A ‘Strategy-as-Practice’ exploration of lean construction strategizing

2012-12-06T15:23:13Z (GMT) by Dan Sage Andrew Dainty Naomi Brookes
A growing body of work emerging from the management and organizational studies literature is the ‘Strategy-as-Practice’ (SaP) perspective, which focuses on the ways in which strategy is actually enacted within organizational settings. This perspective is used to examine the diffusion of lean construction. In recent years lean construction has grown in prominence to become one of the primary performative improvement recipes for the construction sector. However, rather than providing a stable strategy around which more collaborative, intelligent and efficient project-based organizations develop, this research reveals how the lean concept transforms during its journey with unintended organizational consequences. An ethnographic case study, informed by SaP, demonstrates how a lean strategy and its effects on organizational practice and culture cannot be understood separately from material and embodied practices and power effects. As well as contributing to the examination of lean construction practice, the findings show how strategy is enacted within construction organizations and the ensuing effects of social power. A new trajectory is opened for research into strategizing within construction organizations, which provides ways to explore actual practices and spaces where strategizing occurs.