Towards sustained competitiveness in UK construction: a multi-methodological approach

The world in which we live and work is a rapidly changing place, and only by looking ahead can we prepare ourselves today for what might happen in the future. An ongoing three-year research project at the universities of Loughborough, Reading and Salford is now at the half-way stage and the three institutions have worked together in a complimentary and collaborative manner in order to fulfil the project objectives and produce some initial preliminary research findings. The objective of the research is to identify and understand the challenges and opportunities confronting the UK construction sector over the next 10 to 20 years and to investigate ways to mitigate and/or exploit them. To date, 24 workshops have been conducted and nearly 70 causal maps and future scenarios produced. In addition, case histories have been developed to reveal the unique contexts of a range of collaborating organisations and what this means for their strategy and competitiveness. A series of system dynamics models have been developed which convert a firm's characteristics into a "competitiveness index", which can then be used to help firms understand and hence be more successful in the unfolding landscape of the construction marketplace.