Many firms in the construction industry claim to be working in a ‘partnering’ or even in an ‘integrated’ way. It is, however, very difficult to verify these claims with the tools currently available. The purpose of this study was to collect and refine existing work on integrative and collaborative working, so as to develop a quick and simple tool that measures the degree of integration with which firms are working. First, the concepts of ‘Partnering’ and ‘Integrated Working’ are discussed and, for the purposes of the work a major supposition is adopted: that the difference between these concepts is that companies that are partnering only share project-related information, while companies working in an integrated way share much more of their available information, knowledge and experience. Secondly, the development of the Partnering Assessment Tool is explained and its application to four cases is recounted. The companies’ overall scores are presented and discussed as to whether these scores might reflect their actual levels of integration and cooperative working. These scores are presented on a scale that contains the categories ‘Cooperative Working’, ‘Partnering’ and ‘Integrated Working’. It is concluded that the application of the tool can provide a useful insight in the nature of the relationships between companies that work together in construction projects. Finally, it is recommended that the tool be tested in more cases and companies, and in a variety of different contractual contexts.
|Northumbria Working Paper Series: Interdisciplinary Studies in the Built and Virtual Environment
|Published - Jun 2008