The influence of a collaborative procurement approach using integrated design in construction on project team performance

Daniel Forgues, Lauri Koskela

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – The purpose of the paper is to study the influence of procurement on the performance of integrated design teams. Design/methodology/approach – The research paradigm is based on Russian socio-constructivist approach to activity theory. Activity theory, as opposed to natural or social science, is a design science approach that focuses on the context aspect of project. A triangulation of qualitative research methods is used to investigate the dynamic of integrated teams in two different procurement contexts. Findings – The paper is conclusive regarding the influence of procurement on team efficiency. It demonstrates that traditional procurement processes reinforce socio-cognitive barriers that hinder team efficiency. It also illustrates how new procurement modes can transform the dynamic of relationships between the client and the members of the supply chain, and have a positive impact on team performance. Practical implications – The paper demonstrates first that problems with integrated design team efficiency are related to context and not process – they are not technical but socio-cognitive; second that fragmented transactional contracting increases socio-cognitive barriers that hinder integrated design team performance; third that new forms of relational contracting may help to mitigate socio-cognitive barriers and improve integrated design team performance, fourth that changing the context through procurement does not address the problem of obsolete design practices. Originality/value – The paper brings together theories of production in lean construction and social learning as a rival approach to traditional project management theory for demonstrating the importance of context on team performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)370-385
Number of pages16
JournalInternational Journal of Managing Projects in Business
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 19 Jun 2009
Externally publishedYes


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