Time travellers: managers on the building site
Paper in proceeding, 2013

Efficiency is often described as the extent to which time, effort or cost is well used for executing an intended task or purpose: the shorter time between an investment and it return, the greater the profit. Organisational concepts and theories are here to help industries to perform as efficiently as possible. Management and planning tools are mobilised to frame and control work processes to be done on time. However studies on the building site usually show chaos and the proliferation of unexpected events. Interruptions are usually treated as disturbances which need to be reduced and avoided. Managers have to deal with these disturbances which create a rupture between what has been planned and what is actually happening at the building site. The present paper looks at how these interruptions appear during the workday and how the managers answer and reorganise their work consequently. The empirical material comes from a study carried at the building site of a public school. The methods used to collect data are frequency analysis and participant observation among others. The results show that these managers did not comply with the traditional picture of managing the building site. If their work is indeed fragmented with an average of 120 interruptions per day, they do not overwork to compensate the lack of time. Moreover instead of portraying these switching as interruptions affectin

building site






Martine Buser

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management

CIB World Building Congress, Construction and Society, Brisbane, 5-9 May 2013

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)


Subject Categories

Construction Management

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