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Conference papers

29 APR 2018

Construction site managers’ problem solving

This research aims to identify the on-site problem-solving process in construction as well as the way in which the problem-solving process leads to innovation in the construction industry.

Instructional materials such as textbooks typically utilise well-structured problems because it is believed that such simple problems will sufficiently prepare learners for more ill-structured and complex problem-solving tasks. But when it comes to reality, problem solving is contingent on many factors depending on the context. Construction problems can be generally founded in three domains; people, organisation and process.

Complexity plays a part in construction problems as does the unique nature of construction projects and their delivery, together with the adversarial nature of the stakeholders. In construction problem solving, the majority of contemporary construction contracts ensure that problems are dealt with at the earliest opportunity. However, the process of problem solving on the construction site is yet to be formalised, despite the need for a formalized approach to give practitioners direction to improve overall productivity.

This research approach is exploratory and qualitative in nature and uses primary data from the Australian Institute of Building in Australia’s (AIB) annual Professional Excellence Awards (PEA). This paper offers a comprehensive discussion on how construction professionals reflect on problems, solve problems and provide innovation through problem solving processes.