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Roles in construction projects: analysis and terminology

By Will Hughes, John Robert Murdoch and Joint Contracts Tribunal

Abstract

Standard form contracts are typically developed through a negotiated consensus, unless they are proffered by one specific interest group. Previously published plans of work and other descriptions of the processes in construction projects tend to focus on operational issues, or they tend to be prepared from the point of view of one or other of the dominant interest groups. Legal practice in the UK permits those who draft contracts to define their terms as they choose. There are no definitive rulings from the courts that give an indication as to the detailed responsibilities of project participants. The science of terminology offers useful guidance for discovering and describing terms and their meanings in their practical context, but has never been used for defining terms for responsibilities of participants in the construction project management process. Organizational analysis enables the management task to be deconstructed into its elemental parts in order that effective organizational structures can be developed. Organizational mapping offers a useful technique for reducing text-based descriptions of project management roles and responsibilities to a comparable basis. Research was carried out by means of a desk study, detailed analysis of nine plans of work and focus groups representing all aspects of the construction industry. No published plan of work offers definitive guidance. There is an enormous amount of variety in the way that terms are used for identifying responsibilities of project participants. A catalogue of concepts and terms (a “Terminology”) has been compiled and indexed to enable those who draft contracts to choose the most appropriate titles for project participants. The purpose of this terminology is to enable the selection and justification of appropriate terms in order to help define roles. The terminology brings an unprecedented clarity to the description of roles and responsibilities in construction projects and, as such, will be helpful for anyone seeking to assemble a team and specify roles for project participants

Topics: 306, 302, 692, 340, 381, 658
Publisher: Construction Industry Publications
Year: 2001
OAI identifier: oai:centaur.reading.ac.uk:4307

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