Martin Loosemore is Professor of Construction Management at the University of Technology Sydney, Australia. He is internationally acclaimed for his research in the fields of social procurement and social enterprise, corporate social responsibility, human resource management and innovation, and gender diversity. Martin’s work delivers significant community benefit by creating employment and advancement opportunities for people facing disadvantage, including young people, Indigenous Australians, migrants, refugees and women.
Martin has held continuous ARC funding for the last 17 years, including more than $12 million in funding for 10 ARC projects over the last decade. He is currently the Chief Investigator on four ARC Linkage grants. Much of his ARC research has focused on how to build social impact into construction projects, often by embedding social impact initiatives, such as employment quotas, into construction supply chains.
Martin has published over 250 internationally refereed articles in high profile journals and at leading international conferences. He is the author of 13 books, including Social Value in Construction (Routledge, 2019) and Social Enterprise in the Construction Industry (Routledge, 2015), and he is currently co-editing the first-ever book series on social value in the built environment. Martin has written for various leading media outlets, including the Australian Financial Review, Sydney Morning Herald and The Australian.
He works closely with government and industry. He was recently invited by the Office of the NSW Building Commissioner to serve on the Construct NSW Working Group where he provides advice on the use of data and research to deliver continual improvements to the NSW construction industry. He made a significant contribution to the 2014 Productivity Commission Inquiry report into Infrastructure and was a founding member of the Federal Built Environment Industry Innovation Council (BEIIC) in 2009, serving for its entire two-term duration. In 2003, Martin was appointed as an advisor on international workplace productivity and reform to the Australian Federal Government’s 2003 Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry. He was subsequently invited to provide evidence to the 2004 Federal Senate inquiry into the Building and Construction Industry Bill and the 2009 Federal Senate inquiry in to Building and Construction Industry Improvement Amendment (Transition to Fair Work) Bill 2009.
Martin is the founding partner of a successful social business that specialises in securing employment opportunities in the construction and engineering industries for disadvantaged people. He has also worked as an advisor to numerous international private and public sector organisations in Australia, Asia, UK and Middle East on their risk management, innovation, social procurement and productivity strategies. His work has received a number of international industry prizes and his research has been widely commercialised through a number of spin-out enterprises and joint ventures which specialise in providing innovative risk management and social innovation solutions for leading organisations around the world.
Martin is a Visiting Professor at The University of Loughborough, UK and a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Building. He was a member of the Western Sydney Social Procurement and Jobs Opportunities Steering Committee, Corporate and Regional Coordination Group, New South Wales Government, Department of Premier and Cabinet. He is also a member of the Infrastructure NSW Expert Review Panel which undertakes Gateway Reviews, Health Checks and Deep Dive Reviews on NSW infrastructure projects.
Martin's work has received numerous international prizes. He has served and serves on numerous international editorial boards of leading peer-reviewed journals and international research advisory boards, including: NCRIS steering Committee for the National Built Environment infrastructure fund, OECD Global Science Forum, American Society of Civil Engineers’ Continuing Professional Practice Constituent Committee; International Advisory Panel for the UK EPSRC Innovative Construction Research Centre; Global Advisory Board for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors Research Foundation; Board member of ERM Academy, Advisory board of Arizona State University’s Performance-Based Studies Research Group, Australian Executive Committee (2004-2005) CIOB, NSW Treasury Specialist Financial Advisers Panel; Member of NSW Energy Finance Advisory Panel; Expert Assessor of International Standing (INTREADER) Australian Research Grants Council; Advisory board member ERMA; National Research Grants Assessor Hong Kong Research Grants Council (HKRGC); National Research Grants Assessor French National Research Agency and; National Research Grants Assessor Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC).
Can supervise: YES
Martin’s areas of interest lie in innovation, construction industry reform, entrepreneurship, social enterprise, social procurement, productivity, risk management, strategy, corporate social responsibility and human resource management.
The aim of both my research and teaching is to maximise the positive social impact of the built environment industry in the community. This means helping professionals who work in all areas of the industry (planners, designers, engineers, constructors and facilities managers) understand the social impact of the industry. It also involves working with private and public sector organisations involved in the built environment industry to help them contribute more positively to the communities in which they build.
I feel it’s important for the health and prosperity of our society to make sure that our wealth is spread evenly. The built environment industry is the second biggest employer in the country and my work facilitates the industry’s ability to positively contribute to society in ways it hasn’t done in the past.
Selected research grants include:
2019 - ARC Discovery DP 200101394 - Making Policy Work: A Comparative Analysis of Social Procurement, Professor Josephine Barraket, Professor Martin Loosemore, Associate Professor Gemma Carey, Dr Emma Lee, Professor Michael Roy, $711,000 (cash and in-kind)
2019 - UNSW Digital education uplift grant for finalisation of Decision-Pro risk management blended learning software - $10,000
2018 - ARC Linkage Grant - LP1700100126 Cracks in the Compact City: Tackling Defects in Multi-unit Strata Housing kind. Professor Bill Randolph, Professor Martin Loosemore, Associate Professor Hazel Easthorpe, Dr Laura Crommelin - $698,622 cash and in-kind
2018 - ARC Linkage Grant - Addressing youth unemployment through social innovation in construction, (Professor Martin Loosemore, Dr Abigail Powell; Professor Kristy Muir; Professor Josephine Barraket; Professor Robyn Keast; Dr Daniel Chamberlain) - $677,266 cash and in-kind
2018 - Four Scientia UNSW PhD scholarships in the areas of Indigenous Social procurement, Building community resilience and Disaster Management - $800,000
2018 - UNSW Research Infrastructure Scheme Award - Digital Construction Laboratory - $160,000
2017 - Indonesia seed fund - A comparison of safety culture on construction projects in Australia and Indonesia.. with Dr Riza Sunindijo and in partnership with University of Indonesia
2017 Multiplex Social Procurement PhD Scholarship - $132,500
2016 ARC Linkage Grant - Innovative procurement theories to optimise education per cost of school (with, A/Prof Adrian Bridge, Prof R Skitmore, A/Prof Colin Duffield, A/Prof Sidney Newton, A/Prof Hilary Hughes, Dr Lihai Zhang, Prof Martin Loosemore, Prof Jill Franz, A/Prof Peter Verhoeven). - $696,500 cash and in-kind
2014 ARC Linkage Grant - Building gender equity and diversity in the Australian construction - (Professor Martin Loosemore, Dr Abigail Powell and Professor Louise Chapell) - $720,000 cash and in-kind
2012 ARC Linkage Project grant: Managing cultural diversity in the construction industry (with F. Phua and K. Dunn) - $711, 000 cash and in-kind
2011 ARC Linkage grant: Adaptation strategies for health facilities response to climate change (with J. Carthey, V. Chandra and A. Pitman), $900,000 cash and in-kind
2010 ARC International Linkage Grant: to investigate environmental risk management practices associated with Olympic Games venue construction (with Dr Patrick Zou, Tsinghua University China) - $16, 000.
2010 ARC Discovery Grant: Forensic management approach to rework mitigation and prevention in construction (with Professor Peter Love (CI), Dr Jim Smith (CI), Professor M. Loosemore (CI) and Professor Derek Walker (CI) - $244,000 cash
2009 - ARC Discovery Grant: An investigation of the relationship between buildings, people and organisational effectiveness in the Australian health sector (with Professor D. McGeorge (CI) - $480,000 cash
2009 - National Science Foundation, China - Study on the theory and method of identification, evaluation and control of risks on mega construction projects- (with Prof Chen and Professor Dr. LIU, Jun Ying) - CNY 2.5 million
2008 - Salvation Army and Brookfield Multiplex. Affordable Housing for Disadvantaged - $50,000
2008 AHURI grant: The role of PPPs in social housing provision (with Simon Pineggar, Bill Randolph) -$80, 000.
2008 CSIRO grant: Soft infrastructure adaptation strategies in coastal developments - $100, 000.
Martin’s areas of interest lie in innovation, construction industry reform, entrepreneurship, social enterprise, social procurement, productivity, risk management, strategy, corporate social responsibility and human resource management.
The aim of both my research and teaching is to maximise the positive social impact of the built environment industry in the community. This means helping professionals who work in all areas of the industry (planners, designers, engineers, constructors and facilities managers) understand the social impact of the industry on the communities in which they work. It also involves working with private and public sector organisations involved in the built environment industry to help them contribute more positively to the communities in which they build.
I feel it’s critically important for the health and prosperity of our society to make sure that opportunities and wealth are spread evenly through our communities. The built environment industry is the second biggest employer in the country with huge multiplier affects into wider communities and other industries and my work facilitates the industry’s ability to positively contribute to society in ways it hasn’t done in the past.
Raiden, A, Loosemore, M, King, A & Gorse, C 2018, Social Value in Construction, Routledge.
For example, recent reports show that modern slavery in construction supply
chains is a serious problem as a result of materials being sourced from countries
with dubious human rights records that abuse workers' rights, employ child
© 2016 Martin Loosemore and Dave Higgon. All rights reserved. Through the emerging lens of social enterprise, this book examines how the global construction industry can engage more effectively with the communities in which it builds, addressing disadvantage and environmental degradation to leave a positive legacy for future generations. Combining insights from leading research and real-life case studies of social enterprise in the construction sector, the result is a practical framework which will help social enterprises, clients, consultants and construction firms work collectively to build a thriving social enterprise sector. Readers of this timely book will learn to embrace social enterprise and an important new sector in the global construction industry. They will learn to see community involvement as an opportunity rather than a risk, and fully understand the broader role they can play in building a fairer and more sustainable society.
© 2012 selection and editorial material, Andrew Dainty and Martin Loosemore. The construction sector is one of the most complex and problematic arenas within which to manage people. As a result, the applicability of much mainstream human resource management (HRM) theory to this industry is limited. Indeed, the operational realities faced by construction organizations mean that all too often the needs of employees are subjugated by performance concerns. This has potentially dire consequences for those who work in the industry, for the firms that employ them and ultimately, for the prosperity and productivity of the industry as a whole.In this new edition of their leading text, Andrew Dainty and Martin Loosemore have assembled a collection of perspectives which critically examine key aspects of the HRM function in the context of contemporary construction organizations. Rather than simply update the previous edition, the aim of this second edition is to provide a more critical commentary on the ways in which the industry addresses the HRM function and how this affects those who work within the industry. To this end, the editors have gathered contributions from many of the leading thinkers within construction HRM to critique the perspectives presented in the first edition. Each contributor either tackles specific aspects of the HRM function, or provides a critical commentary on industry practice. The authors explain, using real-life case studies, the ways in which construction firms respond to the myriad pressures that they face through their HRM practices.Together the contributions encourage the reader to rethink the HRM function and its role in defining the employment relationship. This provides essential reading for students of construction and project management, and reflective practitioners who are interested in theoretically informed insights into industry practice and its implications.
© 2014 Martin Loosemore. Innovation, Strategy and Risk in Construction integrates insights from business and government leaders with contemporary research, to help built environment professionals turn serendipity to their own advantage by building greater innovative and adaptive capacity into their operations. Accessible and full of practical examples, the book argues that traditional business strategies which seek to systematise innovation and eliminate uncertainty need to be balanced with more flexible approaches which acknowledge and harness uncertainty.The missing key to innovation, it is argued, is to turn serendipity into capability. The author proposes a simple model which allows managers to tap into the increasingly dynamic and interconnected nature of the construction industry. Innovation does not occur in isolation within individual firms, but through collaboration. Each stakeholder in the construction industry has a responsibility to drive innovation, and this book will be key reading for consultants, contractors, subcontractors, suppliers and clients, as well as policy makers and all serious students of construction management.
© 2006 Martin Loosemore, John Raftery, Charlie Reilly, Dave Higgon. Project managers in construction and civil engineering need to base their decisions on realistic information about risk and public perceptions of risk. This second edition of the original practical and straightforward text retains the easy-to-read format, but has been expanded to encompass the entire risk management process and to give a fuller presentation of how risk is generally perceived.Two new chapters cover risk identification and risk response, and the chapters on risk analysis have been completely reorganized. There is also greater emphasis on the theory behind the principles, and an expanded bibliography is given to guide an exploration of the subject in greater detail. The book demystifies risk management by presenting the subject in simple and practical terms, free of technical jargon, and case studies are used extensively to enliven the text and to illustrate the concepts discussed.
Loosemore, M & Phua, F 2011, Responsible Corporate Strategy in Construction and Engineering "doing the Right Thing?", Routledge.
Ideas, concepts, theories and debates in the previously separate areas of corporate performance; corporate social responsibility; corporate strategy and; corporate governance are integrated in this book, promoting a more liberal and wider ...
Loosemore, M 2003, Essentials of Construction Project Management, UNSW Press.
This book has been written as a text and reference for project management courses in both undergraduate and postgraduate building construction management courses, and quantity surveying, architecture and civil engineering programs.
© 2003 Martin Loosemore, Andrew Dainty and Helen Lingard. All rights reserved. Although construction is one of the most labour-intensive industries, people management issues are given inadequate attention. Furthermore, the focus of attention with regards to HR has been on the strategic aspects of HRM function - yet most problems and operational issues arise on projects. To help redress these problems, this book takes a broad view of HRM, examining the strategic and operational aspects of managing people within the construction sector. The book is aimed at project managers and students of project management who, until now, have been handed the responsibility for human resource management without adequate knowledge or training. The issues addressed in this book are internationally relevant, and are of fundamental concern to both students and practitioners involved in the management of construction projects. The text draws on the authors' experience of working with a range of large construction companies in improving their HRM operational activities at both strategic and operational levels, and is well illustrated with case studies of projects and organizations.
Galea, N, Powell, A, Loosemore, M & Chappell, L 2020, 'The gendered dimensions of informal institutions in the Australian construction industry', GENDER WORK AND ORGANIZATION.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Loosemore, M, Alkilani, S & Mathenge, R 2020, 'The risks of and barriers to social procurement in construction: a supply chain perspective', Construction Management and Economics, pp. 1-18.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Loosemore, M, Bridgeman, J & Keast, R 2020, 'Reintegrating ex-offenders into work through construction: a case study of cross-sector collaboration in social procurement', Building Research and Information.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Too many ex-offenders are condemned to a life of unemployment, under-employment and benefit-dependency with significant ongoing costs to themselves, the economy and to wider society. To address this growing and intransigent problem, recent public policy innovations have led to the re-emergence of collaborative instruments such as social procurement which require companies tendering for construction and infrastructure contracts to train and employ ex-offenders on their projects. To comply, construction firms need to form new collaborate arrangements with organizations from the social and government sectors, yet little is known about how these new cross-sector collaborations work, what barriers to collaboration exist and how to overcome them. Mobilising theories of cross-sector collaboration, this exploratory case study research draws on findings from interviews, observations and documentary analysis of eleven collaborative pilot projects in the UK designed to explore new employment pathways for ex-offenders into construction. The findings reveal numerous barriers to cross-sector collaboration including little experience of cross-sector working; challenges working across different organizational logics; transaction costs associated with new organizational practices; and misaligned incentives. It is concluded that new forms of social project management, intrapreneurship and relational competencies need to be developed to enable these new collaborative arrangements to work.
© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Contributing to the development of employment requirements as an emerging theme in social procurement theory and addressing the evidence vacuum in social procurement research and policy relating to the employment of ex-offenders, the results of a survey of 94 sub-contractors in the Australian construction industry are reported. Results indicate a relatively positive attitudes towards the employment of ex-offenders compared to other industries but also numerous barriers to sustainable employment identified. These include: perceived risks of re-offending; general behavioural problems; and lack of appropriate job skills. Considerable variations exist in perceptions of risk and practices in employing ex-offenders between trades, firm size and past experiences of hiring ex-offenders. It is concluded that policy makers cannot treat the construction industry or ex-offenders as a homogeneous whole and that negative stigmas need to be challenged through supply chain education and capacity-building programmes which provide knowledge, resources and wrap-around support services to enable the successful integration into the construction industry. Theoretically, the results spotlight the potential value of feminist theory in exploring how perceptions of ex-offenders might vary across different disadvantaged groups targeted by social procurement policies. Theories of cross sector collaboration could also be usefully mobilised to explore how new shared practices can be developed between the many organisations involved in reintegrating ex-offenders into employment.
Loosemore, M, Higgon, D & Osborne, J 2020, 'Managing new social procurement imperatives in the Australian construction industry', ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECTURAL MANAGEMENT.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Loosemore, M, Lim, B & Ilievski, M 2020, 'Depression in Australian Undergraduate Construction Management, Civil Engineering, and Architecture Students: Prevalence, Symptoms, and Support', Journal of Civil Engineering Education, vol. 146, no. 3.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2020 American Society of Civil Engineers. Engineering and construction industry workplace culture is known to undermine the mental health of workers and professionals, yet relatively little is known about the mental health of university students aiming to work in the industry. This is concerning, given evidence that students face increasing mental health risks in balancing study, work, and life demands within the context of declining government support for education in many parts of the world. To address this knowledge gap, an exploratory survey of construction management, civil engineering, and architecture students enrolled in one Australian university was conducted using the University Student Depression Inventory (USDI). The survey aimed to identify prevalence, symptoms, and support for depression in this student cohort. Overall, the prevalence of depression was found to be considerably higher than other student groups that have previously been tested using the same instrument. Architecture students scored the highest on the USDI, with female students appearing to suffer higher levels of depression than male students. The likelihood of students suffering depression was significantly shaped by their age, enrollment status, year of study, and number of hours studied. Students in all groups were generally cynical toward, and unaware of, the support structures offered by their university and employers. These results contribute to the emerging literature on mental health in the construction and engineering industry by providing insights into a relatively understudied part of the future workforce. The results will enable university and construction managers to develop better targeted strategies to improve the mental well-being of students.
Yazdani, M, Mojtahedi, M & Loosemore, M 2020, 'Enhancing evacuation response to extreme weather disasters using public transportation systems: a novel simheuristic approach', JOURNAL OF COMPUTATIONAL DESIGN AND ENGINEERING, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 195-210.View/Download from: Publisher's site
George, M & Loosemore, M 2019, 'Site operatives' attitudes towards traditional masculinity ideology in the Australian construction industry', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 37, no. 8, pp. 419-432.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. There is a widely accepted assumption in the construction literature that the industry is highly masculinised. However, there has been a surprising lack of empirical evidence around workers' own attitudes towards masculinity in the sector. Addressing this lack of research, a survey to measure construction site operatives' attitudes towards traditional masculinity ideology was undertaken in Australia using the Male Role Norms Inventory Scale-Short Form (MRNI-SF). It is found that the focus of attitudes towards masculinity in the construction industry may be shifting to reflect trends in the wider population and may be more inclusive and less hegemonic than has been previously argued. It is also found that the focus of masculinity in the construction industry is closely related to the physical and high-risk nature of work and that sexuality and humour may also be an important source of masculine identity. These results are important since they contribute a more nuanced understanding of the dimensions and exact nature of attitudes towards masculinity in the construction industry. It is concluded that future research into the impact of masculinity in areas such as gender diversity, safety and mental health would benefit from a more inclusive theoretical lens which recognises the dynamic nature of masculinity and which highlights the institutional legacies of past hegemonies that have to be challenged to move the industry forward.
Jia, AY, Rowlinson, S, Loosemore, M, Gilbert, D & Ciccarelli, M 2019, 'Institutional logics of processing safety in production: The case of heat stress management in a megaproject in Australia', Safety Science, vol. 120, pp. 388-401.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Despite evidence that a safe and healthy workforce is essential to construction project productivity, the resources and time committed to safety are often perceived as counterproductive. This study explores the multiple institutional logics underpinning the duality between safety and productivity in the construction industry. Specifically, it explores the tensions between safety and production through an institutional lens by untangling the institutional logics of processing safety in production. A theory of protection, production and reconciling logics is developed and refined through an in-depth case study of heat stress management in a mega-project in Australia. Ethnographic data were collected over a six-day working week on site, interpreted using institutional analysis and conceptualized with a grounded theory approach. The results confirmed the co-existence of the three logics in the power dynamics between employers, unions, regulators and workers. It is found that the production and the protection logic leads to paradoxical effect of their desired goals, and a reconciling logic emerges in the bottom-up initiatives which aims for community building and leads to improvement in both safety and productivity. However, the reconciling logic was found incomplete and handicapped due to the lack of involvement at senior management level and the production side of the project organization.
Loosemore, M & Malouf, N 2019, 'Safety training and positive safety attitude formation in the Australian construction industry', Safety Science, vol. 113, pp. 233-243.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Poor safety is a perennial problem for the construction industry worldwide. While there has been a large amount of research on construction safety training and its importance in developing positive safety attitudes, much of the evidence has been anecdotal. To address this gap in knowledge, this paper presents the results of an attitudinal survey of 228 construction employees from a variety of professional and trade backgrounds operatives in Australia who went through mandatory site safety training. It was found that the training was largely ineffective in changing workers' safety attitudes. The minor change in safety attitudes that did occur were largely cognitive and behavioural in nature while the affective component of safety attitudes remained virtually unchanged. In other words, construction operatives emerged from the training with a slightly better knowledge of safety risks, a better intention to behave safely but not caring any more about safety as an issue. It was also found that gender, age and education are potential mediators in the safety attitude formation process. It is recommended that when developing safety training programs in the future, more attention should be paid to tailoring programs to the demographic characteristics of the people being trained and to the use of new interactive and immersive technologies and learner-centric andragogical pedagogies.
Loosemore, M & Reid, S 2019, 'The social procurement practices of tier-one construction contractors in Australia', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 183-200.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Social procurement is becoming an increasingly important requirement in the delivery of private- and public- sector construction projects across the world, yet there is relatively little research done in this area. Mobilising Furneaux and Barraket's social procurement typology, semi-structured interviews were conducted with senior managers from eight tier-one contractors in the Australian construction industry to explore and classify the types of social procurement strategies used in projects, the types of social value created and the barriers to implementation. Documentary data were collected in the form of company policies and contract requirements. Results demonstrate the conceptual merit of Furneaux and Barraket's typology in a construction industry context by highlighting different constraints on social value creation for each type of social procurement. These results also indicate that approaches to social procurement in the Australian construction industry are generally driven by a philosophy of risk mitigation rather than opportunity maximisation, and are confined to low-value and low-risk construction activities and are constrained by a lack of existing and new supply chain social-value creation capacity. Construction industry social value chains are fragile in Australia, and it is concluded that in building the sector's significant untapped capacity to deliver social value to the communities in which it builds, priority should be given to three main strategies: third sector capacity building; barrier-to-entry reduction and skills development in managing new cross-sector collaborations among public, private and third sector organisations.
Loosemore, M, Sunindijo, RY, Lestari, F, Kusminanti, Y & Widanarko, B 2019, 'Comparing the safety climate of the Indonesian and Australian construction industries: Cultural and institutional relativity in safety research', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26, no. 10, pp. 2206-2222.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited. Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to assess, compare and explain safety climate differences between the Indonesian and Australian construction industries. Design/methodology/approach: The paper reports a comparative safety climate survey of 415 construction personnel working in the Australian and Indonesia construction industries. Findings: Surprisingly, the results show that the safety climate in Indonesia and Australia are similar and that the differences in safety performance, safety climate must be interpreted within the context of wider health and safety norms, regulations, awareness, knowledge and typical work environments to make any sense. Research limitations/implications: This research contributes a missing international comparative dimension to the emerging research on construction safety climate. Indonesian studies are notably absent from this literature, despite the size of the country and the poor health and safety record of its construction industry. Similar comparisons between safety climate in other countries need to be made. Practical implications: This research allows construction managers operating across international boundaries to better understand the cultural and institutional context in which safety climate is developed. This will assist in the development of more culturally sensitive safety management strategies. Social implications: The construction industry's poor safety record has serious implications for both individuals working in the industry, their immediate families and the communities in which they live. By improving the safety record of the industry these impacts can be reduced. Originality/value: This research reveals, for the first time, the cultural and institutional complexities of comparing safety climate across different countries. The results contribute to safety climate research by highlighting the importance of cultural and institutional relativity in making international compari...
McLaren, M & Loosemore, M 2019, 'Swift trust formation in multi-national disaster project management teams', International Journal of Project Management, vol. 37, no. 8, pp. 979-988.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 Elsevier Ltd, APM and IPMA In recent years there has been growing interest in how project management theory can both inform and be informed by disaster response and recovery projects. Addressing the lack of empirical research into how trust forms within such projects, this exploratory study mobilises swift trust theory to investigate the process of trust formation within a multinational disaster project management team formed in response to tropical cyclone Winston in Fiji in 2016. In-depth content analysis of qualitative data from semi-structured interviews with disaster management team members, non-participant observation of the disaster project management teams during the disaster response and analysis of disaster management documentation appear to support the predictions of swift trust theory in relation to the importance of reputation, role and interdependence in building swift trust. However, theoretical predictions around the importance of categorical assumptions, confirmation of assumptions and the leadership role of the contractor did not appear to be supported by our data. It is concluded that while swift trust theory can potentially provide valuable practical and theoretical insights into trust formation in multinational disaster project management teams, it may need to be adapted to more accurately model trust formation in a disaster project management context.
Shahbazi, B, Akbarnezhad, A, Rey, D, Ahmadian Fard Fini, A & Loosemore, M 2019, 'Optimization of job allocation in construction organizations to maximize workers' career development opportunities', Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, vol. 145, no. 6.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2019 American Society of Civil Engineers. Workforce planning in the construction industry too often ignores the symbiotic relationship between employee and employer objectives by overly concentrating on corporate objectives such as maximizing productivity at the expense of construction workers' career development needs. Overall, the consequence of this approach is suboptimal performance. To address this problem, this paper presents an innovative multiobjective model that enables managers to optimize the relationship between these interdependent corporate priorities. The proposed model was implemented and solved using mixed-integer nonlinear programming on a case study involving the allocation of tasks to employees with different skill levels in a multidisciplinary engineering consulting company. While leading to a small loss of productivity, the results show a significant improvement in the career development of workers compared to conventional productivity-oriented workforce planning models, with on average 8.6% improvement in employees' closeness to their ideal skill set. Furthermore, the model produced Pareto-optimal points and a Pareto curve that enabled client-model users to select optimum job allocation based on their preferences. This research represents a paradigm shift toward a new class of socially responsible workforce planning models in which the objectives of both employees and employers are optimized.
Barraket, J & Loosemore, M 2018, 'Co-creating social value through cross-sector collaboration between social enterprises and the construction industry', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 36, no. 7, pp. 394-408.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017, © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Emerging social procurement imperatives are driving new forms of cross-sector collaboration between private, public and social enterprise sectors in the construction industry. Yet there is little understanding of how and why social enterprises and private construction firms collaborate in meeting new social procurement imperatives and of the institutional and organizational factors shape these practices. Drawing on theoretical insights from governance, management and policy studies and three case studies of major organizations from across the construction social value chain, the organizational and institutional factors that drive cross-sector collaborations are explored. Documentary analysis of social procurement strategy and policy, non-participant observation of social procurement initiatives in action and in-depth interviews with senior social procurement champions suggest that existing processes of social value co-creation through supply chain relationships more closely reflect a cooperative than a collaborative model, are largely driven by commercial concerns and influenced by industry norms and institutional imperatives. It is concluded that there are significant differences in experience and opportunity for collaboration based on supply chain position and organizational scale and that these have notable effects on the co-creation of social value and the legitimacy of different social benefit providers in the construction industry.
Loosemore, M & Bridgeman, J 2018, 'The social impact of construction industry schools-based corporate volunteering', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 36, no. 5, pp. 243-258.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Despite the rapid growth of corporate volunteering in construction, there has been very little research in this area, particularly from a recipient's perspective. To address this gap in knowledge, data were collected using surveys, reflective diaries, workbooks and a progress web, from 103 school pupils participating in one of the UK's largest schools-based construction industry corporate volunteering programmes. The results show that corporate volunteering programmes which partner construction industry professionals with school students in a work-related activity-based learning environment can have a significant impact on student construction industry knowledge, perceptions, career choices, aspirations and employability skills. This is particularly the case for female students and for students whose learning styles do not align with traditional classroom-based pedagogies. It is recommended that more research is needed to classify and understand the different types of volunteering programmes that operate in the construction sector across multiple cohort groups, the factors that determine success and failure and the overall impact on the students and the wider community in the long term as well as the short term. There is also a need for more research into what it means for the companies involved and for the staff who volunteer.
Loosemore, M & Lim, BTH 2018, 'Mapping corporate social responsibility strategies in the construction and engineering industry', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 36, no. 2, pp. 67-82.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Interest in corporate social responsibility (CSR) is growing in response to societal and regulatory demands that construction businesses contribute positively to the environments and communities in which they build. While, CSR research in the construction and engineering industry is progressing there has been little research into whether and how firms in this industry operationalize CSR, how they incorporate CSR into their business vision, leadership and mission and strategies and what forms these strategies take. In addressing these gaps in knowledge, a survey of 104 firms from across the construction and engineering industry and its supply chain in Australia and New Zealand was undertaken. The results indicate that CSR in construction and engineering firms is largely informal, unsophisticated, compliance driven and in its early stages of development. There is little strategic focus in CSR initiatives and the potential social capital derived from better strategic relationships with communities appears to be largely wasted. Conceptually, it is concluded that there is a need to adapt current models of CSR practice, developed in a permanent business context, to reflect the transitional, nomadic and project-based nature of construction. Current models of CSR are inadequate at explaining how firms operating in the construction industry need to practically adjust and adapt their CSR strategies to fit with the constantly changing political, social, cultural, environmental and economic profiles of local communities and the requirements of clients and local governments.
Loosemore, M, Lim, BTH, Ling, FYY & Zeng, HY 2018, 'A comparison of corporate social responsibility practices in the Singapore, Australia and New Zealand construction industries', JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, vol. 190, pp. 149-159.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Sacilotto, J & Loosemore, M 2018, 'Chinese investment in the Australian construction industry: the social amplification of risk', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 36, no. 9, pp. 507-520.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018, © 2018 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Chinese companies are investing heavily in overseas construction and property assets. In Australia, and in many other countries such as the United States and United Kingdom, this has generated an emotive and polarized debate about the risks and opportunities posed to local industry and to wider national interests. To explore the social and cognitive mechanisms which people are using to make sense of this new global phenomenon, Kasperson's Social Amplification of Risk Framework (SARF) was mobilized, through semi-structured interviews with senior Australian construction industry leaders. The results show that the SARF is a valuable lens to explore perceptions of risk and opportunity associated with Chinese Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), although it represents a rather linear view and underplays the importance of power, collaboration and social media in forming perceptions. They also show that senior practitioners in the Australian construction industry are taking a highly rational, commercial and pragmatic approach to increasing FDI. Despite some concerns around non-compliant materials, labour standards and safety standards, Chinese FDI is seen as inevitable and crucial to the development of Australia's construction industry. Surprisingly, given negative media coverage of Chinese FDI in Australia and a lack of experience in working with Chinese investors, we found little evidence for the social amplification or attenuation of risk. Knee-jerk regulatory reactions which are advocated by many groups are generally seen as risky and we conclude that the nature of Chinese–Australian business experiences over the near future will have a major effect on whether those perceptions eventuate as negative or positive. It is recommended that the best way to mitigate any risks and maximize the opportunities is not to withdraw and oppose Chinese FDI but to build collaborative links to improve direct interact...
Sepasgozar, SME, Davis, S, Loosemore, M & Bernold, L 2018, 'An investigation of modern building equipment technology adoption in the Australian construction industry', ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECTURAL MANAGEMENT, vol. 25, no. 8, pp. 1075-1091.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Sepasgozar, SME, Davis, SR & Loosemore, M 2018, 'Dissemination Practices of Construction Sites' Technology Vendors in Technology Exhibitions', JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT IN ENGINEERING, vol. 34, no. 6.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Denny-Smith, G & Loosemore, M 2017, 'Integrating Indigenous enterprises into the Australian construction industry', ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECTURAL MANAGEMENT, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 788-808.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Goh, E & Loosemore, M 2017, 'The impacts of industrialization on construction subcontractors: a resource based view', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 288-304.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Industrialization of the construction process is increasing around the world due to its potential to improve safety, sustainability, effectiveness, productivity and efficiency. While there has been research into the impacts of various forms of industrialized construction on the construction sector, surprisingly there has been little research into the impacts on subcontractors. The lack of subcontractor's voice in the industrialization debate is important to address since they operate at the coalface of the industry where the impacts of such changes will have a significant impact. The resource based view of the firm (RBV) is used as a theoretical lens to study these potential impacts through interviews with senior executives and managers of six major subcontracting firms which have worked with off-site bathroom pod technologies in Australia. It is found that the key subcontractor resources affected by this off-site technology are human, financial, intellectual and social and that subcontractors will need to pursue strategies which develop new skills, knowledge, networks and deeper supply chain collaborations if they are to turn the potential risks associated with off-site into potential opportunities to achieve competitive advantage.
Jia, AY, Rowlinson, S, Loosemore, M, Xu, M, Li, B & Gibb, A 2017, 'Institutions and institutional logics in construction safety management: the case of climatic heat stress', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 35, no. 6, pp. 338-367.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. We employed a Glaserian grounded theory approach to explore the gap between behavioural safety and its unsatisfactory outcomes. Data were collected through ethnographic studies on the practice of managing heat stress on thirty-six construction sites in Hong Kong and Chonqing in mainland China. Two core concepts, institutions and institutional logics, are generated and defined to explain why safety rules do not necessarily produce safety behaviours. At society level, we explicated two pairs of institutional logics: the religion logics (Confucianism vs. pragmatism) and the market logics (rational market vs. individualism). At project organizational level, two logics of processing safety in production are explicated: a protection logic in the Chongqing context and a production logic in the Hong Kong context. The concepts and sub-concepts are compared to existing business literature for clarification of scopes. Empirical findings of the study suggest safety intervention needs to redirect its focus from promoting safety alone to addressing the institutional logics of the entire organization and its societal context practised by multiple levels of actors. We conclude that safety research would benefit from redirecting its focus of analysis from discourses, interviews or surveys to authenticated cases reconstructed through triangulation of actors' discourses at multiple levels of an organization, third-party observation, physiological data and objective measurement of the work environment. Methodologically, this paper provides a detailed guidance for conducting grounded theory research with a focus of conceptualization.
Lim, BTH & Loosemore, M 2017, 'The effect of inter-organizational justice perceptions on organizational citizenship behaviors in construction projects', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 95-106.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Loosemore, M & Bridgeman, J 2017, 'Corporate volunteering in the construction industry: motivations, costs and benefits', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 35, no. 10, pp. 641-653.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Corporate volunteering is a growing global phenomenon. Despite the size and significance of the construction industry, there has been no research into corporate volunteering in this sector which presents special challenges around its highly transitionary, temporary, regulated and project-based culture. To address this gap in knowledge and to answer the need for more scholarship and sector-specific insights in this field, the motives, benefits and costs of corporate volunteering for construction businesses and the volunteers that work for them are explored. Through an in-depth single case study of one of the UK's largest construction industry corporate volunteering programmes, it is shown that at an individual level, it is not always altruism that motives people to volunteer. Volunteers in construction are also motivated by other factors such as loyalty to their organization, profession and industry, relational/networking opportunities and the reinforcement of technical skills and personal satisfaction derived from helping others which is not normally afforded in work. At a business level the main benefits of volunteering are reputational advantage, recruitment and new skills and access to new knowledge and capabilities. Conceptually, the results indicate that systems theory, empowerment theory, life span theory and social exchange theory would be useful theoretical lenses to take research in this new area of corporate social responsibility forward. It is concluded that further research is needed into different types of volunteering programmes and whether individual benefits experienced by volunteers translate into commercial benefits for the organizations involved.
Loosemore, M & Lim, BTH 2017, 'Linking corporate social responsibility and organizational performance in the construction industry', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 35, no. 3, pp. 90-105.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. In the construction industry, the subject of corporate social responsibility (CSR) is becoming increasingly important as communities, employees and socially conscious clients expect firms to demonstrate they are good corporate citizens. However, while CSR research in construction has accelerated in recent years, it remains fragmented and unconceptualized and there is little understanding of the relationship between CSR and organizational performance, the types of CSR strategies employed and the strategic motivations behind them. To address this deficiency in current CSR knowledge and drawing upon contemporary CSR theory, a survey of 104 professionals from across the construction supply chain in Australia and New Zealand was undertaken. The results show that CSR initiatives in the construction sector are integrative, isolated, narrowly focussed (mainly on environmental activities), immature, compliance-based and operational rather than strategic. The link between CSR and economic performance increasingly espoused (and assumed) in much of the CSR literature does not appear to be accepted in practice with the main benefits being seen as relational in building corporate loyalty, brand and engagement with both internal and external stakeholders. By empirically showing that CSR in construction takes place within an integrative conceptual framework, our findings highlight the potential value of theoretical concepts such as stakeholder salience in moving this field of research forward. These approaches recognize the power that stakeholders (both internal and external) have over a business and the need to manage those relationships carefully in order to secure a licence to operate.
Sepasgozar, SME & Loosemore, M 2017, 'The role of customers and vendors in modern construction equipment technology diffusion', ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECTURAL MANAGEMENT, vol. 24, no. 6, pp. 1203-1221.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Teo, MM & Loosemore, M 2017, 'Understanding community protest from a project management perspective: A relationship-based approach', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT, vol. 35, no. 8, pp. 1444-1458.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Chalker, M & Loosemore, M 2016, 'Trust and productivity in Australian construction projects: a subcontractor perspective', ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECTURAL MANAGEMENT, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 192-210.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Chand, AM & Loosemore, M 2016, 'Hospital disaster management's understanding of built environment impacts on healthcare services during extreme weather events', ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECTURAL MANAGEMENT, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 385-402.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Chand, AM & Loosemore, M 2016, 'Hospital learning from extreme weather events: using causal loop diagrams', BUILDING RESEARCH AND INFORMATION, vol. 44, no. 8, pp. 875-888.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Loosemore, M & Lim, BT-H 2016, 'Intra-organisational injustice in the construction industry', ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECTURAL MANAGEMENT, vol. 23, no. 4, pp. 428-447.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Sepasgozar, SME, Loosemore, M & Davis, SR 2016, 'Conceptualising information and equipment technology adoption in construction A critical review of existing research', ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECTURAL MANAGEMENT, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 158-176.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Brown, J & Loosemore, M 2015, 'Behavioural factors influencing corrupt action in the Australian construction industry', ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECTURAL MANAGEMENT, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 372-389.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Chand, AM & Loosemore, M 2015, 'A socio-ecological analysis of hospital resilience to extreme weather events', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 33, no. 11, pp. 907-920.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Hospitals play a critical role in helping communities respond effectively to extreme weather events (EWEs). Despite predictions of more EWEs, little is known about the process by which hospital infrastructure resilience to such events can be built. Using Gunderson and Holling's Adaptive Cycle, a new theoretical perspective based on socio-ecological resilience theory is provided to understand this process. Data were collected using semi-structured interviews, observations of disaster drills and disaster planning meetings, as well as additional documentary analysis of past incident reports. The research findings were then refined and validated in a focus group meeting with respondents. The findings indicate that there are significant organizational barriers which prevent facilities managers improving the resilience of hospital facilities to future EWEs. It was found that the disaster planning process is ad hoc and non-inclusive, focused on man-made disasters and compliance driven, top-down approach, under-resourced and is driven by a general ignorance of the importance of resilient-built facilities to health care delivery during an EWE. It is concluded that to produce more resilient hospital infrastructure, there needs to be a more well-resourced, integrated and collaborative approach to disaster management planning which enables health facilities managers to play a more central role in disaster planning decisions. There also need to be better systems, technologies and training implemented to manage information about health infrastructure performance before, during and after EWEs.
Chand, AM & Loosemore, M 2015, 'A socio-ecological analysis of hospital resilience to extreme weather events', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 33, no. 11-12, pp. 907-920.
Hospitals play a critical role in helping communities respond effectively
to extreme weather events (EWEs). Despite predictions of more EWEs, little
is known about the process by which hospital infrastructure resilience to
such events can be built. Using Gunderson and Holling’s Adaptive
Cycle, a new theoretical perspective based on socio-ecological resilience
theory is provided to understand this process. Data were collected using
semi-structured interviews, observations of disaster drills and disaster
planning meetings, as well as additional documentary analysis of past
incident reports. The research findings were then refined and validated in
a focus group meeting with respondents. The findings indicate that there
are significant organizational barriers which prevent facilities managers
improving the resilience of hospital facilities to future EWEs. It was
found that the disaster planning process is ad hoc and non-inclusive,
focused on man-made disasters and compliance driven, top-down approach,
under-resourced and is driven by a general ignorance of the importance of
resilient-built facilities to health care delivery during an EWE. It is
concluded that to produce more resilient hospital infrastructure, there
needs to be a more well-resourced, integrated and collaborative approach
to disaster management planning which enables health facilities managers
to play a more central role in disaster planning decisions. There also
need to be better systems, technologies and training implemented to manage
information about health infrastructure performance before, during and
Galea, N, Powell, A, Loosemore, M & Chappell, L 2015, 'Designing robust and revisable policies for gender equality: lessons from the Australian construction industry', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 33, no. 5-6, pp. 375-389.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2015 Taylor & Francis. The construction industry remains the most male dominated sector in Australia. Several decades of formal gender equality initiatives by government and business have failed to bring about any meaningful change to the hierarchical and numerical representation of women in the sector. Drawing on new institutionalism, particularly the concepts of 'robustness' and 'revisability', the nature and intent of formal policies and programs that impact on gender equality are analysed in two large Australian multinational construction firms. Through in-depth interviews with senior management and a document analysis of formal policies, it is concluded that gender equality initiatives and broader policies are primarily focused on increasing the numbers of women in construction rather than addressing gender practices and outcomes. These policies lack many of the qualities of robustness and revisability, which impacts on their capacity to genuinely challenge the gendered norms, practices and narratives of the sector.
© 2015 Taylor & Francis. Social enterprises are profit-making businesses which trade for a social purpose. They bridge the gap between welfare and work, providing employment opportunities for disadvantaged groups often excluded from employment in the construction industry. Social enterprises are a fast-growing part of a larger third economic sector. However, compared to other industries, there are relatively few social enterprises operating in construction and little is known about the challenges they face in doing so. In-depth interviews at 12 UK social enterprises reveal that many of the challenges faced by social enterprises in the construction industry are similar to those faced by social enterprises operating in other industries. These include: building trust, managing hybridity; securing finance; measuring social impact; and achieving scale. However, in addressing the lack of sector-specific insights in social enterprise research, challenges unique to construction are also identified. These include: procurement practices which favour industry incumbents; costly tender bureaucracy; established supply chain relationships; lack of experience of working with social enterprises; disingenuous corporate social responsibility practices; and fear that social enterprises will reduce competitiveness. Recommendations are made to resolve these challenges, enabling the construction sector to create an ecosystem where social enterprises can thrive. Questions to guide future research into this unexplored area are also proposed.
Loosemore, M & Cheung, E 2015, 'Implementing systems thinking to manage risk in public private partnership projects', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT, vol. 33, no. 6, pp. 1325-1334.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2015 Taylor & Francis. There are numerous examples of unfair inter-organizational business practices in the construction industry. Conflict and confrontation, corruption, bid-shopping, insecurity of payment and supply chain exploitation are just some examples which have been documented over several decades in many countries. There have been numerous initiatives to make the construction industry a fairer business environment, but these have been largely developed in a conceptual vacuum. Consequently, few advances have been made in making the industry a fairer place to do business. To address the lack of theory in this area and provide a conceptual foundation for future improvement, theories of organizational justice were used as the basis for a survey of 135 consultants, contractors, subcontractors and suppliers from across the Australian construction supply chain. The findings reveal that mainstream theories of justice may need refinement and reorganization to be applied to a construction industry context. Furthermore, in contrast to much previous research, the results indicate that levels of interpersonal, social and informational justice are high within the Australian construction industry. However, they also show that more can be done to improve levels of procedural and distributive justice, particularly in relation to subcontractors and suppliers in the construction supply chain. Many of these findings are transferable to other countries which are culturally, contractually and organizationally similar to the Australian construction industry.
Loosemore, M & Richard, J 2015, 'Valuing innovation in construction and infrastructure Getting clients past a lowest price mentality', ENGINEERING CONSTRUCTION AND ARCHITECTURAL MANAGEMENT, vol. 22, no. 1, pp. 38-53.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Close, R & Loosemore, M 2014, 'Breaking down the site hoardings: attitudes and approaches to community consultation during construction', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 32, no. 7-8, pp. 816-828.View/Download from: Publisher's site
As the general public become more empowered, informed and educated about the impact of business activities on their lives, they are demanding more involvement in construction projects which they perceive to affect their interests. The process of community consultation is traditionally seen as the responsibility of urban planners but residual community concerns often spill over into construction requiring construction professionals to also consult with communities. To investigate current attitudes and approaches towards community consultation during construction, 150 construction professionals were surveyed and 10 interviewed. The results indicate that the majority of the professionals involved during construction consider community consultation a burdensome, costly and time-consuming exercise. The community is seen as a liability rather than an asset and few construction professionals have the skills to consult effectively. There appears to be a widespread assumption that community consultation is the responsibility of town planners before work starts on site and that further interaction with the community is a nuisance, once construction starts. © 2014 © 2014 Taylor & Francis.
Loosemore, M 2014, 'Improving construction productivity: A subcontractor's perspective', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 21, no. 3, pp. 245-260.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Purpose - Surprisingly, given the prominence and front-line role of subcontractors in the construction industry, their perspective is almost completely absent from construction productivity literature. Existing research in this area presents a highly one-sided principal contractor perspective and there are very few insights into what subcontractors think. The purpose of this paper is to address the imbalance by investigating the determinants of construction productivity from a subcontractor's perspective. Design/methodology/approach - Focus groups with 71 of Australia's leading tier-one subcontractors were conducted with the aim of exploring their insights into the productivity challenge. Findings - The findings indicate that the main determinants of productivity for subcontractors are: the quality of relationships with principal contractors; opportunity for early involvement in design; transparent tender practices; growing administration and document control; design management; project management and supervisory skills, particularly in planning, scheduling and coordination; risk management and; industrial relations (IR). Research limitations/implications - This research was conducted in Australia and similar research needs to be conducted in other countries to cross-reference and validate the results more widely. Practical implications - In practical terms, a "culture" of productivity improvement will need to be "nurtured" across the business and supply chain if productivity is to be improved. In particular contractors should avoid bid shopping, respect subcontractor IP and talk to subcontractors earlier in a project. Social implications - By respecting the opinions of subcontractors who employ the vast majority of workers in the construction industry, productivity and employment can be increased. Originality/value - The focus group results add significantly to a more balanced understanding of what has hitherto been a one-sided principal contractor focused debat...
Loosemore, M, Chow, V & McGeorge, D 2014, 'Managing the health risks of extreme weather events by managing hospital infrastructure', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 4-32.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Purpose - A predicted increase in climate change-related extreme weather events will present hospitals with new health-related and physical risks which were not originally anticipated in building and infrastructure designs. Markus et al.'s building systems model is used to analyse a range of adaptive strategies to cope with such events. The paper aims to discuss these issues.Design/methodology/approach - Focus group interviews were conducted with a wide range of hospital stakeholders across three case study hospitals in Australia and New Zealand which have experienced extreme weather events. Findings - It is concluded that effective adaptive strategies must balance responses across different organisational sub-systems. Contrary to previous research, the findings indicate that hospital managers do see hospital infrastructure as an important component of disaster response. However, it is the least adaptable of all response subsystems, making other options more attractive in the heat of a crisis. Research limitations/implications - A focus on three case studies allowed the researchers to explore in-depth the experiences of stakeholders who had experienced extreme weather events. While producing highly valid results, the inherent limitation of this approach is the lack of breath. So further case studies are needed to generalise from the results. Practical implications - Recommendations are made to improve the adaptive capacity of healthcare facilities to cope with the future health challenges of climate change risk. Originality/value - By acknowledging that no one group holds all the knowledge to deal with extreme weather events, this paper capture the collective knowledge of all key stakeholders who have a stake in the process of responding effectively to such an event. It shows that hospital adaptation strategies cannot be considered in isolation from the surrounding emergency management systems in which a hospital is imbedded. Copyright © 2014 Emerald Gro...
Moore, P & Loosemore, M 2014, 'Burnout of undergraduate construction management students in Australia', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 32, no. 11, pp. 1066-1077.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2014, © 2014 Taylor & Francis. Burnout has been identified as a serious problem for the Australian construction industry, having negative effects at both individual and the organizational levels. While there is accumulating research into the causes and consequences of burnout for professionals working in the construction industry, we have little understanding of construction students' susceptibility to burnout. This is despite constantly increasing pressures to self-fund their studies and balance the extra demands of study, on top of work-life demands. Using the Maslach Burnout Inventory – Student Survey (MBI-SS), a survey of 369 construction management students from across eight Australian universities shows that Australian students suffer from considerably higher levels of burnout than comparative professional samples. Levels of burnout showed a relationship with both their time spent at work and their overall satisfaction with study and work life, raising important issues for both educators and employers. It was also found that academic study may not be the primary life domain of many of these students and that theoretically, the notion of work-life-study balance may be a more appropriate way, than traditional concepts of work-life balance, to conceptualize the challenges faced by these students.
Teo, MMM & Loosemore, M 2014, 'The role of core protest group members in sustaining protest against controversial construction and engineering projects', HABITAT INTERNATIONAL, vol. 44, pp. 41-49.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Heng, HKS & Loosemore, M 2013, 'Structural holes in hospital organisations: Facilities managers as intrapreneurial brokers in the tertiary health sector', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 20, no. 5, pp. 474-487.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Purpose - The delivery of high quality healthcare services to the community requires the integration of information from a wide range of sources within a complex and highly dynamic environment. Using structural holes theory the challenges and opportunities of integration are explored from a facilities management (FM) perspective. Design/methodology/approach - Using a critical realism methodology, structured interviews with hospital stakeholders are undertaken in a case study of a large tertiary hospital in Australia. Data are analysed using social network analysis to explore the existence of structural holes. Findings - Effective FM in the health sector requires intrapreneurial skills to broker connections between functionally and culturally distinct actors located in a highly disconnected communication network structure. Originality/value - This research reveals, for the first time, the detailed communication structure of relationships among FM services in a hospital. By identifying the existence of structural holes in hospital organisations, it illuminates significant untapped brokerage potential of facilities managers in facilitating greater integration. These insights into communication structure have important implications for the practice of FM in better supporting healthcare service delivery. Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
Loosemore, M, Chow, V & Harvison, T 2013, 'Inter-agency governance risk in managing hospital responses to extreme weather events in New South Wales, Australia: A facilities management perspective of shared situational awareness', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 31, no. 10, pp. 1072-1082.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Extreme weather is predicted to become more frequent and severe into the future. While our understanding of hospital infrastructure vulnerability to such events has advanced considerably in recent years, current approaches to healthcare facilities management treat hospitals in isolation from their surrounding governance infrastructure. However, recent research indicates that if hospital resilience is to be properly understood, health infrastructure must be managed holistically, as part of a much larger governance system of interdependent organizations. The inter-agency governance risks associated with this system are currently ignored in the facilities management literature. To explore these risks, an in-depth case study of 24 agencies in the state of New South Wales, Australia is presented. The results show that facilities managers are embedded in a highly complex and dynamic array of governance boundaries which are largely unresolved and misunderstood. A number of practical strategies are presented which could be adopted to significantly improve facilities manager's integration into this system. These include: mapping hospital dependency on other agencies to build surge capacity; resolving overlapping operational boundaries with other agencies; proactive risk reduction for critical external support infrastructure; understanding potential conflicts with the objectives external agencies in responding to an extreme weather event. © 2013 © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Santoso, J & Loosemore, M 2013, 'Expatriate management in Australian multinational enterprises', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 31, no. 11, pp. 1098-1109.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Globalization, uncertain domestic markets and increasing competition are encouraging construction firms to internationalize. Although expatriates are commonly used by many construction companies to establish and manage overseas operations, there has been little research into the challenges of managing these people. Through case studies of five Australian construction firms and semi-structured interviews with 10 human resource managers and 36 expatriates, the question of how construction firms select, deploy, develop and support expatriate managers on overseas projects is explored. The results show that firms tend to adopt a highly pragmatic approach to expatriate recruitment and see the process as a logistical rather than a developmental challenge. Selection processes are often reactive, ad hoc and intuitive and based more on technical knowledge than softer behavioural skills and knowledge. Preparation for expatriate assignments is often outsourced, many expatriates feel unsupported while overseas, repatriation is poorly managed and overseas assignments are often seen as a barrier to career progression rather than an investment. These findings are at odds with contemporary research in international human resource management and are important because a major determinant of international project performance is effective human resource management. The findings also contribute to the design of better expatriate human resource management systems. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Loosemore, M & Chandra, V 2012, 'Learning through briefing: For strategic facilities management in the health sector', Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 2, no. 1, pp. 103-117.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to explore the process of cultural learning during the briefing process, to enable facilities managers to move into more strategic roles in the health sector. Design/methodology/approach: Using a new hospital as an in depth case study the authors use comparative cause mapping to illustrate the cultural learning processes between actors in the briefing process. Findings: The focus during the briefing process is primarily on the mechanical transfer of explicit technical knowledge about building requirements rather than the cognitive learning of tacit cultural knowledge. This results in the omission of important strategic information in the briefing process. Research limitations/implications: This research is limited to a single case study. Although this results in a high level of validity, more research is needed in other contexts to test the generalisability of the findings. Practical implications: The new strategic model produced should help facility managers reconceptualise briefing as a cyclical process where project actors can arrive at a shared meaning of each other's values, beliefs and needs over time. Social implications: More effective hospital facilities can significantly contribute to better health outcomes in communities. Originality/value: This is the first time that briefing has been explored using cognitive cause mapping. It is also the first time that cultural learning has been explored in this context. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Loosemore, M, Chow, VW & McGeorge, D 2012, 'Modelling the risks of extreme weather events for Australasian hospital infrastructure using rich picture diagrams', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 30, no. 12, pp. 1071-1086.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Anticipated increases in the frequency of extreme weather events in the future are likely to expose hospital infrastructure to new risks which are poorly understood. Traditional approaches to risk identification and analysis produce linear, narrow and static risk profiles which fail to consider complex sub-system interdependencies that may assist or hinder healthcare delivery during an extreme weather event. The ability to create resilient hospitals depends on new risk management methodologies which provide an understanding of these complex relationships. Focus groups with key stakeholders in three hospitals in Australia are used to construct rich picture diagrams (RPDs) of hospital infrastructure interdependencies under different extreme weather event scenarios. They show that the risks posed to hospitals by extreme weather events cannot be considered in isolation from the surrounding infrastructure, emergency management systems, health systems and communities in which they are imbedded. The new insights provided have major governance and policy implications for agencies responsible for ensuring that hospital infrastructure can continue to support the delivery of effective health services during extreme weather events. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Loosemore, M, Chow, VW & Mcgeorge, D 2012, 'Modelling the risks of extreme weather events for Australasian hospital infrastructure using rich picture diagrams', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 30, no. 12, pp. 1071-1086.
Anticipated increases in the frequency of extreme weather events in the
future are likely to expose hospital infrastructure to new risks which are
poorly understood. Traditional approaches to risk identification and
analysis produce linear, narrow and static risk profiles which fail to
consider complex sub-system interdependencies that may assist or hinder
healthcare delivery during an extreme weather event. The ability to create
resilient hospitals depends on new risk management methodologies which
provide an understanding of these complex relationships. Focus groups with
key stakeholders in three hospitals in Australia are used to construct
rich picture diagrams (RPDs) of hospital infrastructure interdependencies
under different extreme weather event scenarios. They show that the risks
posed to hospitals by extreme weather events cannot be considered in
isolation from the surrounding infrastructure, emergency management
systems, health systems and communities in which they are imbedded. The
new insights provided have major governance and policy implications for
agencies responsible for ensuring that hospital infrastructure can
continue to support the delivery of effective health services during
extreme weather events.
Loosemore, M, Phua, F, Teo, M & Dunn, KM 2012, 'Management strategies to harness cultural diversity on Australian construction sites - A social identity perspective', Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 1-11.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Construction sites around the world employ large numbers of people from diverse cultural backgrounds. The effective management of this cultural diversity has important implications for the productivity, safety, health and welfare of construction workers and for the performance and reputation of firms which employ them. The findings of a three year, multi-staged study of cultural diversity management practices on construction sites are critiqued using social identity theory. This reveals that so called "best-practice" diversity management strategies may have an opposite effect to that intended. It is concluded that the management of diversity on construction projects would benefit from being informed by social identity research.
Sedighi, F & Loosemore, M 2012, 'Employer-of-choice characteristics in the construction industry', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 30, no. 11, pp. 941-950.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In many countries, ageing populations, skills shortages and increasing inter-sector labour competition has made graduate recruitment and retention a priority in the construction industry. Understanding what constitutes an employer-of-choice in the eyes of graduates is important in meeting this challenge. A survey of 160 undergraduates across 26 international universities concluded that the top three most important workplace characteristics for university students on construction courses are: positive work relationships, being able to learn on the job, and a workplace that is passionate about work. Distinct gender differences were exposed between preferences as were differences in preferences compared to the preferences of graduates in other industries. These findings contribute to our understanding of how students make choices about employers, what factors are important in making those decisions and how these factors vary between different graduate groups. They also contribute to our understanding of how to design better recruitment strategies to attract talent to the construction sector in an environment where demand is anticipated to exceed supply for some time ahead. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.
Chandra, V & Loosemore, M 2011, 'Communicating about organizational culture in the briefing process: Case study of a hospital project', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 223-231.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A new hospital building represents a rare opportunity to align the physical environment of healthcare with contemporary healthcare needs and models of healthcare delivery to help ensure optimal health outcomes. The effectiveness of interaction between project stakeholders from the hospital and design teams during the briefing process of any hospital project is critical in ensuring this alignment occurs. Therefore it is important to explore the process of knowledge sharing during this project briefing stage. Using thematic content analysis to explore communication exchanges between these project stakeholders, we show that knowledge exchanged during the briefing process is acquired not only explicitly but implicitly through social processes whereby participants attempt to socially construct a common understanding of the project. In particular, the importance of constructive conflict in driving this process is critical. This has implications for health planners, project managers, facilities managers and health professions engaged in the briefing process of hospital projects. In particular, it highlights the importance of providing the correct environment and enough time for culturally conducive social interaction and knowledge sharing to occur between the many stakeholders involved. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
Dunn, K, Loosemore, M, Phua, F & Ozguc, U 2011, 'Everyday Ethnic Diversity and Racism on Australian Construction Sites', The International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities, and Nations: Annual Review, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 129-148.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Loosemore, M 2011, 'Managing stakeholder perceptions of risk and opportunity in social infrastructure projects using a multimedia approach', Int. J. of Project Organisation and Management, vol. 3, no. 3/4, pp. 307-315.
While the construction industry has developed sound technical skills in dealing with risk, its ability to deal with the human perceptions of construction risk is less well developed. One of the key questions which now faces every organisation operating in the construction industry is not just whether it is managing its risks effectively, but also whether it is managing its wider responsibility to society and whether it is communicating this effectively. This is even more important in planning, designing, constructing and operating social infrastructure projects where connections to the community are particularly strong. It is in this context that this paper critically analyses traditional approaches to risk management in the construction industry. It argues that a new approach is needed which recognises the social, political, psychological and cultural complexity of risk. Multimedia offers a solution to this need and a case study of a new multimedia approach to risk and opportunity management (see http://www.risk-opportunity.com) is presented to show how this can be achieved in practice.
Loosemore, M 2011, 'Managing stakeholder perceptions of risk and opportunity in social infrastructure projects using a multimedia approach', International Journal of Project Organisation and Management, vol. 3, no. 3-4, pp. 307-315.View/Download from: Publisher's site
While the construction industry has developed sound technical skills in dealing with risk, its ability to deal with the human perceptions of construction risk is less well developed. One of the key questions which now faces every organisation operating in the construction industry is not just whether it is managing its risks effectively, but also whether it is managing its wider responsibility to society and whether it is communicating this effectively. This is even more important in planning, designing, constructing and operating social infrastructure projects where connections to the community are particularly strong. It is in this context that this paper critically analyses traditional approaches to risk management in the construction industry. It argues that a new approach is needed which recognises the social, political, psychological and cultural complexity of risk. Multimedia offers a solution to this need and a case study of a new multimedia approach to risk and opportunity management (see http://www.risk-opportunity.com) is presented to show how this can be achieved in practice. © 2011 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Loosemore, M, Carthey, J, Chandra, V & Chand, AM 2011, 'Climate change risks and opportunities in hospital adaptation', International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 2, no. 3, pp. 210-221.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Purpose: The future of healthcare delivery will depend in part on the adaptive capacity of hospital infrastructure required to respond to the predicted physical and health-related impacts of climate change. The purpose of this paper is to assess the vulnerabilities and opportunities of existing hospital facilities faced with climate-related extreme weather events and to identify adaptive strategies that will enable existing hospital facilities to assist rather than hinder healthcare continuity and quality during these events. Design/methodology/approach: Four major hospitals in Australia and New Zealand, significantly exposed to climate change-associated extreme weather event risks, were selected as case studies. A risk management workshop was conducted for each case study using the risk and opportunity management system methodology. Findings: The preliminary findings identified several key objectives associated with responding to the impact of extreme weather events on healthcare infrastructure. Assuming the overall aim of ensuring continuity of service delivery, the common objectives are: guaranteeing the availability of essential (building) services; maintaining the physical integrity of the hospital; supporting effective inter-agency communication; and providing access to and from the hospital for staff and patients. Research limitations/implications: Given Australia's relatively high exposure to climate extremes, the social, economic and health benefits of developing hospital adaptation strategies to mitigate risks and maximize opportunities in responding are significant. Practical implications: The outcomes of this research will contribute to a growing evidence base of design and facilities management adaptation strategies for hospitals susceptible to increasing risks of extreme weather events. Originality/value: The paper presents the first assessment of climate vulnerabilities and opportunities for hospital facilities in Australia and New Zealand. © Emera...
Loosemore, M, Phua, FTT, Dunn, K & Ozguc, U 2011, 'The politics of sameness in the Australian construction industry: Comparing operative and manager attitudes towards cultural diversity', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 363-380.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Purpose - Australian construction sites are culturally diverse workplaces. This paper aims to compare operative and manager attitudes towards cultural diversity on Australian construction sites, and to examine the strategies that are used to manage it. Design/methodology/approach - A face-to-face questionnaire survey was undertaken of 1,155 construction operatives and 180 supervisors on Australian construction sites. Findings - The vast majority of operatives and managers are comfortable with cultural diversity. However, there is some anxiety about cultural diversity, especially around safety risks, and there is evidence of racism. Those concerns are more keenly perceived by operatives than by managers. Both operatives and managers see some of the negative issues (discrimination, racist joke telling) as inevitable daily outcomes of cultural diversity on sites. The normalisation of these negative forms of cross-cultural interaction reveals a pessimistic disposition towards cultural diversity. Cultural diversity policy, and programs, are not seen as a priority by managers, and some see such strategies (e.g. affirmative action plans) as discriminatory, and unfair, since they may favour some groups over others. Originality/value - No research has compared operative and management attitudes towards cultural diversity in the Australian construction sector. This paper provides a first glimpse into the value attributed to cultural diversity programs by managers within construction sites. These insights will be of value to managers and supervisors who have to manage multicultural workforces in the construction industry. Conceptually, the paper reveals how the "politics of sameness" are hegemonic within the construction industry, presenting as an a priori anxiety towards difference, the normalising of poor cross-cultural relations, the non-prioritising of policies to better manage cultural diversity or their ITad hoc/IT adoption. © 2011 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Al...
Pinnegar, S, Wiesel, I, Liu, E, Gilmour, T, Loosemore, M & Judd, B 2011, 'Partnership working in the design and delivery of housing policy and programs', AHURI Final Report, no. 163, pp. 1-101.
© 2011 Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute. All Rights Reserved. The past decade has seen the emergence of partnership formations between government, private and not-for-profit sectors in the delivery of services and infrastructure in Australia. A diverse range of models and frameworks are being developed which encourage collaboration in long-term partnerships on the grounds of mutual benefit. Advocates point to improved efficiencies as government liabilities are taken off the balance sheet and risk/reward profiles are transferred. Collaboration provides a basis for innovation, skills transfer and transformation of traditional structures and frameworks for implementation. However, issues of governance, accountability, flexibility and ensuring community interests are best served ensure that policy's enrolment of partnership models is both challenging and contentious. Although partnership arrangements in the design and delivery of policy are longstanding, current interest in partnership working within housing and related urban programs is being shaped by a number of imperatives. In part, it represents a case of 'catch up' on the part of housing policy interests, particularly when compared with delivery models seen across other built environment and urban infrastructure fields in recent years. Second, insight and experience emerging from the early application of models such as Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) within housing-led urban renewal programs are also starting to come through, enabling initial lessons to be identified. Third, new policy directions, associated initiatives and expenditure have placed the need for partnership working and improved coordination centre stage, including the following: A commitment to partnership working underpins new directions within government, through both the operation of the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the National Affordable Housing Agreement (NAHA).Many housing reform directions-for example enco...
Teo, MM & Loosemore, M 2011, 'Community-based protest against construction projects: A case study of movement continuity', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 29, no. 2, pp. 131-144.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Community-based activism against proposed construction projects is growing. Many protests are poorly managed and escalate into long-term and sometimes acrimonious disputes which damage communities, firms and the construction industry as a whole. Using a thematic storytelling approach which draws on ethnographic method, within a single case study framework, new insights into the social forces that shape and sustain community-based protest against construction projects are provided. A conceptual model of protest movement continuity is presented which highlights the factors that sustain protest continuity over time. The model illustrates how social contagion leads to common community perceptions of development risk and opportunity, to a positive internalization of collective values and identity, to a strategic utilization of social capital and an awareness of the need to manage the emotional dynamics of protest through mechanisms such as symbolic artefacts. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.
Chandra, V & Loosemore, M 2010, 'Mapping stakeholders' cultural learning in the hospital briefing process', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 28, no. 7, pp. 761-769.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In the context of a major hospital redevelopment project, briefing is conceived as an organic and cyclical process of cultural learning whereby project and hospital representatives gradually converge upon a shared meaning of each other's values, beliefs and needs over time. Using a comparative cause mapping that draws on a case study approach and interviews, it was found that the clinicians' understanding of the key cultural concepts differed significantly from all other groups and that clinicians' ability to influence hospital design outcomes is constrained by their relative social marginalization in the briefing process. It follows that hospital facilities would better meet client needs if the briefing process is managed as a process through which project participants interact to socially construct a common understanding of project objectives and requirements; and if knowledge about facility requirements is not merely 'given' information but is the result of cultural learning involving social processes among the briefing participants. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Gilmour, T, Wiesel, I, Pinnegar, S & Loosemore, M 2010, 'Social infrastructure partnerships: A firm rock in a storm?', Journal of Financial Management of Property and Construction, vol. 15, no. 3, pp. 247-259.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to use the example of public housing renewal public-private partnerships (PPPs) to build knowledge on whether social infrastructure PPPs may appeal to the private sector as a less risky investment in a time of global financial uncertainty. Design/methodology/approach – The research is based on an international literature review and a limited number of semi-structured interviews with social housing PPP participants in England, the USA and Australia. These interviews were conducted by Dr Gilmour as part of his doctoral research in 2008. Findings – The familiar distinction between social and other forms of infrastructure PPPs has been found to be unhelpful in the case of public housing renewal. This type of PPPs, through their cross-subsidisation model, face relatively high revenue risk during a recession. However, the commitment of the public sector to the social goals of such projects suggests contract negotiation rather than default is likely if problems occur. PPP risks need to be understood by studying their detailed contract terms, rather than by broad categorisations. Research limitations/implications – This paper provides a grounded discussion rather than detailed research findings. Only a small number of projects are included and they are not necessarily representative. Cross-national comparison is challenging because of different housing policies and economic conditions. Originality/value – This paper fills a gap in the literature by both contrasting approaches to a particular type of social infrastructure PPP in different countries, and by making an early assessment of the likely impact of recent turbulence in financial and property markets. © 2010, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Loosemore, M 2010, 'Using multimedia to effectively engage stakeholders in risk management', International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 307-327.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2010, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. PurposeThe aim of this paper is to discuss how multimedia technology can be used to effectively engage stakeholders in the management of risk in projects and in business. Design/methodology/approachDrawing on research in stakeholder management and multimedia this paper presents a case study of how multimedia technology was used to help a government health department develop a risk management strategy to respond to climate change risk to its infrastructure. FindingsMultimedia is a highly effective, engaging, and innovative way to capture and harness stakeholders' collective knowledge in managing risks and opportunities. Research limitations/implicationsThis research has revealed the practical advantages of using multimedia to engage stakeholders in the risk management process. Future research needs to explore the pedagogical advantages of multimedia in helping organisations develop a risk management culture. Practical implicationsIn the increasingly emotional and regulated business environment, effective risk management has become a basic necessity for every organisation, as has the ability to communicate effectively with external stakeholders about risk. The potential costs of poor communication with stakeholders during this process are enormous but the potential benefits of effective consultation are even greater. Originality/valueThis paper will be of value to managers involved in managing risk and opportunity. It demonstrates a new consultative approach to managing risk and opportunity which uses cutting-edge multimedia technology which complies with current international guidelines, laws and regulations.
Loosemore, M, Phua, F, Dunn, K & Ozguc, U 2010, 'Operatives' experiences of cultural diversity on Australian construction sites', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 177-188.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Construction sites are among Australia's most culturally diverse workplaces. A survey of 1155 construction operatives on Australian construction sites investigated, for the first time, the extent of this diversity and how it is experienced by workers. Results show that while cultural diversity presents organizational challenges by segregating the workforce, operatives' cultural groups also perform positive functions such as maintaining positive bonds among group members and providing group support and safe havens. While there broadly appears to be equality of opportunity for all cultural groups, there is significant evidence of differential treatment for some groups, particularly in relation to accessing higher paying jobs, offensive graffiti and racist joke telling. Language barriers are one of the major challenges affecting work and social relations between different cultural groups and there is evidence that this has a detrimental impact upon safety. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.
Teo, MMM & Loosemore, M 2010, 'Community-based protest against construction projects: The social determinants of protest movement continuity', International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 216-235.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2010, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to investigate the social forces that shape perceptions of risk and sustain community-based protest against controversial construction projects. Design/methodology/approachThis paper uses a thematic story-telling approach which draws on ethnographic method and theories relating to social contagion, group dynamics and collective action. FindingsThe paper shows how collective action against projects is maintained by a high degree of interconnectivity and relational multiplexity between participating individuals and groups. Other determinants of movement continuity include the protective role of hidden social networks, overlapping protest group memberships, the plurality of protest issues faced and the quality and nature of social ties, experiences and emotions that link activists in collective action over the protest movement's lifetime. Research limitations/implicationsThis research extends existing research in protest mobalisation in the social and political domain into the area of protest continuity against controversial projects. Practical implicationsMismanaged community concerns about controversial projects can escalate into long-term and sometimes acrimonious protest stand-offs that have negative implications for the community, firms involved and for industries as a whole. The findings of this paper can help project managers avoid this. Originality/valueThis paper will be of value to project managers involved in managing community perceptions of risk on controversial projects within or outside the construction industry. It explains for the first time how perceptions of risk about major projects are shaped in communities and provides recommendations about how best to communicate with communities to prevent conflict.
Carthey, J, Chandra, V & Loosemore, M 2009, 'Adapting Australian health facilities to cope with climate-related extreme weather events', Journal of Facilities Management, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 36-51.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2009, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to discuss the current state of FM preparedness required to deal with the risks to healthcare delivery posed by climate change-related extreme weather events. Design/methodology/approach – Selected stakeholders were invited to participate in targeted focus groups that, using the ROMS methodology, explored the status of current knowledge and preparedness of the NSW health system to deal with the expected demands imposed by increasing incidences of extreme weather events. Findings are summarised and discussed in terms of the key stakeholder objectives identified. Further areas of required research are then discussed. Findings – The key objectives of the stakeholders were readily agreed, however a lack of information regarding the quantifiable impacts forecast to be associated with climate change constrained the development of other than generic strategies for dealing with these impacts. Further areas of research included assessment of changing demand for health services, likely physical impacts on facilities and their adequacy in coping with these, implementation strategies for augmenting coping capacity and associated costs, plus the need for integrating disaster planning and management strategies to ensure the continuity of operation of health facilities during extreme weather events. Originality/value – The paper outlines the status of current knowledge regarding the likely impact of climate change-related extreme weather events on healthcare infrastructure. It explores key issues and determines where future work should be undertaken to ensure that rigorous FM responses are available to cope with a clear and identified threat to the health of the Australian, and similar communities.
Loosemore, M 2009, 'Managing public perceptions of risk on construction and engineering projects: How to involve stakeholders in business decisions', International Journal of Construction Management, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 65-74.View/Download from: Publisher's site
While the construction industry has developed sound technical skills in dealing with risk, its ability to deal with the human perceptions of construction risk is less well developed. This in turn has often led to irrational reactions to even the most innocuous development proposals. The implicit question which now faces every construction organisation is not just whether it is managing its risks effectively but also, whether it is managing its wider responsibility to society and whether it is communicating this effectively. It is in this context that this paper critically analyses traditional technocratic approaches to risk management in the construction industry. It argues that a new approach is needed which recognizes the social, political, psychological and cultural complexity of risk. A case study is presented to show how this can be achieved in practice using a new multimedia risk management system called ROMS (www.risk-opportunity.com).
Tow, D & Loosemore, M 2009, 'Corporate Ethics in the Construction and Engineering Industry', Journal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction, vol. 1, no. 3, pp. 122-129.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Loosemore, M & Galea, N 2008, 'Genderlect and conflict in the Australian construction industry', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 125-135.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The Australian construction industry is male dominated and highly confrontational. Critical decision and concept mapping methods are employed to explore the connection between these two characteristics by contrasting the cognitive bases of judgement and communication used by male and female workers in hypothetical conflict settings. Results indicate that the Australian construction industry's genderlect is male-centric and that this perpetuates the relatively high incidence of conflict. Women and men also behave differently in conflicts and in jobs that require them to engage in conflict and confrontation. Consequently, levels of conflict in the Australian construction industry could be reduced by increased female participation and feminizing communicative and behavioural responses to conflict.
Loosemore, M & McCarthy, CS 2008, 'Perceptions of contractual risk allocation in construction supply chains', JOURNAL OF PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE, vol. 134, no. 1, pp. 95-105.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Loosemore, M & Andonakis, N 2007, 'Barriers to implementing OHS reforms - The experiences of small subcontractors in the Australian Construction Industry', International Journal of Project Management, vol. 25, no. 6, pp. 579-588.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In Australia, the introduction of the occupational health and safety (OHS) Regulation in 2001 was meant to be a catalyst for improving the construction industry's poor health and safety performance. It represented a shift in OHS policy towards a more self-regulated, consultative, performance-based approach, placing much larger responsibilities on principal contractors and subcontractors for the effective management of OHS risks. The success of any self-regulatory system depends heavily on the receptivity, skills and knowledge of those who have to administer these greater responsibilities. In the case of major principal contractors, this is unlikely to be a problem. However, for the small sized subcontractors who represent the vast majority of firms in the Australian construction industry, there is evidence that significant difficulties exist in adapting to this new regime. This paper explores the extent and nature of these challenges. It concludes that the main barriers to effective compliance have been implementation costs, language and educational barriers and a fear of change. The extent of difficulties faced by different trades varies quite significantly, although this does not seem to be related to company size or company age. Remedies include better integration of OHS training into general skills training, better communication between regulatory authorities and subcontractors, participation of the tertiary educational sector in OHS training, training in multimedia and multi languages and subsidising companies for the costs of training. More broadly, pyramid contracting should be reduced and parallel contracting encouraged and there should be better monitoring of OHS performance backed up by greater penalties for non compliance and rewards for innovation and compliance. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA.
Ng, A & Loosemore, M 2007, 'Risk allocation in the private provision of public infrastructure', International Journal of Project Management, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 66-76.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Communities benefit most from the private provision of public infrastructure when project risks are distributed appropriately between private and public sectors. This is not easy given the technical, legal, political and economic complexity of infrastructure projects and the range of constituencies involved. Too often, risks are under estimated and allocated to parties without the knowledge, resources and capabilities to manage them effectively. The result is increased costs, project delays and services which fail to deliver value-for-money to the community. This paper presents a case study of the controversial $920 million New Southern Railway project in Sydney, Australia. It analyses the rationale behind decisions about risk distributions between public and private sectors and their consequences. It also demonstrates the complexity and obscurity of risks facing such projects and the difficulties in distributing them appropriately. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations to better manage risks in such projects. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA.
Zou, PXW, Fang, D, Qing Wang, S & Loosemore, M 2007, 'An overview of the Chinese construction market and construction management practice', Journal of Technology Management in China, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 163-176.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Purpose – To explore the risk management, crisis management and business continuity management (BCM) practices of facilities managers responsible for a range of major public and private buildings in Sydney, Australia. Design/methodology/approach – The research method involved a survey of facilities managers responsible for the management of 27 potentially vulnerable buildings in the Sydney metropolitan area, Australia. Findings – The results suggest that facilities managers under estimate the vulnerability of buildings to terrorist attack, may have a misconception about likely targets and may be unprepared for such an eventuality. Research limitations/implications – These findings are restricted to the restricted sample of facilities managers interviewed who were responsible for a range of major public and private buildings in Sydney, Australia. Practical implications – Highlights the security responsibilities of facilities managers in the new security environment and practical measures which can be taken to improve terrorism preparedness, recovery and response. Originality/value – Buildings, infrastructure and public spaces have increasingly become the focus of terrorist attacks. Yet little is known about the level of preparedness to deal with this eventuality. This paper presents a critique of the literature on terrorism applied to building facilities, integrating the literature on crisis management, BCM and risk management. © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Trajkovski, S & Loosemore, M 2006, 'Safety implications of low-English proficiency among migrant construction site operatives', International Journal of Project Management, vol. 24, no. 5, pp. 446-452.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Language diversity is a prominent feature of the Australian construction industry. Non English speaking background (NESB) migrants fill a high proportion of low-level operative positions and naturally revert to their first-language in order to communicate with their colleagues. This creates linguistic ghettos in the workplace which further inhibit integration and second language acquisition. There are many consequences for construction companies; one being an inability to interpret messages regarding workplace hazards conveyed by supervisors, managers and peers. This paper investigates the extent of this problem and its implications for occupational health and safety risks. It focuses on the experiences of NESB operatives and more specifically, on their difficulties in understanding the content of mandatory government safety accreditation courses. A need is identified to provide mandatory safety training in languages other than English and to supplement this with translated print material. Recommendations are also made to assist construction companies improve their safety policies in accommodating NESB workers. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd and IPMA.
Heng, HKS, McGeorge, WD & Loosemore, M 2005, 'Beyond strategy: Exploring the brokerage role of facilities manager in hospitals', Journal of Health, Organisation and Management, vol. 19, no. 1, pp. 16-31.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Purpose - Seeks to explore the brokerage role of facilities manager in hospitals, based on the premise that facilities management (FM) is largely concerned with "strategic brokerage". Strategic brokerage is the term coined by Akhaghi to explain the integration of a wide range of support services to ensure the effective operation of the core business of an organization. Design/methodology/approach - The research was conducted in the health service sector using a single case study approach to examine the brokerage potential for FM in a hospital in the Sydney Metropolitan area. A social network analysis technique was used to identify and analyse the communication networks of players in a hospital environment. Two general questions guided the analysis. First, what is the brokerage potential within the FM process? Second, where are the opportunities for brokerage? Findings - The results indicate that identifying relationship linkages between different functional units can create potential brokerage opportunities. Originality/value - The proposition is made that viewing FM from a brokerage perspective can add value to the delivery of health-care services. © Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Chandra, V & Loosemore, M 2004, 'Women's self-perception: An inter-sector comparison of construction, legal and nursing professionals', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 22, no. 9, pp. 947-956.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The issue of gender in the construction industry has received considerable attention. However, most of the research has been from a male perspective and has considered how male perceptions of females act as an impediment to women's career progression. An understanding of women's self-perception is important because it helps to explain how women make sense of the barriers and challenges they face in a male dominated culture and how they seek to attain positive outcomes for themselves. A comparison of women in the construction industry with women in other male-dominated (legal) and female-dominated (nursing) industries reveals little variation in self perceptions. Indeed, women in the construction industry emerge relatively positively, with the highest overall level of self-esteem. This is encouraging and surprising, given the considerable evidence of significant barriers to entry and career progression for women in the construction industry, compared to other industries. It indicates that the construction industry is nota special case and that support strategies used in other industries are directly transferable, although the culture of the construction industry may make them more difficult to implement. © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Ho, MF, Drew, D, McGeorge, D & Loosemore, M 2004, 'Implementing corporate ethics management and its comparison with the safety management system: A case study in Hong Kong', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 22, no. 6, pp. 595-606.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A case study of one general contracting construction organization in Hong Kong was undertaken. The study illustrates the current state of corporate ethics management in the implementation of a corporate code of ethics. The overall process of developing the corporate code of ethics from planning to implementation was investigated. It was found that the corporate management of the organization that was studied adopted a laissez-faire approach in implementing its code at the project level. This means that there was no formal and unified cross-organizational plan for implementing the code at the project level. The methods of communicating the corporate code of ethics to the members of the project team were left to the discretion of the individual project manager. The research findings also showed that different project managers adopted different methods of communication to disseminate the corporate code of ethics to members of their project team. © 2004 Taylor and Francis Ltd.
Loosemore, M & Lam, ASY 2004, 'The locus of control: A determinant of opportunistic behaviour in construction health and safety', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 22, no. 4, pp. 385-394.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Current research and practice in the field of risk management focus almost exclusively on the downside of risk, meaning that many opportunities for improved performance go unmissed. There is substantial evidence that opportunities demand a different management approach to problems and, that there is need to better understand this process. However, our understanding of opportunism has been hindered by the absence of research into the main forces that impede and drive opportunistic behaviour. This paper explores these forces and investigates one in particular - the locus of control (self perceived influence over decision-making). This investigation is conducted in a health and safety context because this is an area of particularly poor performance in the construction industry, where the locus of control is especially relevant. The paper concludes that the overall locus of control is high in relation to health and safety issues. However, there is considerable discrepancy in perceived levels of influence between different occupational, gender and ethnic groups, which need to be addressed if the industry is to improve its performance in this area. © 2004 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Loosemore, M & Waters, T 2004, 'Gender differences in occupational stress among professionals in the construction industry', JOURNAL OF MANAGEMENT IN ENGINEERING, vol. 20, no. 3, pp. 126-132.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Walker, DHT & Loosemore, M 2003, 'Flexible problem solving in construction projects on the National Museum of Australia project', Team Performance Management: An International Journal, vol. 9, pp. 5-15.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In responding to unanticipated challenges during the course of a project, lessons from crisis management research can be valuable. Effective project management requires both a proactive and reactive strategy in dealing with unanticipated and challenging events. A key element of success is developing a learning culture, which permits flexibility within a systematic problem-solving approach. We indicate how this can be achieved using a crisis management model and use data gathered from the National Museum of Australia project to demonstrate the potential benefits of a learning which encourages solution-building by teams. © 2003, MCB UP Limited
Loosemore M., CDW 2002, 'Racial discrimination towards Asian operatives in the Australian construction industry', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 20, no. 1, pp. 91-102.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper investigates racial discrimination towards Asian operatives in the Australian construction industry. It explores the extent of this discrimination, the form it is taking, the impact it is having and how it is being managed. The paper reveals an assimilationist culture which largely ignores the needs of ethnic minority groups and fails to harness the positive attributes of multiculturalism. Ironically, in comparison with other industries, the construction industry is relatively well placed to benefit from cultural diversity, and a number of suggestions are made to help companies achieve this. These suggestions are of value to managers in other countries because racism is not a problem that is unique to the Australian construction industry.
Loosemore, M & Lee, P 2002, 'Communication problems with ethnic minorities in the construction industry', International Journal of Project Management, vol. 20, no. 7, pp. 517-524.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Multi-culturism is an increasingly prominent feature of the construction industry. The managerial challenge of workforce diversity is enormous, not least, ensuring effective communication between the various cultural groups. This paper investigates the problems of managing employees with limited proficiency in the indigenous language of their workplace. It focuses upon the problems experienced in two English-speaking countries (Australia and Singapore) and upon interactions between English-speaking managers and non English-speaking operatives. It is concluded that English is often the minority language on site and confined to managerial level, yet there are few initiatives to alleviate the communication problems that can arise. A series of recommendations are made to help construction companies improve inter-cultural communication in their workforce. © 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved.
Loosemore, M, Choo, H & Koh, J 2002, 'Encouraging research and development in construction companies', JOURNAL OF PROFESSIONAL ISSUES IN ENGINEERING EDUCATION AND PRACTICE, vol. 128, no. 1, pp. 25-29.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Documents a research project which investigated the use of benchmarking in managing facilities. The research focused on a variety of sectors including health, education, hotels, defence and government enterprises. Depicts a fragmented facilities management profession that has an introspective, crude and unimaginative approach to measuring facilities performance. This arises from a poor understanding of the relationship between facilities and the core business objectives of the organisations that use them. Concludes that one of the biggest challenges for the profession is to develop a generic methodology to better understand this relationship. Without this, facilities managers will continue to perform a controlling rather managing function and to experience problems in demonstrating the commercial value of their role. © 2001, MCB UP Limited
Loosemore, M & Hughes, WP 2001, 'Confronting social defence mechanisms: Avoiding disorganisation during crises', Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 73-87.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Crises cause social disturbances within their host organisation and the patterns of interpersonal ties that emerge are an important determinant of crisis management efficiency. In this article, social network analysis is used within a construction project context, to demonstrate that efficient crisis management depends upon the design and maintenance of an appropriate social fabric. However, crises have defence mechanisms that make management difficult by inducing forces that encourage people to pursue inappropriate social ties. Purposeful social intervention is therefore an essential part of the crisis management process to confront and avoid disorganisation. © Blackwell Publishers Ltd 2001.
Levels of waste within the construction industry need to be reduced for environmental and economic reasons. Changing people's wasteful behaviour can make a significant contribution. This paper describes a research project that used Ajzen's 'theory of planned behaviour' to investigate the attitudinal forces that shape behaviour at the operative level. It concludes that operatives see waste as an inevitable by-product of construction activity. Attitudes towards waste management are not negative, although they are pragmatic and impeded by perceptions of a lack of managerial commitment. Waste management is perceived as a low project priority, and there is an absence of appropriate resources and incentives to support it. A theory of waste behaviour is proposed for the construction industry, and recommendations are made to help managers improve operatives' attitudes towards waste.
An investigation of occupational stereotypes in the construction industry provides insights into the perceptions and expectations which different occupational groups have of each other. The results are valuable in the reduction of uncertainty, misunderstanding and conflict within construction projects and do not support the widely held view of institutionalized confrontational relationships. Instead, there appears to be a natural degree of goodwill underlying interpersonal relationships although it is delicate, precarious and easily destroyed by insensitive managerial practices. © 2000 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Loosemore, M, Nguyen, BT & Denis, N 2000, 'An investigation into the merits of encouraging conflict in the construction industry', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 18, no. 4, pp. 447-456.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Considerable energy is being directed towards an indiscriminate policy of conflict reduction in the construction industry but the problem of construction conflict may be in its management rather than in its incidence. Conflict reduction is a response to the industry's inability to manage conflict constructively, and it may be more productive to focus upon building skills in this area as a basis for encouraging conflict. This paper explores the merits of this idea. It does so by discussing the results of a survey which used two psychometric tests to investigate whether the industry has an attitudinal and socio-structural base which is receptive to such efforts. © 2000 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Construction crisis management research is in an exploratory state where contemplated questions are of more value than hasty answers. For this reason, this paper is more concerned with theory formulation than theory testing. More specifically, it derives a grounded theory of construction crisis management which forms a useful basis for future research. It does so from an investigation of the complex patterns of communication and behaviour which emerge in response to construction crises. The conclusion is that construction crisis management is about the effective control of social and behavioural instability and the conflict which arises out of it. However, effective crisis management is made difficult by the in-built defence mechanisms which construction crises appear to have. The grounded theory also is contrasted with current crisis management theory and thereby, the uniqueness of crisis management in a construction context is identified. © 1999 E & FN Spon.
Loosemore, M 1999, 'International construction management research: Cultural sensitivity in methodological design', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 17, no. 5, pp. 553-561.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The process of globalization is occurring in the research community as well as in the business community and it is increasingly likely that collaborative research across national boundaries will be undertaken. This paper is concerned with the problems inherent in this process. More specifically, it focuses upon data collection, conceiving it as an act of communication. Models of communication are used to investigate problems of interaction between researchers and respondents of different cultural backgrounds and to help in the identification of culturally sensitive methodological strategies. The paper concludes that current criticisms of construction management research methods, which are being presented from a global perspective, are more relevant outside a western context. © 1999 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Responsibilities in construction projects are not entirely predetermined by construction contracts. Many emerge arbitrarily from the resolution of power struggles between opposing interest groups who are trying to minimize their exposure to an unexpected resourcing demand. These struggles contain the seeds of conflict because those with relatively little power tend to emerge with relatively high levels of responsibility. For the weak, this inequality causes financial strain, anxiety, resentment, frustration and malevolence. © 1999 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
Loosemore, M & Muslmani, HSA 1999, 'Construction project management in the Persian Gulf: Inter-cultural communication', International Journal of Project Management, vol. 17, no. 2, pp. 95-100.View/Download from: Publisher's site
In an increasingly international construction market, communication problems will emerge as one of the most significant contemporary challenges facing construction project managers. An understanding of cultural diversity and the means of managing it will provide the ability to meet this challenge. This paper investigates the communication problems associated with cultural diversity between UK and Persian Gulf nationals on international construction projects. It concludes that there is a case for greater attention to cultural initiation programmes by UK construction companies wishing to operate efficiently in the Persian Gulf.
Runeson, G & Loosemore, M 1999, 'Gate-keepers or judges: Peer reviews in construction management', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 529-536.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Peer review has a momentous influence upon the lives of those who seek to publish, upon the credibility of an academic discipline and upon the way it develops. It is used widely within the academic community on the assumption that it encourages high standards of scholarly writing by providing an informed, fair, reasonable and professional opinion about the merits of research work. This paper reports an experiment which tested the extent to which peer review in construction management serves this function. The results indicate that the outcome of the peer review process is not significantly different from random, and that there is little consistency in the reasons advanced for rejection or revision. © 1999 E & FN Spon.
The management of behaviour is a key aspect of the crisis management process. However, generic models of crisis behaviour are of limited value in a construction project context. This is because they encourage complacent and unthoughtful management in a situation where flexibility, sensitivity and intelligence is required. © 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved.
Loosemore, M 1998, 'Reactive crisis management in construction projects - Patterns of communication and behaviour', Journal of Contingencies and Crisis Management, vol. 6, no. 1, pp. 23-34.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Patterns of communication and behaviour emerge within a construction project in response to a construction crisis. This paper investigates, within a grounded theory framework, the nature of these patterns, the sociological and psychological forces which shape them and their relationship with crisis management efficiency. A grounded theory is presented in four parts. The first part conceives a construction crisis as a period of social instability, arising from conflicting interest groups, seeking to exercise power in the pursuit of social structures which suit their political and economic interests. The second part sees a construction crisis as a desensitizing phenomenon which results in a period of behavioural instability and conflict which is self-perpetuating. The third part cites social structure as an important influence upon construction crisis management efficiency, in determining the efficiency of information flow, and the level of uncertainty between those affected. The fourth part points to the in-built defence mechanisms which construction crises have and to three managerial ironies which make construction crisis management difficult. © Blactwell Publishers Ltd 1993.
Loosemore, M 1998, 'Social network analysis: Using a quantitative tool within an interpretative context to explore the management of construction crises', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 315-326.View/Download from: Publisher's site
There is growing dissatisfaction with the static, reductionist, socially insensitive and unimaginative methods used in construction management research. The present paper challenges the emerging view that methods are strictly associated with philosophies, and in particular, that quantitative methods are at odds with interpretative aspirations. It does so by providing a practical example of social network analysis, a quantitative method which is sympathetic to these aspirations. The example is set within a crisis management context, and illustrates the dangers of using qualitative or quantitative methods in isolation. The present paper concludes by questioning the association of quantitative methods with causality and the production of universal models, and argues that both quantitative and qualitative methods have a role to play in understanding the complexity of people's changing social roles, positions and behaviours within construction organizations. © 1998, MCB UP Limited
Loosemore, M 1998, 'Social network analysis: using a quantitative tool within an interpretative context to explore the management of construction crises', Engineering Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 315-326.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Loosemore, M 1998, 'The influence of communication structure upon crisis management efficiency', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 16, no. 6, pp. 661-671.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A construction crisis stimulates a network of communications within its host organization, the structure of which influences crisis management efficiency. It does so by determining the effectiveness of information transfer between project participants, and thereby the level of uncertainty, misunderstanding and ultimately conflict which materializes. These conclusions arose from research which was concerned specifically with the patterns of communication and behaviour which emerge in response to construction crises. The methodology adopted a longitudinal, multiple case study approach and combined the complementary techniques of content analysis and social network analysis.
Loosemore, M 1998, 'The methodological challenges posed by the confrontational nature of the construction industry', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 285-293.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The confrontational nature of the construction industry is as much a threat to effective research as it is to effective construction management. In methodological terms, it presents particular challenges of emotion, sensitivity, tension, stress, pressure and uncertainty which a researcher has to address. The present paper discusses the methodological challenges of conducting research within a confrontational environment and presents a model of solutions developed to meet these problems. This model will be of value to all researchers involved within construction projects, but particularly those interested in construction conflict. © 1998, MCB UP Limited
The three ironies of construction crisis management are; at a time when effective communication is important it is less likely; at a time when mutual sensitivity between project members is important it is less likely; at a time when collective responsibility and teamwork are important they are less likely. This paper reports research which identified these ironies and concludes with practical advice to project managers who operate within hostile environments or crisis-prone organisations. © 1998 Elsevier Science Ltd and IPMA. All rights reserved.
During a construction crisis, traditional contracts are inflexible, restrictive and counter-productive. Consequently, project participants tend to opt out of contract procedures which, in turn, leads to a disjointed organization and a loss of managerial control. To avoid this problem, drafters of traditional construction contracts need to embrace the principles that underlie contemporary crisis management thinking. However, the construction industry culture is likely to represent a barrier to the successful implementation of more managerially astute contracts such as the Engineering and Construction Contract. As an intermediate step, emergency procedures are suggested. These could be easily incorporated into the existing traditional forms of contract, providing temporary flexibility during a crisis, while at the same time, affording an element of managerial control. © 1998, MCB UP Limited
Loosemore, M 1995, 'Reactive management: Communication and behavioural issues in dealing with the occurrence of client risks', Construction Management and Economics, vol. 13, no. 1, pp. 65-80.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper describes a research project which is investigating the process by which construction project organizations deal with unexpected problems. It is against this background of increasing uncertainty and complexity in the building production process that this research is taking place. The research strategy employs the technique of communication network analysis (CNA) as its main analytical tool to investigate the communication and behavioural issues associated with this process. CNA is a technique which has been used widely in many fields such as anthropology, psychology, communications, social sciences, electronics, behavioural sciences and biology, but its potential in construction management research has yet to be explored. A case study is used to demonstrate the application of CNA to the investigation of problem-solving processes in construction projects. Some suggestions are made which could improve a project's ability to deal with unexpected problems. © 1995, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
Loosemore, M 1994, 'Dealing with unexpected problems — do contracts help? A comparison of the NEC and JCT 80 forms', Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 115-137.View/Download from: Publisher's site
This paper considers the impact that contractual procedures have upon the client's control system's ability to deal with unexpected problems. An analysis is made of the relevant procedures set out in the New Engineering Contract (NEC) and a comparison is made to those set out in the Standard Form of Building Contract 1980 Edition (JCT 80). The comparative analysis is based upon a model of problem solving which identifies four critical stages in the problem solving process. The objective of the paper is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of JCT 80 and NEC in relation to the stages of this model. The aim of the paper is to make some recommendations which could be incorporated into future contracts to improve problem solving effectiveness. This work is a continuation of a research project which is considering the communication and behavioural aspects of the problem solving process in construction projects. © 1994, MCB UP Limited
Unexpected problems are inevitable on construction projects because predictive and preventive techniques can never be perfect. This makes it necessary to understand how construction project organizations react to unexpected problems. Problems are solved by people and this makes the study of human problem-solving behaviour particularly important. This paper describes a research project which is currently investigating reactive problem-solving processes in construction projects. It is doing so from the client's viewpoint. The conclusions presented are based upon a qualitative analysis of data collected by diaries, observation and semistructured interviews. The research is in its early analytical stages and whilst the findings are based upon the study of a variety of projects they must currently be treated as tentative in nature. The purpose of the paper is to start to identify a range of expected problem-solving behaviours, the conditions that lead to them and their appropriateness. © 1994, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.
Denny-Smith, G, Williams, M & Loosemore, M, 'Assessing the impact of social procurement policies for Indigenous people', Construction Management and Economics, pp. 1-19.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Guest Editors: Imriyas Kamardeen, Sidney Newton, Benson Lim & Martin Loosemore
The Cole Royal Commission into the Construction andBuilding Industry has generated heated debate, makingrecommendations that go to the heart of establishedcultures, power structures and management practices.While the Cole Report had a difficult birth, theimplementation of the reforms is likely to be more painful.Unlocking the untapped productive potential, which Coleargues exists, will depend upon addressing the manyimpediments to reform that exist in the construction andbuilding industry. This paper explores these impediments,suggesting a number of strategies to overcome them at aproject, company and government level. It concludes thatunless there is a fundamental shift in the established powerstructures and relationships within the industry, change islikely to be hard won.
Loosemore, M, 'Innovate or Perish? Exploring some of the Myths of Construction Innovation', Australasian Journal of Construction Economics and Building - Conference Series, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 44-44.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The construction innovation literature suggests that managers face a stark choice. They can innovate or perish in the face of growing global competition and an increasingly uncertain and dynamic world. Innovation is presented as a key area of reform needed to raise business performance, yet at the same time it is argued that Australia is falling behind in the global innovation stakes. Evidence suggests that the Australian Construction sector is a poor innovation performer when compared to all-industry averages and contributes relatively little to the national innovation effort. Drawing on international innovation research, this paper argues that these views are overly simplistic and explores some of the myths that surround the process in the construction industry. Through interviews with some of Australia's leading innovators and policy-makers it suggests that many of the factors that are said to drive innovation are not as straight forward as they may seem. There are important qualifications to consider and it would seem that construction innovation is a highly interactive and amorphous process, involving many people with multiple interests dealing with day-to-day challenges.Keywords: Innovation, opportunism, strategy, risk.
Ovidiu Cretu, Robert B. Stewart and Terry Berends, John Wiley and Sons Inc. 2011, 288 pages, ISBN: 978-0-470-63538-4
Recent world events in the international relations arena and the subsequent knock-on affect on the insurance industry, have sent shock-waves through Australia's business community,elevating crisis management to the top of the managerial agenda. This paperpresents the findings of exploratory research, which investigated the crisis managementpractices of construction companies. Using a diagnostic model of crisis preparednesswhich has been developed and tested across a broad range of industries, it concludes thatif the sample surveyed is typical, then crisis planning is rudimentary and undertaken in aninsular, informal, fragmented fashion, supported by few resources and little strategicguidance. Consequently, many construction companies will have an inadequate understandingof their crisis exposure, of how to cope with crises when they happen and of howto learn and recover from their aftermath.
Loosemore, M, Braham, R, Yiming, Y & Bronkhorst, C, 'Relational determinants of construction project outcomes: a social network perspective', Construction Management and Economics, pp. 1-16.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The global modern technology market in the construction industry is valued at billions of dollars and the approach to technology diffusion taken by vendors has a major impact on the success or failure of those technologies. While many previous studies have examined the adoption and the diffusion of information technologies, the technology diffusion process for advanced on-site equipment such as tower and mobile cranes, piling rig and concrete pumps has received little attention. Based on interviews with vendors and customers covering regions in Australia and North America, during major construction equipment exhibitions, this paper presents a new equipment technology adoption model which, for the first time, describes the relationship between customers and vendors during the on-site technology adoption process. The implications of the model for fostering new on-site technology diffusion to boost productivity are discussed.
This paper compares the compliance level of Australian StockExchange (ASX) listed construction and non-constructioncompanies with the ASX Corporate Governance Council (CGC)recommendations on sound corporate governance. It alsoexamines the difference in board characteristics between thetwo groups, paying particular attention to differences in boardindependence. It concludes that compared with the top 20 ASXlisted non-construction companies, listed construction companiesare less compliant overall particularly with regards to boardstructure, and have lower levels of independence both in terms ofCEO/Chairperson duality, the ratio of executive to non-executiveindependent directors and independent membership of nomination,remuneration and audit committees. These conclusions areimportant because sound corporate governance has beenassociated with higher levels of organisational resilience derivedfrom the reputational and fi nancial benefi ts of greater transparency,market value, investor attractiveness and organisationalperformance.
Jia, A, Rowlinson, S, Loosemore, M, Xu, M, Li, B & Ciccarelli, M 2019, 'Making sense of safety in systemic and cultural context' in Manu, P, Emuze, F, Tarcisio, S & Bonaventura, H (eds), Construction Health and Safety in Developing Countries, Routledge, London, pp. 146-157.
"There is an urgent need for information and knowledge to curtail construction work incidents in developing countries. This book presents the first compendium of credible research into the issues.
Loosemore, M & Forsythe, P 2019, 'Sustainable Construction Technology Adoption' in Tam, V & Le, K (eds), Sustainable Construction Technologies Life-Cycle Assessment, Butterworth-Heinemann, London, pp. 299-317.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Recent influential reports like the World Economic Forum's "Global Risks 2017" have identified the failure of climate-change mitigation and adaptation to be among the greatest risks to humanity in the foreseeable future. The construction industry is at the center of this debate. Greenhouse gas emissions from the building sector have more than doubled since 1970 and the industry currently consumes nearly one-third of global energy consumption, making it responsible for about one-third of total direct and indirect energy-related carbon dioxide CO2 emissions. Energy demand in buildings is also predicted to rise by almost 50% between 2010 and 2050 and a 25% reduction in total energy use would represent energy savings of more than 40 exajoules (EJ), equivalent to total annual current energy use in India and Russia combined. Historically, the construction industry has also contributed hugely to environmental pollution, waste, and degradation. For example, in the United Kingdom, construction waste consumes more than 50% of overall landfill volume with 70 million tons of construction waste being discarded annually. Similarly, the US construction industry generates over 100 million tons of construction waste per annum and contributes approximately 29% of the solid waste going to landfill. In Australia, construction activities generate 20%–30% of all the waste entering landfills and in Hong Kong the figure is around 25% which amounts to about 3850 tons per day of construction waste. The construction industry is also a huge consumer of natural resources with approximately 3 billion tons of natural raw materials (40%–50% of the total flow in the global economy) being used each year in the manufacturing of building products and components worldwide. Buildings in use have also been estimated to be responsible for 12% of global water use.
Dainty, A & Loosemore, M 2013, 'HRM in construction: Critical perspectives' in Human Resource Management in Construction: Critical Perspectives, Second Edition, pp. 1-17.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Loosemore, M, Higgon, D & Aroney, D 2013, 'Competing on identity rather than price: A new perspective on the value of HR in corporate strategy and responsibility' in Human Resource Management in Construction: Critical Perspectives, Second Edition, pp. 111-129.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Walker, D & Loosemore, M 2008, 'Managing Risk and Crisis Resolution - Bussiness-as-Usual Versus Relationship-Based Procurement Approaches' in Procurement Strategies: A Relationship-based Approach, pp. 103-122.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2003 by Blackwell Science Ltd. All rights reserved. We saw in Chapter 3 that problem resolution is a key advantage of partnering and alliancing relationships. In this chapter wc will extend the brief discussion undertaken in Chapters 3 and 4 relating to managing problems, risk and crises. We will compare the business-as-usual and an alliance approach and explore how an alliance or partnering approach can obviate many of the crises and problems that arise in traditional contracting situations. We address the following: • What is the difference between risk, uncertainly, problems and crises? • How does a business-as-usual crisis typically develop from its risk management approach and how docs a relationship-based procurement experience differ from the business-as-usual approach? • What key characteristics of a relationship-based procurement approach help teams to build solutions to problems and potential crises that they may confront?
© 2002, Taylor and Francis Ltd. All rights reserved. Editorial comment Every day we hear of corporations being 're-structured', an activity often accompanied by significant 'downsizing'. New 'flatter' management structures replace apparently topheavy existing hierarchies and those responsible believe the new arrangement, whatever it may be, will function more efficiently than the old. 'Change management', a polite euphemism intended to disguise the often brutal activity of reducing staff numbers, has almost become a profession in its own right.
© 2002, Taylor and Francis Ltd. All rights reserved. Editorial comment We live in an age of conspicuous consumption - an age where one day's marvel is tomorrow's landfill, and all too often a toxic problem a few days later. Take personal computers as an example: almost as soon as we upgrade to the latest model our new unit is obsolete, and disposal of computers perhaps only 2 to 3 years old is becoming a major headache in developed countries. Monitors contain a variety of harmful substances that preclude us from simply sending them to landfill. Keyboards and CPUs contain quantities of materials such as copper and plastic that are thrown away, necessitating the extraction and use of ever greater quantities of the raw materials used to produce them.
© 1992 M.P.Nicholson. The purpose of this paper is to propose a Universal framework of decisions that is common to all construction projects. An awareness of a universal framework simplifies the task of management by focussing upon the most important activities within the construction project organisation. The following conclusions are drawn: 1) To aid the management of the construction process there is a need to identify common elements that characterise all construction project organisations. 2) Although construction projects are unique there is an identifiable pattern of decision processes that is common to them all. 3) There is one type of decision but different types of decision process. 4) There are Technical and Organisational decisions processes and Organisational decision processes can be classified hierarchically into four levels by the nature of their output.
Denny-Smith, G, Loosemore, M, Barwick, D, Sunindijo, R & Piggot, L 2019, 'Decolonising Indigenous Social Impact Research Using Community-Based Methods', Proceedings of the 35th Annual ARCOM Conference, Proceedings of the 35th Annual ARCOM Conference, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Leeds, UK, pp. 64-73.
Indigenous procurement policies are utilised in countries with large Indigenous populations to encourage the construction sector to provide new training and employment opportunities for Indigenous people who suffer from economic and social disadvantage. However, the success of these policies is often distorted by the failure of social impact assessments to account for culturally-specific perceptions of social value held by Indigenous communities. This not only distorts the allocation of funds to Indigenous communities but represents another form of marginalisation and loss of voice for the communities these policies are meant to help. Drawing on contextual discourse into the history of Indigenous research, this methodological paper shows how theories of community-based research (CBR) are a valuable tool to reconceptualise approaches to measuring Indigenous social value in an Indigenous social procurement policy context. Working in partnership with the peak body for Aboriginal business in New South Wales, the results from five culturally appropriate focus groups (yarning discussion groups), with fifty Indigenous business owners from several industries, show that social impact research in Indigenous contexts must respect Indigenous people and knowledges and prioritise Indigenous people's experiences of Indigenous social procurement, rather than focusing on simplistic policy targets. It is concluded that the approach developed here can be operationalised in the field to better understand the nature of Indigenous social value and the impact created by Indigenous procurement policies in Australia and other countries with disadvantaged Indigenous populations. This paper has significant potential to inform future social impact research globally, on how academia can engage with the communities who social procurement is targeted at helping.
Loosemore, M, Alkilani, S & Mathenge, R 2019, 'Barriers to Employment Faced by Disadvantaged Groups Targeted by New Social Procurement Policies', Proceedings of the 35th Annual ARCOM Conference, Proceedings of the 35th Annual ARCOM Conference, Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Leeds, UK, pp. 15-23.
Social procurement is an increasingly popular mechanism used by construction clients to encourage the construction supply chain to contribute positively to the communities in which thery build. A major focus of social procurement is the creation of employment and training opportunities for people suffering disadvantage who are traditionally excluded from the construction workforce. Surprisingly, given the dominant role of subcontractors as employers in the construction industry, their perspective is largely absent from the emerging construction procurement debate. There are very few insights into the drivers and barriers that subcontractors face in complying new social procurement requirements, which limits the potential social value which the industry can create. To address this imbalance in social procurement research, a survey of seventy-one Australian construction subcontractors was undertaken to explore the barriers they face in integrating six disadvantaged groups into their workforces (indigenous people, people suffering disability, women, disengaged youth, migrants and refugees, ex-offenders). The results highlight different barriers for each group with the most significant common barriers being a lack of government support and incentives, the cost of training and workplace support and a perception that targeted cohorts are not able to work effectively in the construction industry. Subcontractors hire disadvantaged groups mainly for good corporate citizenship, higher innovation and creativity, reputation and workforce diversity. These findings provide a more balanced understanding of what has hitherto been a one-sided debate, a more nuanced understanding of the challenges involved in social procurement implementation and valuable insights for policy-makers into the formulation of effective social procurement policies.
Sunindijo, RY, Loosemore, M, Lestari, F, Kusminanti, Y, Widanarko, B, Febrina, C & Amelia, F 2018, 'Comparing safety climate in infrastructure and building projects in Indonesia', INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON SUSTAINABLE CIVIL ENGINEERING STRUCTURES AND CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS (SCESCM 2018), 4th International Conference on Sustainable Civil Engineering Structures and Construction Materials, E D P SCIENCES, Yogyakarta, INDONESIA.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Despite the rapid growth of the Indonesian construction industry and its significance to the national economy, health and safety in the industry remains poor. This research focuses on safety climate, a popular indicator of health and safety performance that has not been adequately investigated in the Indonesian construction industry despite the size of the country and the poor health and safety record of the industry. Specifically, this research aims to compare the safety climate levels in infrastructure and building projects and identify factors that account for their differences or similarities. A safety climate questionnaire was distributed to respondents working in an infrastructure project and two medium-rise building projects, where 311 respondents participated in total. The findings show that the building projects have a higher level of safety climate than the safety climate in the infrastructure project despite the fact that the infrastructure project was managed by a joint venture involving international contractors known for their health and safety commitment. We argue that project complexity is the main factor responsible for explaining this difference. Complex projects require stringent enforcement of health and safety rules and procedures, and supportive work environments conducive for health and safety implementation.
Denny-Smith, G & Loosemore, M 2018, 'Cultural counterfactuals: Assessing the impact of indigenous social procurement in Australia', Proceeding of the 34th Annual ARCOM Conference, ARCOM 2018, pp. 435-444.
© Proceeding of the 34th Annual ARCOM Conference, ARCOM 2018. In countries like Australia, Canada and South Africa with large Indigenous populations, governments are increasingly turning to social procurement to solve entrenched social problems like Indigenous disadvantage. Social procurement works by leveraging construction and infrastructure spending to encourage construction firms to give back to the communities in which they build. It does this through new partnerships with governments, not-for-profits and social benefit organisations like Indigenous enterprises, which deliver construction products and services in ways that, benefit Indigenous communities. However, the success of social procurement policies is typically judged from an outsider's perspective, ignoring Indigenous notions of value: the intended beneficiaries whose lives social procurement is aimed at improving. Mobilising strain theory and undertaking a critical literature review to conceptualise social procurement in a new way, this paper explores the proposition that current methods of assessing the success of Indigenous social procurement. It finds that policies are culturally insensitive and fail to articulate adequately their social impact on the communities they are designed to benefit, presenting an overly optimistic view of success that does not align with Indigenous perspectives of social value. We also argue that the project-based nature of construction appears to conflict with Indigenous notions of social value by undertaking temporary endeavours that lack local knowledge. The paper concludes by presenting a new conceptual framework of cultural counterfactuals that will allow future policy social impact assessments to represent better the views of Indigenous people in the social procurement policy debate.
Powell, A, Galea, N, Salignac, F, Loosemore, M & Chappell, L 2018, 'Masculinity and workplace wellbeing in the Australian construction industry', Proceeding of the 34th Annual ARCOM Conference, ARCOM 2018, pp. 321-330.
© Proceeding of the 34th Annual ARCOM Conference, ARCOM 2018. The construction industry is known to be highly masculinised and to have work practices that detrimentally affect employee wellbeing. Drawing on rapid ethnographic research, we explore the wellbeing of female and male construction professionals. This involved interviews with 21 senior female and male business leaders, participant observation of 14 company events, onsite shadowing of 44 male and female construction professionals for 2-5 days and 61 interviews of project staff across 6 major construction sites operated by two multinational contractors in Australia. Our findings reveal significant symptoms of poor mental health such as stress, panic attacks, insomnia, fatigue and anxiety, as well as strains on family life - among men and women. Many employees endure these experiences in silence, adhering to unspoken masculine workplace norms of long hours, total availability, and presenteeism. Employees regularly worked double their contracted hours and discussed the need to 'prove their worth', leaving little time for work-life balance. Despite some efforts to address this by the companies, physical safety appeared a higher priority than psycho-social wellbeing, even in the face of lost productivity. We conclude that the masculinity of the sector is linked to workplace wellbeing for both the men and women that work in the industry.
Denny-Smith, G & Loosemore, M 2017, 'Assessing the impact of Australia's indigenous procurement policy using strain theory', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM - 33rd Annual Conference 2017, Proceeding, pp. 652-661.
This paper argues that current methods of social impact assessment fail to adequately articulate the social impact of Indigenous procurement policies, presenting an overly optimistic and westernised view of success which does not align with Indigenous perspectives of social value. Using strain theory as a theoretical base, we show how social procurement policies aimed at helping Indigenous people can inadvertently create negative social outcomes and even disempower the very groups they are designed to help. It is concluded that this new conceptual perspective holds significant potential value to advance both research and policy in the important area of Indigenous social procurement, enabling the refinement of Indigenous procurement policies and social impact measurement methods which are more able to represent Indigenous cultures and interests.
Lim, BTH & Loosemore, M 2016, 'How socially responsible is construction business in Australia and New Zealand?', INTERNATIONAL HIGH-PERFORMANCE BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONFERENCE - A SUSTAINABLE BUILT ENVIRONMENT CONFERENCE 2016 SERIES (SBE16), IHBE 2016, International High-Performance Built Environment Conference (iHBE), ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, Sydney, AUSTRALIA, pp. 531-540.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Loosemore, M & Barraket, J 2017, 'The co-creation of social value between social enterprises and private firms in the construction industry', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM - 33rd Annual Conference 2017, Proceeding, pp. 673-682.
This paper addresses the question of how and why social enterprises and private for profit firms collaborate to co-create social value in the construction industry and what institutional and organisational factors shape these practices. It does this using a documentary analysis and semi structured interviews with senior leaders of three construction organisations in the UK and Australia. Considering how collaborative practice is manifest in these arrangements, and the organisational and institutional factors that drive them, our findings suggest that the co-creation of social value through supply chain relationships in the construction industry is driven by commercial concerns which are in turn influenced by both industry and political institutional imperatives. Our findings point to differences in experience and opportunity for collaboration based on supply chain position and organisational scale. These have notable effects on the creation of social value and the legitimacy of different social benefit providers in an era of new public governance.
Loosemore, M & Bridgeman, J 2017, 'Can corporate volunteering help address the UK construction skills shortage?', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM - 33rd Annual Conference 2017, Proceeding, pp. 410-419.
The UK is facing a construction skills shortage and is struggling to attract youngsters to the industry. This paper explores the potential value of corporate volunteering as a mechanism to address this problem. Despite volunteering being one of the most common forms of corporate social responsibility strategy employed by construction companies, there has been no research in this area in construction. To address this gap in knowledge, a single in-depth case study of a national UK corporate volunteering program which focusses on students in disadvantaged schools is presented. This research contributes new empirical evidence to understanding the potential impact of such programmes on recruitment. The results show that by engaging construction professionals and students in a problem-based learning environment, students emerge more knowledgeable about the construction industry, more motivated to engage and clearer about potential career paths. This is particularly the case for students whose style of learning does not suit traditional classroom based education and for female students. In particular, such programs appear to be effective at developing intrinsic attributes and soft skills which are valued by employers as crucial to future career success. Based on these results we conclude that there is some evidence that corporate volunteering could make a contribution to addressing a looming skills crisis in the UK construction industry.
Reid, S & Loosemore, M 2017, 'Motivations and barriers to social procurement in the australian construction industry', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM - 33rd Annual Conference 2017, Proceeding, pp. 643-651.
Social procurement is an important requirement in many private and public sector construction contracts. To better understand the motivations and barriers to social procurement in the construction industry, semi-structured interviews were conducted with eight large developers, property managers and contractors in the Australian construction industry. The results indicate that social procurement in construction is currently compliance-driven, confined to low value and low risk activities and delivered mainly by existing industry incumbents who do not understand how to deliver social value, or by micro-organisations that do, but which suffer from a lack of scale and opportunity. Further research is needed into the development of new supply chain capacity to deliver social value and into strategies to resolve tensions from the conflicting objectives and institutional logistics which arise from the new cross-sector collaborations which social procurement brings to construction.
Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) are becoming increasingly popular around the world. However, concerns around the politicisation, transparency and failure of numerous PPP have fuelled community mistrust in official government messages about the economic, social and environmental risks and opportunities of these projects. While community trust in government initiatives has been explored by social psychologists in numerous controversial policy areas such as nuclear power and genetic engineering, PPP projects have been ignored in these analyses. Similarly, while the subject of risk in PPPs has been explored extensively in construction management research from an 'insider's' perspective, the challenge of managing 'outside' community concerns about these projects, has been largely neglected. To address these gaps in knowledge, a new conceptual framework is presented which is based on an integration of Poortinga and Pidgeon's (2003) Dimensionality of Trust theory, Kasperson et al.'s (2003) theory of risk perception and Rowe and Frewer's (2005) typology of public engagement. Using these new theoretical lenses, a number of important propositions are derived to guide future empirical work in this area.
Jia, AY, Loosemore, M, Gilbert, D & Rowlinson, S 2016, 'Shielding workers from heat stress: Reconciling the paradoxes of protection and production logics', Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference, ARCOM 2016, pp. 569-578.
Safety and productivity are often perceived as competing demands in a construction project organisation and the strategies of achieving them as a dilemma for project decision-making. We explore the safety-productivity paradox through an institutional logics lens. Through an in-depth single case study of climatic heat stress management in a subcontractor's project organisation under a mega-project in north Australia, the manifestations, consequences and interrelations of three institutional logics of processing safety in production are explored: The protection logic, the production logic and the reconciling logic. The results illustrate the paradoxical effects of the protection logic and the production logic and the emergence of a reconciling logic leading to innovation that improves both safety and productivity. However the reconciling logic is missing at senior and middle management levels of the production side of the organisation, and overwhelmed by the strong production logic. It is concluded that the reconciling logic can be further established and endorsed through adjusting the structure and modification of the production and human resource management system.
Loosemore, M & Chand, A 2016, 'Barriers to building resilience to extreme weather events in Australian hospitals', Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference, ARCOM 2016, pp. 1201-1210.
Many countries are facing a future of more regular extreme-weather-events (EWEs) and hospitals will play a critical role in managing the significant health impacts of such events. This study integrates organisational and infrastructure systems for the first time, to explore the barriers which exist, in making Australian hospitals more resilient to EWEs. Employing a single in-depth case study of a major Australian tertiary hospital which has experienced significant EWEs, data was collected using semi-structured interviews, observations of disaster drills and disaster planning meetings, as well as additional documentary analysis of past incident reports. Findings indicate that disaster planning is compliance-driven, under-resourced, adhoc and non-inclusive. There is also widespread ignorance among key stakeholders of the influence of hospital design in delivering healthcare to the community during a EWE event. It is concluded that disaster management planning needs better resourcing and that procedures, systems and technologies must be put in place to foster better stakeholder communication around hospital facility disaster planning for EWEs.
Many Indigenous populations around the world face enormous challenges of relatively high unemployment, poor health and integrating into modern society. The Australian government is seeking to address these problems through social procurement initiatives that encourage construction clients and firms to employ Indigenous businesses in their supply chain. The aim is to build supply chains through regulation, which more closely reflect the demographics and social needs of the communities in which they build. However, many barriers to entry exist for Indigenous businesses and through a national survey of Australian Indigenous enterprises it is shown that these include adjusting to unique construction industry cultures and practices, breaking into existing business networks and being under-cut by industry incumbents and competitors when tendering for projects. Compared to non-Indigenous business, they appear to face special difficulties in starting and scaling-up their businesses due to a lack of mentoring, capital and finance.
Loosemore, M & Lim, B 2016, 'Why unfair business is bad for business', Proceedings of the 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference, ARCOM 2016, pp. 781-790.
Unfair business practices appear to have become institutionalised in the construction sector, persisting for many decades despite the repeated criticisms of numerous government reports, researchers and commentators. It is argued that this intransigent culture is in part a result of no theoretical or empirical evidence to link unfair business practices with project performance. To address this problem, theories of organisational justice are used to examine how each dimension of fairness affects the behaviour of project stakeholders and to explore how this translates to overall project performance. A survey of 135 construction project participants from across the supply chain in the Australian construction industry reveals that there are three main types of unfairness in construction business relationships that are related to project performance: distributive and procedural fairness; interpersonal fairness; and informational fairness. It is significant that these categories diverge from mainstream organisational justice theory, suggesting that it needs adapting for a construction context. Based on this new evidence and refinement of mainstream justice theory, it is concluded that project managers should develop strategies to improve these three types of fairness on their projects if they wish to drive better project performance.
Loosemore, M 2015, 'Barriers to social enterprise in the UK construction industry', Proceedings of the 31st Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2015, pp. 407-416.
Given recent trends towards social procurement in many countries, it is surprising that there has been no research into social enterprise in the construction sector. In-depth interviews with twelve senior representatives of UK social enterprises indicate that social entrepreneurs face significant barriers to operating in the UK construction industry. Respondents perceive that the vast majority of the construction industry is ignorant, mistrustful and resistant to engaging with social enterprises. Traditional monetary perceptions of value, established supply chain relationships and biased procurement practices are just some of the barriers which exist. Recommendations are made to reduce these barriers which will involve: incentivising social enterprise through the adoption of social procurement policies; reducing bureaucracy in tender processes; opening up rigid supply chains; unbundling trade packages; building effective partnerships and social enterprise networks; challenging negative perceptions of social enterprise; and overcoming strong path dependencies and resistance to change.
Loosemore, M, Powell, A, Blaxland, M, Galea, N, Dainty, A & Chappell, L 2015, 'Rapid ethnography in construction gender research', Proceedings of the 31st Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2015, pp. 1271-1280.
In advancing the intellectual debate in gender equity and diversity in the construction industry, feminist institutionalism is being used as a new lens to understand the failure of formal policies to shift the intransigent gender imbalance. Feminist institutionalism allows new insights into how hidden informal organisational rules, practices and narratives operate in conjunction with formal rules in achieving gender diversity and equity. However, the adoption of feminist institutionalism as a conceptual framework raises new methodological questions. While formal rules are created, communicated and enforced through official and highly visible channels, informal rules, norms and procedures are created, communicated, and enforced outside officially sanctioned channels and are often 'hidden' from view. The power of ethnographic methods to reveal such 'under-the-surface' institutions is well established in the social and political sciences but not in construction. This paper makes a methodological contribution in response to the practical constraints of doing ethnography in the construction industry, by describing the merits of rapid ethnography within the context of feminist institutionalism. It concludes that while rapid ethnography has its limitations, it has significant potential as an unexplored methodology to tackle the persistent problem of gender equality in the construction industry and other social issues in construction management research.
Cheung, E, Loosemore, M & Chandra, DC 2014, 'Assessing risk dynamics in public private partnership projects', Proceedings 30th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2014, pp. 1379-1387.
There have been many instances of unsuccessful public private partnership (PPP) projects. Traditional reductionist approaches to risk assessment appear inadequate to manage the complex and dynamic interdependencies which exist on such complex projects. Systems dynamics methods have been used extensively outside construction to assess risk in other complex systems and theoretically show great promise in PPP projects. However, interviews with sixteen senior construction professionals with experience of PPPs, while indicating openness to new approaches, revealed significant short-comings in adopting such an approach in this context. It is concluded that if systems dynamics is to be used as a new way of assessing risk on Public Private Partnership projects, existing dependence on linear methods needs to be broken through more education about the merits of system thinking.
Galea, N, Loosemore, M, Powell, A & Chappell, L 2014, 'Gender equity in construction professions: A new institutionalist perspective', Proceedings 30th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2014, pp. 1111-1119.
The construction industry remains the most male dominated sector in Australia. Despite three decades of formal gender equity initiatives by government and business, there is little understanding of why there has been little change to the hierarchical and numerical underrepresentation of women. Using a New Institutionalist perspective, more specifically Lowndes and Wilson's (2003) concepts of robustness and revisability, the nature and intent of formal gender equity initiatives, policies and practices are analysed through a single case study of a multinational construction firm. Through in-depth interviews with senior management and a documentary analysis of formal equity and diversity policies it is concluded that the robustness and revisability of policies, initiatives and practices are critical to achieving lasting change in gender equity in the construction industry, as is a focus on men as well as women and gendered practices in policy design.
Loosemore, M 2014, 'Rebalancing the construction productivity debate', Proceedings 30th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2014, pp. 1327-1334.
Subcontracting is a common aspect of all construction markets but is a particular feature of countries like the UK, Italy and Australia, where similar statutory, political and regulatory changes have reduced the number of vertically integrated firms and driven increased fragmentation and self-employment in the industry. While subcontracting has produced many advantages, particularly around flexibility, it has also led to many challenges around coordination and productivity. It is therefore surprising that subcontractors have been missing from the productivity debate. To rebalance the debate, eight focus groups were conducted with seventy one of Australia's leading tier-one subcontractors. The results indicate that from a subcontractor's perspective productivity could be improved significantly by fairer and more inclusive workplace practices which provide more opportunities for subcontractor's to innovate and to share risk and reward.
Teo, M & Loosemore, M 2014, 'Getting to the heart of community action against construction projects', Proceedings 30th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2014, pp. 855-864.
Construction projects have a potentially large economic, social, ecological and cultural impact on the communities in which they take place. As these communities become increasingly empowered, educated, connected and organised, there is increasing evidence that they are able and willing to mobilise action when they become concerned about the impact of construction projects on their lives. From a construction project management perspective, there has been virtually no research into the structure of these groups and how best to interact with them for mutually beneficial outcomes. Using a thematic story telling approach which draws on ethnographic method and social contagion theories, an in-depth analysis of community action against a construction project is presented. It is concluded that these groups are largely anarchic but are held together and sustained by a core group of activists which are often invisible to outsiders. This raises numerous challenges for project managers in addressing community concerns and in mitigating potential cost and time escalations associated with such action.
Chand, AM & Loosemore, M 2013, 'Reconceptualising hospital facility resilience to extreme weather events using a panarchy model', Proceedings 29th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2013, pp. 1209-1218.
Hospitals represent critical social infrastructure assets that are essential for the effective functioning of any society and economy. The increasing incidence of climate-related extreme weather provides major challenges for hospitals and there is increasing evidence of hospital services being disrupted during such events. Given the vulnerability of hospitals to extreme weather and the significance of their service delivery to social and economic wellbeing, there is an urgent need for research into the factors that contribute towards hospital resilience in these situations. Using a panarchy model to integrate theories of ecological resilience, adaptation and learning, a new conceptual framework is presented to inform future research in this area and the way that hospital buildings are managed, used and adapted to make them more resilient to EWEs.
Close, R & Loosemore, M 2013, 'Community consultation during construction: Attitudes, experiences and skills', Proceedings 29th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2013, pp. 849-858.
Community consultation is traditionally the domain of urban and town planners. But it is often the case that residual community concerns linger into construction phases as the true impact of construction on the community becomes physically apparent. However, too often community concerns are ignored or badly managed, leading to damaging and often costly disputes which harm communities, the firms involved and the industry as a whole. To better understand the reasons for these practices, theories of community consultation are used to explore the attitudes, experiences and skills of professionals working with the construction phase of projects in consulting the communities in which they build. One hundred and fifty construction professionals involved during construction were surveyed and ten were interviewed. The results indicate that the majority of the construction professionals find the practice of dealing with the community during construction a hindrance and that the process is considered an inconvenient, time-consuming and costly exercise. Very few project managers have any expertise in this area and there is an assumption that community consultation is the responsibility of town planners before work starts on site and that further interaction with the community is not needed.
Loosemore, M 2013, 'Serendipitous innovation: Enablers and barriers in the construction industry', Proceedings 29th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2013, pp. 635-644.
Serendipity has played a large part in the lives of many successful innovators but has been neglected from traditional neo-classical theories and models of strategy and innovation. Yet as the business world becomes more complex, uncertain and interconnected, there is accumulating evidence that innovation will be just as likely to arise from unexpected serendipitous insights as from deterministically planned innovation strategies. Building on this evidence, the enablers and barriers to serendipity in construction industry are discussed. Through in-depth semi structured interviews with thirty two leading innovators and policy makers in the Australian construction industry, these enablers are tested against the realities of practice in the construction industry. New insights are provided into the potential barriers which could prevent managers harnessing the serendipitous opportunities which lie untapped in the increasing randomness, connectivity and uncertainty which will characterize their future world.
Qu, Y & Loosemore, M 2013, 'A meta-analysis of opportunistic behaviour in public-private partnerships: Manifestations and antecedents', Proceedings 29th Annual Association of Researchers in Construction Management Conference, ARCOM 2013, pp. 415-424.
Public-private partnerships (PPP) are increasingly popular around the world. A number of studies have been conducted on the risk factors and risk allocation in PPP, but they ignored the underlying forces which drive project stakeholders' behaviour when transferring risks. This paper addresses this gap by investigating the manifestation and antecedents of opportunistic behaviour in PPP projects. Using delinquency theory, transaction cost economics and agency theory, a conceptual model of antecedents of opportunistic behaviour in PPP is developed. A meta-analysis of 20 PPP case is conducted. It is found that self-interest seeking and asset specificity are the most important factors in motivating parties' to act opportunistically. Superordination and externalization are the two significant forces in justifying opportunistic behaviours in PPPs. In addition, risk occurrences have a direct relationship with opportunistic behaviour.
Chand, AM & Loosemore, M 2012, 'Hospital facility resilience: An adaptation framework for extreme weather events', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2012 - Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference, pp. 101-110.
The fragility of hospital built infrastructure to extreme weather events has been widely acknowledged. However, the way in which hospital stakeholders interact with their built environment during such events has not. To address this important but missing element in hospital resilience thinking, a content analysis of thirteen hospitals disaster planning documents is reported. Using resilience and learning theories, the role of built environment assets in disaster management planning strategies is discussed. A conceptual framework is proposed to help hospital stakeholders learn about and adapt to their built environment in response to extreme weather events. This framework provides new insights, both theoretical and practical, into the important role of hospital infrastructure to healthcare delivery during such events.
Chow, VW, Loosemore, M & McDonnell, G 2012, 'Modelling the impact of extreme weather events on hospital facilities management using a system dynamics approach', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2012 - Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference, pp. 1157-1166.
Heatwaves kill more Australians per year than any other type of natural disaster and are predicted to increase in intensity and frequency due to climate change. Effectively designed and managed hospitals are therefore a critical and central part of a community's response to such events. While our understanding of these impacts is increasing, the impacts of potential knock-on effects from other critical infrastructure are not well understood. Using a case study approach, system dynamics is used to investigate the impact of heatwaves on community infrastructure and healthcare facility management outcomes. This provides hospital facility managers with a new way to understand and maximise the resilience of hospitals to the effects of extreme weather events.
Helen, R & Loosemore, M 2012, 'Culture shock of Alliance projects', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2012 - Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference, pp. 543-552.
The Alliance procurement approach is used to stimulate collaborative working between project participants. When human resources are drawn from traditional project environments, the extent to which this is realized depends, in large part, on the ability of project participants to manage the shock of transition to a radically different organizational culture. Exploring the nature of this transition and individuals' experiences and coping mechanisms for dealing with it, we propose a theoretical model of culture shock, which helps to explain the transition process into alliance projects. We conclude that projects that recognise the culture shock that individuals experience are better equipped to manage 'non-alliance' behaviours and steer the right behaviours from these individuals to fit within the new culture.
Loosemore, M & Holliday, S 2012, 'Pro-innovation bias in constructionenablers and risks', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2012 - Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference, pp. 787-796.
The term innovation has become ubiquitous in modern business and political circles in recent years. Innovation is increasingly seen as essential for commercial success and as a means to increase living standards, competitiveness and productivity in a world of depleting resources. By thinking more creatively about the risks and opportunities they face, it is argued widely that individuals, organisations and nations can get ahead of their competitors. But is innovation always positive and what are the enablers of innovation which determine its success? We explored these questions through interviews and focus groups with thirty thought leaders in the UK construction sector. From our analysis we conclude that there are four main enablers of innovation in the construction sector, namely: collaboration, regulation, skills, education and research and, leadership. Recommendations are made to capitalize on them.
Teo, MMM & Loosemore, M 2012, 'A new research agenda into community-based protest in construction', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2012 - Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference, pp. 1135-1143.
Many countries face enormous development challenges in adapting to demographic change, urbanisation and emerging issues such as housing affordability and climate change. These challenges are best resolved in consultation with communities rather than in conflict with them. A rich tradition of research and intellectual frameworks exist in the fields of urban geography and planning to understand and manage community concerns during the pre-development approval stages of new projects. However current theoretical frameworks are inadequate in construction management and a new research agenda is needed to develop conceptual frameworks to guide thinking about the role of communities in the construction process. By discussing the components of such a model, it is concluded that this would require a fundamental shift in thinking which challenges traditional structuralist paradigms. Anew constructivist paradigm is presented that conceives community consultation as a negotiation process which does not stop at the pre-development planning stages but which continues over the entire life of a project.
Chandra, V & Loosemore, M 2011, 'Sowing the seeds of misunderstanding in the briefing process: A case study of a new hospital project', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2011 - Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference, pp. 583-591.
Briefing has been long recognized as a critical yet problematic stage in the development process where the seeds of misunderstandings about key project objectives can be sown. Using a Comparative Cause Mapping the paper longitudinally explores the briefing process in a major hospital project. It argues that knowledge about building requirements is not merely technical and 'given' information but is cultural and learnt. It concludes that projects would better meet client needs if the briefing process was reconceptualised as an organic and cyclical process whereby project actors gradually converge upon a shared meaning of each other's values, beliefs and needs over time.
Heng, HKS & Loosemore, M 2011, 'Structural holes in hospital organisations: Exploring the brokerage potential of facilities managers from a social network perspective', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2011 - Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference, pp. 515-524.
In delivering effective support to health care delivery, the process by which information is exchanged between different non-clinical support services is critical. Using a case study approach and a social network perspective the brokerage role of facility managers in achieving this is explored. The results indicate that when communication exchanges between different non-clinical functional support units are identified and mapped, information brokerage opportunities exist. This increases the strategic influence for facilities management by exposing significant untapped value in the delivery of health-care services.
Loosemore, M, Chow, VW, Carthey, J & McGeorge, D 2011, 'The adaptive capacity of hospital facilities to cope with the risk of disasters caused by extreme weather events: A case study approach', COBRA 2011 - Proceedings of RICS Construction and Property Conference, pp. 1612-1622.
A three-year study is currently being conducted to determine the adaptive capacity of hospitals in Australia and New Zealand to cope with climate change-related extreme weather events. The primary objective of this research is to develop strategies that can be employed to improve the resilience of hospital facilities to these events. A case study approach was adopted to collect data through focus groups comprising participants who had experienced extreme weather events. Using risk and opportunity management methods, focus group workshop sessions were used as a structured approach to identify, assess and control the risks and opportunities associated with an extreme weather event scenario. The research findings indicate that there is considerable scope for clinical and non-clinical staff to work cooperatively in developing preventative as well as response and recovery strategies. The findings reinforce the view that the relationship between building users and building facilities needs to operate in an integrated fashion if any adaptive strategy is to be effective. This raises interesting governance issues which will be explored in future research.
McGeorge, D, Chow, VW, Carthey, J & Loosemore, M 2011, 'Modelling the impact of extreme weather events on healthcare infrastructure using rich picture diagrams', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2011 - Proceedings of the 27th Annual Conference, pp. 973-981.
Healthcare infrastructure for a community comprises not only its hospital but also many other related facilities such as primary care clinics, community health centres, rural nursing posts, aged care centres, etc. These facilities form a complex set of relationships which need to work collectively for an effective response to climate-change related extreme weather events such as floods and storms. The aim of this research is to develop a conceptual understanding of the dynamic relationships of hospital facilities before, during and after an extreme weather event. This is an essential step in framing a systems model that will assist facility managers to maintain critical healthcare infrastructure during an emergency. Rich Picture Diagrams (RPDs) were used to map relationships between critical healthcare infrastructure components such as the base hospital; access roads; aged care facilities and remotely located supplies. The rich information on the inter-organisational, system and governance complexities associated with responding to extreme weather events was obtained from three hospital case studies (two in Australia and one in New Zealand). The main finding of this research is that RPDs have considerable potential in the development of soft systems models which will assist decision takers involved in the design and management of healthcare infrastructure particularly in the context of extreme weather events. The soft systems methodology which underpins this research challenges the conventional view of what constitutes a 'facility' and consequently has important implications for those constructing and managing facilities.
Carthey, J, Loosemore, M, Chandra, V & Chand, AM 2010, 'The implications of extreme weather events for hospital design and facilities management - A case study approach', COBRA 2010 - Construction, Building and Real Estate Research Conference of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
Loosemore, M & Phua, F 2010, 'Untangling rhetoric and reality in the csr debate: The role of corporate social responsibility in effective business strategy', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2010 - Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference, pp. 909-917.
While there is a strong moral case for corporate social responsibility (CSR), the business case for CSR is certainly not irrefutable. A better understanding of how to integrate CSR into business strategy is needed but with ever increasing momentum towards sustainability as a business driver, it is often difficult to untangle the rhetoric from reality in the CSR debate. Through an analysis of eight case studies of leading firms from throughout the construction supply chain who claim to engage in CSR, we explore how consulting and contracting firms in the construction and engineering industries integrate CSR into their business strategy. Findings point to an inherent caution of moving beyond compliance and to a risk-averse culture which adopts very narrow definitions of success. We conclude that until this culture changes or the industry is forced by clients or regulation to change, the idea of CSR will continue to mean achieving economic measures of success, with ecological goals a second regulated priority and social goals a distant third.
Loosemore, M, Carthey, J, Chandra, V & Chand, AM 2010, 'Risk management of extreme weather events: A case study of coffs harbour base hospital, Australia', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2010 - Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference, pp. 1239-1246.
In Australia climate change is expected to generate more extreme weather events such as heat waves, bushfires, storms and floods. Given Australia's relatively high exposure to climate extremes, many hospital facilities are exposed to such events. Using a single case study research the risks of flooding to a major tertiary hospital in Australia are explored. The results identify five key areas of risk which include: the availability of essential (building) services; the physical integrity of the hospital; continuity of service delivery; effective inter-agency communication and access to and from the hospital for staff and patients.
Teo, MMM & Loosemore, M 2009, 'A grounded theory of protest movement continuity', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2009 - Proceedings of the 25th Annual Conference, pp. 43-51.
Using a thematic story telling approach which draws on ethnographic method, a grounded theory of protest movement continuity is presented. The grounded theory draws from theories and activist stories relating to the facilitative role of movement networks, social contagion theory and the cultural experience of activism. It highlights the contagious influence of protest networks in maintaining protest continuity over time and how this leads to common perceptions of development risk and opportunity within communities. It also reveals how communities use collective values and identity, social capital, emotional dynamics and symbolic artifacts to maintain protest continuity.
Carthey, J, Chandra, V & Loosemore, M 2008, 'Assessing the adaptive capacity of hospital facilities to cope with climate-related extreme weather events: A risk management approach', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2008 - Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference, pp. 1145-1154.
There is incontrovertible evidence that anthropogenic climate change is occurring and that this is likely to be associated with an increasing number of extreme weather events. Recent examples from around the world highlight the vulnerability of health facilities and the need to ensure that they support rather than hinder health care delivery during such events. A risk management study conducted in early 2007 for NSW Health attempted to define the extent of the problem and the adaptive strategies that should be adopted to minimise the risk of health infrastructure failing. The need for a systems approach was identified, although it was subsequently agreed that, at present, there is insufficient evidence to support the development of specific, well-defined strategies for adaptation. In particular, the impact of climate change-related extreme weather events on health service needs has not yet been accurately determined for the Australian context, nor has the adaptive capacity of existing infrastructure been adequately assessed in terms of its ability to cater for the additional demands likely to be placed upon it. It was agreed that further research is needed in a number of areas and that working within existing asset and disaster management frameworks is necessary for the development of health infrastructure with sufficient and appropriate adaptive capacity.
Chandra, V & Loosemore, M 2008, 'Cultural learning during briefing: A facilities management perspective', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2008 - Proceedings of the 24th Annual Conference, pp. 403-412.
Background: Outsourced Facilities Management (FM) has been noted to be problematic in terms of understanding clients' needs. An understanding of these needs inevitably requires an understanding of the hospital's organisational culture, where the 'value' for FM rests. Method: Using a hospital partnering project as a case study, it investigates the process of learning about culture, an approach which has traditionally been treated as a black box. Nonaka's concept of externalisation helps portray cultural learning as the process of interpreting project-related knowledge by the Hospital and FM groups. Laukkanen's Comparative Cause Mapping method further compares the groups' interpretations over time. Result: It was found that a majority of interpretations on project-knowledge were collectively learned, largely supported by early exposure to those differences. Unlearning and non-learning were also evident where the groups' previous anticipation of those problems was inadequate, or when the emerging problems impinged upon their own goals and interests. Conclusion: Early collaborations between the groups through partnering approach and "creative chaos" in the form of problems and disagreements at the initial briefing stage provide opportunities for cultural learning. With this, sound technical knowledge and openness created a trusting environment that persuaded compromise were factors supporting cultural learning.
Loosemore, M 2007, 'The problems with current risk management practices: How to overcome them', INNOVATIONS IN STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING AND CONSTRUCTION, VOLS 1 AND 2, 4th International Conference on Structural Engineering and Construction, TAYLOR & FRANCIS LTD, Melbourne, AUSTRALIA, pp. 29-37.
Loosemore, M 2007, 'Managing public perceptions of risk on construction projects - How to involve stakeholders in business decisions', PROCEEDINGS OF CRIOCM 2007 INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM ON ADVANCEMENT OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND REAL ESTATE, VOLS 1 AND 2, International Research Symposium on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate (CRIOCM 2007), HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV, Sydney, AUSTRALIA, pp. 15-24.
Darvish, H, Zou, PXW, Loosemore, M & Zhang, GMK 2006, 'Risk management, public interests and value for money in PPP projects: Literature review and case studies', PROCEEDINGS OF CRIOCM 2006 INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM ON ADVANCEMENT OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND REAL ESTATE, VOLS 1 AND 2, International Research Symposium on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate, HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV, Beijing, PEOPLES R CHINA, pp. 546-557.
Galea, N & Loosemore, M 2006, 'Men and conflict in the construction industry', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2006 - Procs 22nd Annual ARCOM Conference, pp. 843-850.
This paper investigates whether there is a gender-centric style of communication in the construction industry (a genderlect), whether this is a source of interpersonal conflict and whether men and women negotiate differently in conflict episodes. The critical decision method, supported by concept mapping reveals the cognitive bases of judgement and communications in hypothetical conflict settings. The paper provides evidence that the construction industry's genderlect is male-centric and that this is related to the relatively high incidence of conflict. It also argues that women and men behave differently in a conflict and in jobs that require them to engage in conflict and confrontation. Furthermore, post conflict relationships remain relatively unchanged for males compared to females. Since the construction industry is predominantly a male workforce, this research suggests that levels of conflict in the construction industry could be reduced by increased female participation.
Ng, A & Loosemore, M 2006, 'Risk allocation in public private partnership (PPP) projects: The New Southern Railway project', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2006 - Procs 22nd Annual ARCOM Conference, pp. 573-580.
The technical, legal, political and economic complexity of PPP projects and the range of constituencies involved, make the optimal allocation of risk problematic. Too often, risks are under estimated and allocated to parties without the knowledge, resources and capabilities to manage them effectively. This paper presents a case study of the controversial $920 million New Southern Railway project in Sydney, Australia. It demonstrates the complexity and obscurity of risks facing such projects and the difficulties in distributing them appropriately. The paper concludes with a series of recommendations to better manage risks in such projects.
Teo, M & Loosemore, M 2006, 'Community protest group's perceptions of environmental risks using social contagion theory', Association of Researchers in Construction Management, ARCOM 2006 - Procs 22nd Annual ARCOM Conference, pp. 319-326.
Local communities are vulnerable to the potential environmental risks associated with construction activity. Currently, little is understood about how perceptions of environmental risks are shaped and spread within a community. A better understanding of this process can help bridge the gap between developers and communities and bring about more sustainable development practices. This paper reports a research methodology which uses social contagion theory to investigate this process. The research adopts a single case study approach of a highly controversial housing project in the greater Sydney metropolitan area. The case study is particularly significant as it investigates an extensive and on-going community-based protest campaign (dating back almost 20 years) that has generated the longest standing 24 hour community picket in the New South Wales.
Loosemore, M & Zou, PXW 2005, 'Risk and opportunity management systems for property development and facility management companies', PROCEEDINGS OF CRIOCM 2005 INTERNATIONAL RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM ON ADVANCEMENT OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND REAL ESTATE, International Research Symposium on Advancement of Construction Management and Real Estate, HONG KONG POLYTECHNIC UNIV, Hangzhou, PEOPLES R CHINA, pp. 1-11.
Teo, M & Loosemore, M 2003, 'Changing the Environmental Culture of the Construction Industry', Contruction Research Congress, Winds of Change: Integration and Innovation in Construction, Proceedings of the Congress, pp. 421-428.
Being one of the biggest consumers of nature, it is not surprising that the construction industry has become the target of environmentalists and, more recently, government attempts to manage the environment more effectively. The construction industry needs to improve its environmental record and changing people's wasteful behaviour can make a significant contribution. This paper describes a research project which used Ajzen's Theory of Planned Behaviour to investigate the attitudinal forces which shape wasteful behaviour on site. It concludes that site operatives' see waste as an inevitable by-product of construction activity. Although attitudes towards waste management are not negative, they are pragmatic and impeded by perceptions of a lack of managerial commitment. Waste management is perceived as a low project priority and there is an absence of appropriate resources and incentives to support it. Suggestions are made to bring about a more positive environmental culture on construction sites.
Teo, M & Loosemore, M 2003, 'Changing the Environmental Culture of the Construction Industry', Construction Research Congress, Construction Research Congress 2003, American Society of Civil Engineers.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Loosemore, M, Lingard, H, Walker, DHT & Mackenzie, J 1999, 'Benchmarking safety management systems in contracting organizations against best practice in other industries', IMPLEMENTATION OF SAFETY AND HEALTH ON CONSTRUCTION SITES, 2nd International Conference of CIB Working Commission W99, A A BALKEMA PUBLISHERS, HONOLULU, HI, pp. 883-890.
Martin's research has led to Directorship, strategic and advisory roles in the areas of innovation, productivity, risk management, human resource management and strategy with a wide range of leading international businesses in Australia, Asia, Middle East and Europe. In 2008 Martin was commissioned by the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee (BOCOG) working in partnership with Tsinghua University in China, to develop a risk and opportunity management system for the delivery of the 2008 Beijing Olympic games facilities. Organisations which Martin has worked with include: Salvation Army; Brookfield Multiplex Construction Pty. Ltd.; Brookfield Services; Defence Maintenance Management (DMM); Beijing Olympic Organising Committee (BOCOG); Chinese Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST); China Merchant Real Estate Company; Queensland Health; Lend Lease; Cell Media Ltd; Three Gorges Dam Project Corporation, China; E C Harris; A P B Indonesia; Laing O’Rouke; Aldar Properties (Dubai); Dubai Properties; Echelon - Jardine Matheson Holdings, Singapore and Australia; Balfour Beatty; UGL; Ideation, Singapore; Catholic Care; South Australia Health; New South Wales Health; Queensland Health; Western Australia Health; New Zealand Health Thinc Urban Development; Ciputra, Indonesia; TBH Capital Advisors; Mattlila Lawyers; TBH Capital; Synergy Ltd; Barringtons Security; Garuda Airlines; UGL; DTZ; Artha Graha Group, Indonesia; Kell and Rigby Ltd; Airport Maintenance Management (AMM); Sydney Water Authority; Parsons Brinckerhoff; Axon Solutions; Defence Maintenance Management (DMM); NSW Department of Commerce; NSW Department of Education and Training; McLachlan Lister; Department of Defence; A. E. Smith Ltd, Occassia, Toga Group, Damajo.