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Improving supplier relationship management within the AEC sector

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conference contribution
posted on 08.10.2013 by Mesut Pala, Francis Edum-Fotwe, Kirti Ruikar, Chris Peters, Nathan Doughty
Due to changes in many facets of projects and organisations, relationships between firms in the delivery of construction projects have consequently become more critical for the success of the project. Whether it is a transactional exchange or series of transactions spread over a period of time, relationships need to be managed. However, the concept of managing supply chains and relationships between firms has been relatively new to construction industry. Early pioneers of the concept, primarily automotive, aerospace and manufacturing industries, have greatly benefitted from non-adversarial, long-term and collaborative relationships. Although contextual factors within those industries largely shape each industry’s approach to SCM (Supply Chain Management), it is application within the AEC industry is slowly beginning to appear in a distinct shape and form. Through a comprehensive review of literature on construction-specific SCM (cSCM), the study has identified that partnering, collaboration and trust are the three most prominent variables within the cSCM literature. Partnering and collaboration are considered to be relationship management tools, whereas trust is identified as the most significant relationship facilitator. In spite of its significance on relationship development, there is very limited research carried out on the trust aspect of relationships. By understanding how trust is built and maintained, and what the conditions that result in mistrust are, firms can better manage their supply chains and their relationships with firms in the supply chains, manage factors that result in mistrust and mitigate potential conflicts arising from mistrust. Consequently this will facilitate better collaboration, result in high-level of commitment, improve project teambuilding, and avoid conflict and adversarial relationships. Drawing on organisational relationship management literature, we argue that trust must be approached from five dimensions; economic, social, psychological, inter-personal and organisational. These dimensions are unidirectional and they must be accounted conjointly as they are interrelated and interdependent.

History

School

  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Research Unit

  • Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Engineering (CICE)

Citation

PALA, M. ... et al, 2012. Improving supplier relationship management within the AEC sector. IN: Smith, S. (ed.). Proceedings of the 28th Annual ARCOM Conference, Edinburgh, 3th-5th September 2012, 10pp.

Publisher

Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)

Version

AM (Accepted Manuscript)

Publication date

2012

Notes

This is a conference paper. The publisher's website is at: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/

Publisher version

Language

en

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