Improving construction management with decentralised production planning and control : exploring the production crew and manager perspectives through a multi-method approach

Joonas Lehtovaara*, Olli Seppänen, Antti Peltokorpi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)
123 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Decentralised, autonomous planning and control is a potential avenue of improvement in several fields, including construction. However, research on this topic, particularly involving the production crew viewpoint, remains scarce within the construction production management domain. This study explores the effects of decentralisation (and in contrast, effects of centralisation) for construction production planning and control (PP&C) from the combined perspectives of production crews and managers, and utilises these viewpoints to suggest improvements for PP&C practices. The study answers the following research questions: How do decentralisation/centralisation affect construction PP&C practices when considering both the production crew and manager perspectives? and Based on the aforementioned perspectives, how may construction PP&C practices overall be improved? To achieve holistic assessment, the research is conducted as a multi-method comparative case study using survey-based social network analysis (SNA) and semi-structured interviews. The results show that decentralised PP&C offers several benefits—such as improved transparency, conflict resolution, commitment, and lower stress—while allowing a proactive building of resilience, trust, ownership and autonomy for crews. In its current applied form, however, the approach does not fully reach the worker level. Regardless of the approach that is used, production crews perceive PP&C as decentralised, while managers perceive PP&C as having centralised structures. This gap between perceptions forms barriers for effective PP&C that must be properly addressed. Eight improvement suggestions are constructed to improve PP&C, that generally emphasise more deliberate decentralisation but that also indicate the necessity of partial central planning and control.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2039399
Pages (from-to)254-277
Number of pages24
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Volume40
Issue number4
Early online date21 Feb 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Keywords

  • case study
  • Construction production management
  • decentralisation
  • production planning and control
  • social network analysis

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