Byggeriets produktion af svigt i et strukturationssperspektiv - et studie af reaktive og proaktive problemlosningspraksisser
Doktorsavhandling, 2012

The thesis is the result of an Industrial PhD project conducted in NCC Construction Denmark addressing quality issues. The study examines how failures and defects are produced in the social practices of construction projects and the role of problem solving. The approach to failures and defects is open-minded and empirically oriented. It is the specific phenomenon of the failures and defects that are investigated, but also the previous actions, processes and structures that affect the incidents, as well as the ex post effects in terms of consequences for both actors as structures. The thesis is primarily sociological with a flavour of interdisciplinarity through elements of an engineering approach. The research process is abductive and adopts a reflexive qualitative methodology acknowledging the need for various types of interpretations. The theoretical framework is based on theory of structuration and enables the central analysis that includes underlying structures, agency as well as the processes of structuration. Based on a 15-month ethnographic field study comprised of workplace observations and qualitative interviews the analysis provides an in-depth understanding of the relationship between structural premises and actions and decision-making of project managers and craftsmen on construction projects. The key contributions of the thesis are the expansion of the understanding of unintended consequences of social practices; how routines and experiences of construction managers and craftsmen in addition to helping to reduce the extent of failures and defects, also can be seen as instrumental in producing and maintaining a certain level of failure. The agents' reflection on the underlying structures are described as limited, constraining exchange of experiences, learning and quality concerns in the processes and also reproducing project participants as powerful problem-solvers. The research also highlights reactive and proactive problem solving practices as important for the structuration. Problem solving practices are however often forced into a reactive problem solving. Implications for the company are to direct the attention not only to the planning but also to facilitate and support the problem-solving and trouble-shooting competencies of projects managers.

building defects

problem solving


unintended consequences

Abductive method

social practices


construction management

reflexive qualitative methodology

VG, Sven Hultins gata 6
Opponent: Prof. Christian Clausen, Department of Developing and Planning, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark


Casper Siebken Schultz

Chalmers, Bygg- och miljöteknik, Construction Management


Building Futures (2010-2018)






Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie

VG, Sven Hultins gata 6

Opponent: Prof. Christian Clausen, Department of Developing and Planning, Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark

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