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Beyond Partnering: Rethinking Project Management

TitleBeyond Partnering: Rethinking Project Management
Publication TypeWorking Paper
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsO'Brien, W
Date Published11/1995
Publication Languageeng
KeywordsCenter for Integrated Facility Engineering, CIFE, Economic Coordination Theory, Partnering, Production Theory, Project Management, Stanford University
AbstractAt its core, this paper is about information and how it can be used to better manage construction projects. Starting from a case example, we critique current approaches to project management. Current best practice, including partnering, copes only with the speedy resolution of uncertainty and complexity in the construction process and lacks an ability to optimally resolve problems. We generalize this viewpoint drawing from economic coordination theory and production theory. These theoretical perspectives suggest that traditional construction planning and control systems (and associated contractual and organizational assumptions) need to be rethought. An organizational and contractual system that allows firms to work together to optimally and speedily solve problems is needed. Dimensions of such a system are discussed and a comparison between construction and current best practice in manufacturing is drawn to highlight both possibilities for construction and aspects of the project management process that are unique.
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Citation Key964