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Information behaviour in construction project management teams: Contradictions, motivations and influencing factors

Riley, Franklin George (2018) Information behaviour in construction project management teams: Contradictions, motivations and influencing factors. PhD thesis, University of Leeds.

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Abstract

This research seeks to understand how teams involved in large complex construction projects share and use information. The context of the research is project team information behaviour within early stage UK local government projects. Project tasks are commonly undertaken in a collaborative manner, modified by situational factors which give rise to informational activities which are recognised as information behaviour. However, there is limited research on collaborative information behaviour, especially focussed on activity in the complex and politically driven environment found within local government. Furthermore, information behaviour at the concept stage may be strategic as it will help to determine major decisions that may have considerable implications (e.g. financial or political), it has long term consequences and it affects the information behaviour of others through the leveraging of power and influence. Cultural historical activity theory, underpinned by critical realism and supported by repertory grid technique and constant comparative method, is used to interpret data from two local authority case studies to address the following questions: ‘What is the information behaviour of project teams involved in local government construction projects at concept stage?’ and ‘What contradictions and congruencies influence the intervening variables that shape information behaviour within the project teams of local government construction projects?’ Contradictions within the project activity system, in particular between the socio-political and the technical domains, cause dysfunctionality. Established project information structures cannot readily cope with this dysfunctionality and, as a result, information behaviour, hidden and overt, creates new structures and shapes micro-political activity not anticipated by project method. As such, the research uncovered significant tensions within the teams’ work activity which caused ambiguity, leading to the creation of ‘information spheres’, where information can be exchanged and nurtured - sheltered from political interventions and to project teams which are invisible to the project board. Where these tensions are not present, information exchange is enabled by value alignment and trust leading to big rooms and extended project teams, where authority is distributed to enable improvements to information exchange. The research also posits a model of project team information behaviour and seeks to make modest contributions to both the information behaviour and project management canon.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: project teams; local government; information behaviour; information management; strategic; collaborative; political; concept stage; early stage; project management
Academic Units: The University of Leeds > Leeds University Business School
Depositing User: Mr Franklin Riley
Date Deposited: 28 Jun 2018 13:56
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2018 13:56
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/20752

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