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A problem-solving approach to value-adding decision making in construction design

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journal contribution
posted on 05.11.2008, 17:16 by Derek S. Thomson, Simon A. Austin, David S. Root, Tony Thorpe, Jamie W. Hammond
Purpose – To illustrate the use of a Value Adding Toolbox by construction industry designers when addressing customer value expectations using problem solving. Design/methodology/approach – Focused literature review establishes the need for construction industry design solutions to deliver customer value and a Value Adding Toolbox is proposed in response. Case studies validate Toolbox use and one illustrative example is provided. Interviews with prospective Toolbox users identify barriers to adoption and inform a recommended approach to organisational adoption. Findings – The Toolbox is found to be effective at helping construction designers to solve technical design problems with regard to customer expectations of value. However, designers are found to be initially reluctant to adopt the new tool. Organisation learning is therefore required to establish the importance of customer value satisfaction as a prerequisite to Toolbox adoption by designers. Originality/value – This paper provides a useful insight into the practical application of problemsolving tools by construction designers to better understand customer needs.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering


THOMSON, D.S. ... et al, 2006. A problem-solving approach to value-adding decision making in construction design. Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 13 (1), pp. 43-61 [DOI 10.1108/09699980610646494]


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This article was published in the journal, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management [© Emerald] and the definitive version is available at: www.emeraldinsight.com/10.1108/09699980610646494