Understanding collaborative working in a facilitated interdisciplinary environment

John Connaughton, William Collinge

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


    Purpose: This paper reports on a new form of project insurance in UK construction designed to improve collaborative working among project participants. It aims to examine the interprofessional collaborative endeavour under the new insurance arrangements, drawing on a structuration model of interdisciplinary collaboration developed in the field of healthcare studies.

    Design/Methodology/Approach: The research employed a longitudinal, action research approach with participant observation. A novel element included a project facilitator as part of the action research team. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected using semi-structured interviews with close scrutiny of the documented project record.

    Findings: Project structure emerges as a more important element in the collaboration process than is typically recognised in practice-based studies; the analysis revealing the interplay of structure, the socialising processes of participants and how facilitation helps develop interdependence among project participants. The analysis provides a basis for understanding collaboration on the trial project.

    Research limitations/implications: The project provides a unique context for the examination of collaboration under the new project insurance arrangements. The results have implications for the study of collaboration in highlighting the important relationship between project structure, collaboration and facilitation.

    Practical implications: Understanding how interdependency is developed through structure, the socialising processes of collaborators, and facilitation has important implications for those concerned with designing project arrangements and managing collaborative processes.

    Originality/value: The paper reports on the first full trial of new project insurance arrangements in the UK. It highlights the significance of project structure, and the interplay between collaborators’ emerging practices and facilitation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2019
    Event10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization, Tallin, Estonia. - Tallinn, Estonia
    Duration: 7 May 20198 May 2019


    Conference10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization, Tallin, Estonia.


    • Collaboration
    • Social practice theory
    • Insurance
    • Structuration theory
    • interdependence
    • Healthcare


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