Investigating learning in construction organizations

Suyanto Mahdiputra, Bob Giddings, Keith Hogg, Michael Daws

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Learning in construction has received scant attention within extant theories of generic organizational learning. One of the apparently distinct characteristics of construction organization is that its business mainly runs through projects. In contrast, the origin of the organizational learning concept mainly stems from routine-based organizations. The present study investigates how these theories are applied in the construction domain. To be more specific, it focuses on contracting organizations that engage with the UK performance enhancement initiative known as Constructing Excellence. The paper summarises the theoretical perspective on the current state of knowledge about this topic and the full methodology to be adopted. In overall terms, the methodology takes a multifaceted approach involving six major stages. The first phases of this process are now complete. It takes the form of a business audit relating to the type and size of projects currently being undertaken and how the project teams are managed. In themselves, the results contain new empirical data that has informed the direction of the rest study. Two general groups of construction companies were identified: general contractors and specialist/subcontractors. Each of these groups has a different tendency for how they manage their project teams. The former tends to reform for each new project, while the latter favours staying together. The initial premise is that each of these practices implies different learning mechanisms. Further study and analysis will depart from these initial findings.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2005
EventThe 21st Association of Researchers for Construction Management (ARCOM) Conference - London
Duration: 1 Jan 2005 → …


ConferenceThe 21st Association of Researchers for Construction Management (ARCOM) Conference
Period1/01/05 → …


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