Purpose – As the construction industry strives for closer integration of the participants, more responsibility for the management of the detailed design process is being directed to main contractors and combined with their existing duties of managing the construction and pre‐construction processes. Crucially, this necessitates successful management of the interface between these processes, and this paper seeks to investigate a conceptual view of that interface to provide a foundation for improving understanding of it. Design/methodology/approach – Recent and current literature is examined, and various theoretical backgrounds for the design and the construction processes are reviewed. The consequences for the understanding of the interface are discussed. The significance of conceptual frameworks is also reviewed. Findings – A significant difference is identified in the published work between the theoretical understandings of the construction and design processes. From this a conceptual framework for the interface between these processes is developed. Practical implications – The difference identified may have significant implications for further research, and for the development of management techniques applicable to the interface. Furthermore, the lack of access to specialist knowledge at the optimum time during the design process is identified as having a potentially significant impact on that process. Originality/value – These findings could provide an understanding and basis for further research into the interface between the processes, and for the development of an enhanced model that would facilitate improved management of the interface and the optimisation of the process of the selection, appointment and input of specialist subcontractors.
Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 3, 2011
Keywords: Construction industry; Design and development; Procurement; Management development
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