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Restructuring in the British Construction Industry: Implications of Recent Changes in Project Management and Technology

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Theoretical and policy treatments of the processes and management of innovation in construction have neglected the complexity of the social practices in construction and the new conflicts between the parties that may arise from the introduction of organizational and technological change. Based on extensive interviews with contractors, consultants, suppliers and developers, this paper shows that new developments in project management and technologies have not eliminated the adversarial relations associated with the traditional contracting system but have created the potential for new conflicts in the construction sector that might affect innovation adversely. These problems may be further exacerbated by the impacts of these changes on skills and employment conditions in the construction industry. It is argued that these new conflicts suggest the need for research and policy initiatives to move beyond stylized generalizations of the industry.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Manchester School of Management, UMIST, P.O. Box 88, Manchester M60 1QD, UK. 2: PREST, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL, UK.

Publication date: 01 December 2000

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