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Construction site management team working : a serendipitous event

Tennant, S and Langford, David and Murray, Michael (2011) Construction site management team working : a serendipitous event. Journal of Management in Engineering, 27 (4). pp. 220-228. ISSN 0742-597X

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Abstract

Despite the pervasive appeal of team working in the construction industry, the empirical relationship between team effectiveness and task performance continues to be generally overlooked. Recognized team performance appraisal remains one of the last frontiers of performance management. This paper sets out to challenge the conventional discourse of team working and test the hypothesis that construction site management team working and project performance is unrelated. The explanatory case-study research method utilizes a variety of data-gathering techniques. An attitude statement questionnaire evaluates team efficacy. A customized suite of key performance indicators sympathetic to project performance is used to measure project success. Statistical examination of the data demonstrates a marked correlation between the two variables. Although the results authenticate the universally acclaimed wisdom; teams and performance are inextricably linked, secondary analysis expose widespread contradictions between the rhetoric of team working and the action of practice. Obstacles to team working include management indifference towards substantive team building, organizational barriers to communication, and the absence of team rewards. A paradigm of individualism predominates, abetted by organizational structures and cultural subsystems that uphold individual answerability at the expense of collective responsibility.