Modern Project Management

(ISSN: 2317-3963)

Cultural Change in the Construction Industry The Role of Project Alliance Organizational Culture

Anne Marjaana Lehto
Kiinko Real Estate Education Finland
Kirsi Aaltonen
University of Oulu Finland


Project alliances are a contemporary approach for managing complex construction projects. In order to succeed, they require establishment of trust and collaborative ways of working, calling for fundamental changes in the behaviors and values among organizational members taking part in them. The increasing use of project alliancing may therefore influence the underlying values, norms and regulations within the construction sector, and hence contribute to the cultural change within the construction industry by large. The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the understanding of the cultural change that is produced by the use of project alliances, focused on collaborative behaviors. The research particularly develops knowledge on the mechanisms through which the use of project alliances may shape the industry culture. Data were collected from the Finnish construction sector, where alliance projects are increasingly popular. Central industry representatives were interviewed, and data content analysed. The findings reveal that industry level cultural change related to project alliances is a continuously evolving process and an outcome of change events and purposeful cultural change work at multiple levels including individuals, organizations, networks and construction industry. The results therefore draw attention to the role of multi-level interactions in advancing cultural change, which has to date received limited attention. The findings on the role of individuals’ career paths and trajectories are also novel, as they implicate that individual level movement and cultural orientation may play a more significant role in cultural change dynamics within project-based industries than has been acknowledged

Keywords: Alliance project, organizational culture, project management.



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