Supply chain integration in the building industry: The emergence of integrated and repetitive strategies in a fragmented and project-driven industry
These file attachments have been under embargo and were made available to the public after the embargo was lifted on 24 November 2011.
The building industry is a fragmented and project-driven industry with specific characteristics, which can sometimes result in negative effects. Reference has often been made to other industries, particularly manufacturing, that would function more effectively and efficiently. Major differences between both include the organisation and coordination of the supply chain. Supply chain integration has been suggested as a solution for the building supply chain. This thesis has aimed to contribute to the conceptual development of supply chain integration for building by means of hypothesis-generating research. The concept of supply chain integration has first been explored on the basis of related thoughts and concepts in building practice and literature. The concept has been framed further based on four theoretical perspectives: economic, production, organisational and social theory. In the empirical part, supply chain integration practices have first been studied in six different industries: automotive, aerospace, computers, electronics, clothing and grocery. The findings have indicated advanced forms and high levels of supply chain integration. The building cases have included five firm types in the building supply chain: clients, developers, designers, builders and suppliers. The findings have demonstrated relatively less advanced and less comprehensive approaches to supply chain integration, as compared to theory and manufacturing. Based on the confrontation of the empirical findings with the theory, four hypotheses have been shaped representing partial descriptions of what constitutes a concept of supply chain integration in building. As a consequence, this would imply a shift of the building supply chain towards higher levels of repetitiveness and integration of products, processes and organisational arrangements.