Exploratory study of 'costing collaboratively' in the UK construction industry

Ahmed, Sa'id, Pasquire, Christine and Manu, Emmanuel (2019) Exploratory study of 'costing collaboratively' in the UK construction industry. In: 27th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC); 03 - 05 Jul 2019, Dublin, Ireland.


his research study looks at how stakeholders collaborate over costing in the UK construction industry. The purpose is to define the concept of ‘costing collaboratively’ (CC), to widen understanding of collaboration. Post economic recession, more collaborative practices have been regarded as strategies for transforming construction challenges. However, studies have shown that these practices are fading in the UK, because of fragmentation, adversarialism and, clients preference for lowest tender, whilst cost consultants struggles to be involved in collaborative working especially, during costing activities. The primary research used a multiple case study approach, which aggregated data from interviews and documentary analysis (financial business case; costing & estimating manuals etc.). Overall, 23 interviews were captured with cost consultants, lean practitioners, main contractors among others within the building and infrastructure sectors in the UK. The results showed attributes, like target costing, optioneering and all-inclusive value engineering, as relevant constituents of CC. Accordingly, these were used to defined CC as an approach that engaged stakeholders (upstream and downstream) around wider scheme budgets creating a sense of ownership, driving positive behaviours to achieve desired cost outcomes. However, the results also show that although CC is progressing within the multidisciplinary settings, the approach is still driven by price, and a limited understanding continue to affect the wider practice of collaboration in the UK construction industry.

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