Background Industrial phd

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Industrial Ph.D. is a program where companies may apply for support for a three-year period for an employee seeking to pursue a doctoral degree. The doctoral candidate is employed by the company and the doctoral research project is clear in relevance to the company´s business. In my case, the scope is between four main branches in the Construction Industry; developer, architect, consulting engineers and contractor, are partners.

Funding: The first phase of my Industrial PhD, consisted of securing funding though collaboration with partners from the Construction Industry and the Research Council. This text was used for the preliminary, non-academic pitching.


Brief  –  «Success Factors in Building Processes»

The aim of this PhD is to study what the four main branches in the building industry ́s value chain defines as success factors when wanting to achieve ambitious goals in demanding building projects. Attention will be paid to the following perspectives/ roles in building projects; the developer, the architect, the consulting engineers and the contractor. The aim is to gain an understanding of the critical interdependence between each profession’s delivery and interaction in building projects. Focus will be on projects where the ambitions and or demands are new or more ambitious than in mainstream projects. The PhD-project assumes that the effect of how each party contributes in building projects has a large potential not adequately practiced or explored in today ́s building processes. Further assumption is that this insight will contribute as one of many crucial competitive advantages, creating a willingness to adapt to the necessary changes needed to be in business in tomorrow ́s building industry. New knowledge from this project could contribute to finding the most important success factors for optimal performance in building processes from four different fields /perspectives. To understand the potential in each party ́s responsibility and performance in every project- phase, will most probably increase effectivity and flexibility for all involved, and increase value for customer, end-user and society. Could success factors from the four fields mentioned be studied in specific building projects during the PhD period? The collaborative business partners from the four fields in this project, are open to that new success factor-discoveries may be used consciously in building projects.


Research themes

The following research themes have so far been identified:

When delivering services in particularly demanding circumstances and perhaps hitherto unachieved goals in building projects, there are several factors that contributes to the fine-tuning of the process. The team cleaning up its act, the upholding of high morale and high speed, sharing more, giving it all for long periods of time; all contribute to optimal achievement.

Proper knowledge about each party ́s contributions for the projects overall achievement, and the need to systematize achievement to the next project/team, are ’need-to-know’ the Building Industry has itself defined.


Puzzles / research questions

Which factors are characteristics of excellence in achievements in ambitious building projects (planning them, interacting with others and delivering services)?

What knowledge, level of consciousness and skills must be understood and used by all contributors to achieve success and excellence in building processes from the four mentioned perspectives?

Required Structure for necessary level of consciousness and proper skills to communicate what each party (person, team, project) need from each other to deliver optimally, be understood, considered and held accountable: will these factors provide better processes, better results and increase value for each party in building projects?


Expected results / conclusions

Have identified success-factors from four branches ́perspectives in building processes

Propose how these may be applied in building processes

Have achieved synergies during the course with other relevant, ongoing research 

Published scientific papers in relevant internationally acclaimed conferences and publications

Delivered the results to the Norwegian Building Industry at large for further application and development.

The target group are stakeholders in the Building Industry who desire to augment their competitive power by having a proactive attitude to, and new knowledge about, the changes the Building Industry faces. Another important target group are young, technology-competent professionals who are about to enter the professions of development, architecture, consulting engineers and builders – and who will be the ones creating a Building Industry that is profitable tomorrow and deliver what the society needs in the future.


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