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Title: Analysis of cooperative relationships in partnering projects in the construction industry of Hong Kong
Authors: Hon, Ka-hung
Degree: M.Phil.
Issue Date: 2005
Abstract: The construction industry has long been associated with chronic problems such as breakdowns in communication, disputes, and adversarial working relationships. Calls have long been raised for a change in the traditional paradigm of hierarchal management for a more collaborative network approach. Partnering is an innovative management strategy in the construction industry to engineer collaboration within a project team and thus improve the performance of the project. There is now an abundant literature on partnering, in such areas as the key elements of successful partnering, the benefits, and the difficulties. Criticisms have been raised that the extant research on partnering is ubiquitous and prescriptive. Partnering is a process of relational management; however, little research has been done on the socio-psychological aspect of partnering relationships. There is even less in-depth research on the complex and dynamic process of forming and sustaining partnering. To fill in this gap, this study develops an integrated research framework explaining why and how partnering brings about a cooperative relationship. The study first explains the conditions of the formation of partnering. The core study examines the cooperative relationships formed in partnering projects, from the determinants of the cooperative partnering relationship to the interaction among the partners. It uses a social network approach to analyse the relational and behavioural structures of the partnering process and examines how these structures contribute to improving performance. This study examines the structure of partnering relationships with respect to three behavioural aspects: (1) communication, (2) problem solving, and (3) working relationships. This study generally confirms the propositions that the formation of partnering requires the presence of both inducements and opportunities. The sharing of risk is the most important inducement for an organization to form a relationship of partnering, whereas technical capital is a necessary condition for opportunities for partnering to occur. The proposition on the determinants of a cooperative partnering relationship is confirmed, and it is found that the determinants of a cooperative partnering relationship have more psychological constructs than structural ones. This study provides evidence that a cooperative partnering relationship leads to improvements in performance in terms of project goals and satisfaction. The core findings of this study are on cooperative partnering relationships. This study confirms the proposition that partnering facilitates a better environment of open communication, efficient problem solving, and close working relationships. A mature partnering project would exhibit a relational network structure of more open communication, efficient problem solving, and closer working relationships than less mature ones. This study also further validates the findings with a non-partnering project. Comparing with a non-partnering project, it is found that partnering project use more informal communication and information sharing is more even. Conflict occurrences may not be lowered in partnering projects. However there is joint problem solving and partnering projects have higher level of cooperative working relationship and team building.
Subjects: Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Construction industry -- China -- Hong Kong
Partnership -- China -- Hong Kong
Public-private sector cooperation -- China -- Hong Kong
Pages: xv, 277 leaves : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm.
Appears in Collections:Thesis

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