Lost and found in translation: top-down decoupling and bottom-up recoupling of strategies and practices in construction production
Paper i proceeding, 2021
Researchers have noted an apparent decoupling between construction production strategies formulated at upper management, and their top-down translation into onsite practices. In this paper, we revisit the research question of how and why there is such a decoupling and use that to conceptualise a primarily bottom-up schema of production strategizing, drawing on site managers’ perspectives. As such, we conduct a Sweden-specific literature review focusing on (s) lean construction production practice variants, and (b) site managers’ dispositions towards production strategy improvements imposed by upper organisational levels - which may not align with hands-on best practices. The findings show that production-oriented lean construction variants aiming at strategy or on-site processes may lack an interface altogether; furthermore, there exists a decoupling between the standardisation logic of the strategic top-down view of production, and site managers’ tendency to act in free problem-solving roles. We then use the strategy as process and practice (SAPP) framework to integrate those findings and conceptualise a best practice-informed production strategising schema. This schema favours bottom-up production strategising, but also considers a loop-like collaboration approach - in an effort to integrate the benefits from a top-down production standardisation, with the flexible bottom-up buffer zones allowing for innovations and out-of-box solutions.