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postgraduate thesis: An investigation of how information processing impacts boundary spanning activities in managing construction design changes from the perspective of contractors

TitleAn investigation of how information processing impacts boundary spanning activities in managing construction design changes from the perspective of contractors
Authors
Advisors
Advisor(s):Liu, AMMNg, FF
Issue Date2016
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Liu, S. [刘诗卉君]. (2016). An investigation of how information processing impacts boundary spanning activities in managing construction design changes from the perspective of contractors. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.
AbstractBoundary spanning has received increasing attention from organization management research in various industries. However, there has been limited study and understanding in the construction project context, in which multiple specialized teams from various organizations spanning industry boundaries work together. As a common but problematic construction task, design change is a typical scenario that requires intensive boundary spanning activities to integrate the efforts of different, even fragmented, stakeholders. Thus getting a better understanding of boundary spanning activities can help organizations/teams to manage the external relationships beyond their organizational/team boundaries well and to enhance collaboration between different organizations/teams to achieve desirable task outcomes in the design change process. Despite its importance, the specific activities that compose boundary spanning in the construction design change process have not been investigated. Further, the relationship between different boundary spanning activities and the corresponding task outcomes, as well as the factors that may influence the contingent relationship, also lack empirical examination. This research will first critically review the boundary management literature in the construction design change context. During this process, a research model with operational hypotheses on the relationships between different categories of boundary spanning activities and task outcomes of design changes will be gradually developed. Through the information processing theory, two relationships between the external factors (information processing requirements) and internal characteristics (information processing capabilities), studied separately in previous literature, are proposed as significant predictors and moderators in the model. A questionnaire survey of constructors from construction teams is then employed to gather considerable data and a hierarchical regression model is adopted to test and analyse it. The results reveal that boundary spanning activities in the construction design change context can be categorized as: scouting, coordination, representation and buffering activities. Although these four boundary spanning activities do not directly or significantly contribute to desirable task outcomes of design change, they do imply the potential to benefit (directional support for hypotheses) the design change outcomes. The key finding in this study is that the boundary spanning—task outcome relationship is highly contingent: the uncertainty-decentralized fit, as well as the equivocality-richness fit, can strongly predict the task outcomes and strongly moderate the relationship. These findings make considerable contributions to theoretical development and practical management. It stresses that there is no one best way to deal with all processes. In different circumstances, organizations/teams must use suitable methods corresponding to their specific circumstances to achieve the most desirable outcomes. When facing uncertain situations lacking in data and factual information for analyzing the design change task, decentralized communication can expand the sources for collecting necessary information and thus benefit the boundary spanning process to achieve positive outcomes. Processing equivocality information means there are difficulties in understanding and different interpretations of the conditions. Thus rich communication methods are required to clarify the ambiguity in order to reach united understanding and enable effective boundary spanning activities to achieve desirable design change outcomes. In certain situations, the uncertain information also needs to be delivered by rich communication methods to be better understood and accepted.
DegreeDoctor of Philosophy
SubjectManagement - Construction projects
Dept/ProgramReal Estate and Construction
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/250821

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.advisorLiu, AMM-
dc.contributor.advisorNg, FF-
dc.contributor.authorLiu, Shihuijun-
dc.contributor.author刘诗卉君-
dc.date.accessioned2018-01-26T01:59:38Z-
dc.date.available2018-01-26T01:59:38Z-
dc.date.issued2016-
dc.identifier.citationLiu, S. [刘诗卉君]. (2016). An investigation of how information processing impacts boundary spanning activities in managing construction design changes from the perspective of contractors. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR.-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/250821-
dc.description.abstractBoundary spanning has received increasing attention from organization management research in various industries. However, there has been limited study and understanding in the construction project context, in which multiple specialized teams from various organizations spanning industry boundaries work together. As a common but problematic construction task, design change is a typical scenario that requires intensive boundary spanning activities to integrate the efforts of different, even fragmented, stakeholders. Thus getting a better understanding of boundary spanning activities can help organizations/teams to manage the external relationships beyond their organizational/team boundaries well and to enhance collaboration between different organizations/teams to achieve desirable task outcomes in the design change process. Despite its importance, the specific activities that compose boundary spanning in the construction design change process have not been investigated. Further, the relationship between different boundary spanning activities and the corresponding task outcomes, as well as the factors that may influence the contingent relationship, also lack empirical examination. This research will first critically review the boundary management literature in the construction design change context. During this process, a research model with operational hypotheses on the relationships between different categories of boundary spanning activities and task outcomes of design changes will be gradually developed. Through the information processing theory, two relationships between the external factors (information processing requirements) and internal characteristics (information processing capabilities), studied separately in previous literature, are proposed as significant predictors and moderators in the model. A questionnaire survey of constructors from construction teams is then employed to gather considerable data and a hierarchical regression model is adopted to test and analyse it. The results reveal that boundary spanning activities in the construction design change context can be categorized as: scouting, coordination, representation and buffering activities. Although these four boundary spanning activities do not directly or significantly contribute to desirable task outcomes of design change, they do imply the potential to benefit (directional support for hypotheses) the design change outcomes. The key finding in this study is that the boundary spanning—task outcome relationship is highly contingent: the uncertainty-decentralized fit, as well as the equivocality-richness fit, can strongly predict the task outcomes and strongly moderate the relationship. These findings make considerable contributions to theoretical development and practical management. It stresses that there is no one best way to deal with all processes. In different circumstances, organizations/teams must use suitable methods corresponding to their specific circumstances to achieve the most desirable outcomes. When facing uncertain situations lacking in data and factual information for analyzing the design change task, decentralized communication can expand the sources for collecting necessary information and thus benefit the boundary spanning process to achieve positive outcomes. Processing equivocality information means there are difficulties in understanding and different interpretations of the conditions. Thus rich communication methods are required to clarify the ambiguity in order to reach united understanding and enable effective boundary spanning activities to achieve desirable design change outcomes. In certain situations, the uncertain information also needs to be delivered by rich communication methods to be better understood and accepted.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.rightsThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.-
dc.subject.lcshManagement - Construction projects-
dc.titleAn investigation of how information processing impacts boundary spanning activities in managing construction design changes from the perspective of contractors-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.description.thesisnameDoctor of Philosophy-
dc.description.thesislevelDoctoral-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineReal Estate and Construction-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-
dc.date.hkucongregation2017-
dc.identifier.mmsid991043979537103414-

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