Holistically assessing collaborative culture in the AEC industry.

Sujesh F. Sujan, Steve Jones, Arto Kiviniemi, Jacqueline Wheatcroft, Balimu Mwiya

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The insufficient understanding and literature on people collaborating in the ArchitecturalEngineering-Construction (AEC) industry has prompted researchers to investigate this by conducting project-toproject comparisons. A mixed method-based comparison of two construction projects’ design teams was made in
order to present factors to be considered in fostering a positive collaborative culture. Client knowledge and
involvement, existing relationships between teams, stronger informal collaboration, a decentralised leadership
style and the adequate monetary motivation to a firm were found to be most critical. The study also assessed
whether the use of holistic analysis methods can quantitatively show the differences between the projects; in
particular, which project had a more positive collaborative culture. The perception based method used correlated
the variance of perception of the teamwork environment and systemic risk to the projects with a more positive
collaborative culture; 80% of constructs (some postulated attribute of people assumed, to reflect in test
performance) supported the qualitative data. Additionally, assessments of the personalities of respondents from
the project with a more collaborative culture also showed higher collective agreeableness. Findings suggest that
projects with more changes, more assumptions made and uncertainty in requirements affect the collaborative
culture negatively
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-286
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Information Technology in Construction
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


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