Relationship management in the construction sector - culture change
This research project investigated how culture change can be managed in the context of a new approach based upon relationship management. Successful implementation of relationship management requires strong commitment and continuous understanding at all levels. The trend towards consideration of non-price criteria and the advent of relationship management and alliance-type contracts has encouraged increased focus on the collaborative elements of project team management.
Industry accepts that a cultural shift is required to maximise the outcomes from such projects. However, fostering the right culture is not a challenge for the project team alone. The client organisation must also develop an appropriate culture to be able to propose and manage relationship contracts Both government and industry have identified needs for revaluing construction and engineering a better process and procedures in order to deliver value to all participants and stakeholders. Continuous, open and honest communication is the key to the success of this process, moving away from adversarial approaches towards a more cooperative and collaborative environment.
Partnering, alliancing and relationship management require a change of mind set ― a culture change ― and the client side must change along with the contracting side. A fit is required between organisational structure and culture. Relationship contracting has the potential benefits of achieving stakeholder empowerment, facilitating regional development and delivering a sustainable industry.
Outcomes from this project included:
- a better understanding of team and organisational culture
- a process for selection of a collaborative team to fit with an appropriate contract strategy
- a set of roles, procedures and protocols to maintain relationship management throughout the project
- a change in attitude
- an industry-wide education and training initiative.