break free from the clutches of economic depression. The research methodology used in this paper in analytical. It reviews the 2008 and 2009 employment statistics in U.S construction industry obtained from The Associated General Contractors of America as well as 18 countries in Europe employment and construction business activity shown in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). It also provides suggestions on how strategic management can help construction firms in economic hard times.

Participative Decision Making And Implementation In The Construction Industry
Gayani Karusena and Arunothayan, S.

In the construction industry, projects are normally completed with team work and collective decision making. Despite that, not all project participants agree on goals due to various perceptions, personal values, expectations and this is where conflicts arise. This study examines the significance of participation of constructions professionals in decision making and implementation management processes for achieving higher final outcomes on the behavioral paradigm. A structured questionnaire was used for data collection from selected consultants of the Sri Lankan construction industry. A participative soft value management model introduced by Leung and Chu was used as the key concept of study. The research revealed that participation of project stakeholders of the construction industry in the decision making process significantly improves all elements or organizational behavioral outcomes; work, individual, team, and team relationships. However, in the implementation process the only significant improvement was on work and individual outcomes, but not in team and team relationships.

Towards The Development Of A Modern Construction Contract: The Case of NEC3
Wayne Lord and Anita Liu

The choice of the form of contract plays a significant role in the governance of relationships between the parties. The Latham Report (1994) “Constructing The Team” suggested that the construction industry should embrace a “Modern Contract”. The New Engineering Contract, then in its first edition, was perceived to contain virtually all the procedures/requirements of best practice such a Modern Contract required. This paper sets out the Latham requirements for a Modern Contract and compares them to the principle ingredients of the latest editions within the NEC family of documents to demonstrate whether the contracts, and particularly the Engineering and Construction Contract, are truly compliant. The thirteen requirements identified by Latham are discussed under the categories of “Fairness”, “Roles and functions of project participants”, and “Operating mechanisms” to examine steps are being taken to encourage non adversarial/collaborative relationships in the UK but, perhaps more importantly, to nurture a desire for behavioral change towards collaboration in the management of construction projects.

How Should Civil Engineering Businesses Evaluate Their Marketing Effectiveness?
Christopher Nigel Preece and Jonathan Selwood-Hogg

Given the dynamic nature of the civil engineering sector, companies would seem to need to develop and implement cost effective marketing strategies. Up until the recent global financial crisis, Public Finance Initiatives (PFI) have been increasingly used to procure public sector work. Also, with an increasing number of international projects, the industry has become exposed to even more diverse business conditions. It is vital therefore, that civil engineering companies are able to adapt to the changes within the industry. Marketing makes a critical contributions in the process of retaining key clients and identifying new markets. Evaluating marketing performance should be a key task for the management of all firms. This paper examines marketing approaches adopted by civil engineering companies, and the manner they may approach their measurement. The future direction is for companies to take a more planned approach and evaluate how effectively marketing strategies may generate business for the company.


Notes for Contributors