Living up to the value agenda: the empirical realities of through-life value creation in construction
Current research agendas are increasingly encouraging the construction industry to operate on the basis of 'added value'. Such debates echo the established concept of 'high value manufacturing' and associated trends towards servitization. Within construction, the so-called 'value agenda' draws heavily from the notion of integrated solutions. This is held to be especially appropriate in the context of PFI projects. Also relevant is the concept of service-led projects whereby the project rationale is driven by the client's objectives for delivering an enhanced service to its own customers. Such ideas are contextualized by a consideration of broader trends of privatization and outsourcing within and across the construction industry's client base. The current emphasis on integrated solutions reflects long-term trends within privatized client organizations towards the outsourcing of asset management capabilities. However, such trends are by no means uniform or consistent. An in-depth case study of three operating divisions within a major construction company illustrates that firms are unlikely to reorientate their business in response to the 'value agenda'. In the case of PFI, the tendency has been to establish specialist units for the purposes of winning work. Meanwhile, institutionally embedded operating routines within the rest of the business remain broadly unaffected.
Volume (Year): 27 (2009)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
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