Implementing change in construction project organizations: Exploring the interplay between structure and agency

Mike Bresnen, Anna Goussevskaia, Jacky Swan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Although change in management culture and practice has been a recurrent theme in recent years, there is comparatively little research available that explores the issues and challenges facing construction firms as they attempt to implement management 'best practices'. Yet, understanding the complex social processes involved is vital if the industry is to respond effectively to prescriptions for organizational change. This paper draws upon Giddens' (1984) structuration theory to explore the effects of the relationship between structural conditions and managerial agency on attempts to introduce change within project-based organization. The paper reports research from case studies of changed management practice in two UK construction firms. The main findings demonstrate the impact of dispersed managerial practices on the interpretative and normative rules deployed by project managers and the power resources mobilized by companies and individuals as they seek to impose, accept or resist change. © 2005 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)547-560
Number of pages13
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Volume33
Issue number6
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2005

Keywords

  • Change management
  • Organizational change
  • Practice-based learning
  • Project management
  • Social context
  • Structuration theory

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