The Requirements of Developing a Framework for Successful Adoption of Quality Management Systems in the Construction Industry

Quality management systems (QMSs) in the construction industry are often implemented to ensure that sufficient effort is made by companies to achieve the required levels of quality for clients. Attainment of these quality levels can result in greater customer satisfaction, which is fundamental to ensure long-term competitiveness for construction companies. However, the construction sector is still lagging behind other industries in terms of its successful adoption of QMSs, due to the relative lack of acceptance of the benefits of these systems among industry stakeholders, as well as from other barriers related to implementing them. Thus, there is a critical need to undertake a detailed and comprehensive exploration of adoption of QMSs in the construction sector. This paper comprehensively investigates in the construction sector setting, the impacts of all the salient factors surrounding successful implementation of QMSs in building organizations, especially those of external factors. This study is part of an ongoing PhD project, which aims to develop a new framework that integrates both internal and external factors affecting QMS implementation. To achieve the paper aim and objectives, interviews will be conducted to define the external factors influencing the adoption of QMSs, and to obtain holistic critical success factors (CSFs) for implementing these systems. In the next stage of data collection, a questionnaire survey will be developed to investigate the prime barriers facing the adoption of QMSs, the CSFs for their implementation, and the external factors affecting the adoption of these systems. Following the survey, case studies will be undertaken to validate and explain in greater detail the real effects of these factors on QMSs adoption. Specifically, this paper evaluates the effects of the external factors in terms of their impact on implementation success within the selected case studies. Using findings drawn from analyzing the data obtained from these various approaches, specific recommendations for the successful implementation of QMSs will be presented, and an operational framework will be developed. Finally, through a focus group, the findings of the study and the new developed framework will be validated. Ultimately, this framework will be made available to the construction industry to facilitate the greater adoption and implementation of QMSs. In addition, deployment of the applicable recommendations suggested by the study will be shared with the construction industry to more effectively help construction companies to implement QMSs, and overcome the barriers experienced by businesses, thus promoting the achievement of higher levels of quality and customer satisfaction.

The Aspect of the Human Bias in Decision Making within Quality Management Systems & LEAN Theory

This paper provides a literature review to document the state of the art with respect to handling “human bias” in decision making within the established quality management systems (QMS) and LEAN theory, in the context of shipbuilding. Previous research shows that in shipbuilding there is a huge deviation from the planned man-hours under the project management to the actual man-hours used because of errors in planning and reworks caused by human bias in the information flows, among others. This reduces the efficiency, and increases operational costs. Thus, the research question is how QMS and LEAN handle biases. The findings show the gap in studying the integration of methods to handle human bias in decision making into QMS and lean, not only within shipbuilding, but in general. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed for researchers and practitioners in the areas of decision making, QMS and LEAN, and future research is suggested.