Industrial Phd

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Industrial Ph.D. is a program where The Norwegian Research Council partners up with a company from any field who wants research done and want one of their employees to acquire research competency. A company may apply for support for up to 50% of the project costs, for a three-year period for an employee seeking to pursue a doctoral degree.

The doctoral candidate is employed in the company and the research project is relevant for the company´s field of business. In my Industrial Phd project, the scope is researching collaboratively with four main branches or disciplines in the Construction Industry. These are developer, architect, engineer and contractor; since these disciplines are the main interdependent stakeholders in most building projects. Eight companies from the above fields are co-researchers and co-funders of this project.

Funding: Getting this project together as an Industrial Phd, consisted of securing funding though collaboration with relevant companies and The Research Council. The text below was used for the preliminary pitching (note, practice based, non-academic).


«Success Factors in Building Processes» Industrial-PhD project 2016 – 2019.

The aim of this PhD is to study what the four main branches or disciplines in the building industry ́s value chain recognize as success factors when needing to achieve ambitious goals in 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 experience with 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 for improvement not adequately practiced or explored in today ́s building processes. More insight and knowledge about what success is for each discipline may contribute to provide further success, as one of many crucial competitive advantages, and may establish a willingness to adapt to the necessary changes needed to be in business, in tomorrow ́s rapidly changing building industry. New knowledge from this project could contribute to the field of systems intelligence, and further exploration of success factors for optimal performance in building processes in the four different disciplines . To understand the potential in each party ́s responsibilities and performance in every project-phase, may increase effectivity and flexibility for all involved, and ultimately increase value for customer, end-user and society. Could success factors from these four disciplines be studied from the partner companies through specific pertinent themes or  through specific building projects in this phd-project?


Research themes

Early text about research themes: (must be revised)

When delivering services in particularly demanding circumstances and perhaps hitherto unachieved goals in building projects, there are several factors that contribute 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. What conditions are needed for this to happen?

Proper knowledge about each discipline´s contribution for the project´s overall achievement, and the need to systematize learning of what went well, to the next project or team, are  ’need-to-know’  factors the Norwegian Construction Industry itself has defined. We want to look at how this can be done through exploring success factors.


Puzzles / research questions

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

What knowledge about consciousness and systems skills must be understood and used by all contributors to achieve success in building processes from the four 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 we hope to find, yield betterment in processes, and contribute further to better results and increase value for each stakeholder in building projects?


Expected results / conclusions

Have identified success-factors in a system intelligent way through four disciplines in building processes exploring them together

Propose how these may be applied in building processes

Published scientific papers in relevant internationally acclaimed conferences and publications

Disseminated results to the Norwegian Construction Industry for further application and development.

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



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