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Home » Category: 51. Making Sense of Construction Improvement

Living up to the rhetoric -2

The subsequent full report from the Competition Commission was published in 2000. It provided a sad indictment of the supply chain management practices implemented by the major supermarkets. The Competition Commission (2000) reported that they had received many allegations from suppliers about the behaviour of the ‘main parties’ in the course of their trading relationships. Continue Reading

Buying power and the rhetoric of seduction

What cannot be denied is that the cause of partnering was championed by a number of powerful clients who had become dissatisfied with the supposed under-performance of the construction industry. The large UK supermarkets have consistently numbered amongst the most enthusiastic advocates of partnering. As regular clients of construction, they understandably wish to extend the Continue Reading

Transcending organisational boundaries

Notwithstanding the above, partnering does, however, differ from BPR in at least one important respect – partnering is something which transcends organisational boundaries. In contrast, BPR tends to be applied within organisational boundaries; its origins lie in the prevailing concerns about ‘fat’ organisations which were perceived to be uncompetitive. To repeat the core argument, the Continue Reading

Success requires faith and commitment -2

Writing from a self-consciously critical perspective, Green (1999) has elsewhere equated the arguments in support of partnering with corporatist propaganda. Certainly, the supporting arguments draw heavily from the lexicon of enterprise culture. The ultimate argument as mobilised by sources such as Partnering in the Team rests with mystical appeals to the ‘customer’ and the imperatives of Continue Reading

Defining characteristics -2

It would seem therefore that partnering is concerned primarily with maximising the effectiveness of resources, thus reflecting the purpose of countless other management improvement techniques. Emphasis is also given to the importance of ‘shared culture’ and the need to base relationships on trust and understanding. It is perhaps the focus on mutuality of objectives coupled Continue Reading

Generic design and construction process protocol -2

Such principles are by no means unreasonable, and in many respects would seem to accord with common sense. More intriguing was the notion of ‘progressive design fixity’ whereby phase reviews are conducted at the end of each stage. The classification of ‘soft gates’ and ‘hard gates’ was applied to enable the progressive fixing of decision Continue Reading