The role of effective communication in the construction Industry: a guide for education and health clients

Terry Aulich


Abstract

The construction industry operates primarily as a system of sub-contracting and purpose built alliances. There is a wide spread of stakeholders involved in conceiving a building project through typical stages such as design, finance, build,  manage, upgrade and, ultimately, replacement and a corresponding need for communication and cooperation. Specialists who can prevent bridges falling down or who build 20 storey buildings are seen as the hard-nosed, action people who have helped bring us into the modern era. However, there are intuitive activities and disciplines which help us to achieve the type of construction achievements that have been the hallmarks of the 19th, 20th and now the 21st centuries. Most of these so called soft disciplines are about how one helps people, often highly skilled, achieve those construction and engineering goals. The key components are consultation and communication.

Communication strategies should be based on a thorough understanding of the ways that humans co-operate in joint undertakings, the key principles of social dynamics and learning theory plus the ways in which people deliver, accept and understand words and pictures. The disciplines of organisational and environmental psychology have become a basic fundamental of modern business activities from management and organisational strategy to marketing and customer relations and to the improvement of working, recreational and living environments.

However it is rare for a mature industry such as construction to adopt or examine those disciplines for guidance about either strategies or operations. This is despite the fact that the construction industry is almost entirely based on the principle of sub-contracting, business and professional alliances, all of which require understanding of environmental psychology and social dynamics in order to build trust, reputation, teamwork and client satisfaction. There is therefore a major need for communications to be systematic, understood by all stakeholders and intelligently applied. This paper concentrates on the need for the client to become a more confident and better informed stakeholder in the construction project, and seeks to provide high level management guidance for traditional centralized systems. The ultimate goal of the paper is to provide a systematic guideline for stakeholders to address early in the life of a project to ensure that industry professionals, clients and sub-clients are “working from the same page”

Keywords

Communication strategies, Construction cost controls, Education and heath construction, Capacity building and risk management at client level

Full Text

PDF

References

Australian Standard Method of Measurement, 1990, 5th edition, The Australian Institute of Quantity Surveyors and the Master Builders' - Construction and Housing Association Australia, Inc. Deakin, ACT

Best Practice Cost Estimation for Publicly. Funded Road and Rail Construction, Sep 2011

Estimation Standard for Publicly Funded Road and Rail Construction, Canberra, Government Printing Service

Orgill, Brad November 6th, 2010, The Australian

Building the Education Revolution Implementation Task Force, 2011, Canberra, ACT http://www.bertaskforce.gov.au/pages/default.aspx

Sunindyo, R.Y, Zou, Patrick X.W., 2013, 'The Roles of Emotional Intelligence, Interpersonal Skills and Transformation Leadership on Improving Construction Safety Performance', Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building, 13 (3), 97-113

Uher, Thomas E and Davenport, Philip, 2009, 2nded, Fundamentals of Building Contract Management, Sydney UNSW Press

Zou, Patrick X.W, Guomin Zhang and Jia –Yuan Wang Identifying Key Risks in Construction Projects: Life Cycle and Stakeholder Perspectives, www.prres.net/papers/zou_risks_in_construction_projects.pdf

Article Metrics

Metrics Loading ...

Metrics powered by PLOS ALM