Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Social and Engineering Aspects of Construction Site Management using Simulation and Social Network Analysis
by Abbasian Hosseini, Seyed Alireza, Ph.D., North Carolina State University, 2015, 246; 10110533
Abstract (Summary)

The crews/actors/subs during a construction project make relationship and communicate with each other on the jobsite primarily when they work in a task sequence or when they work in the same working area at the same time. These interdependencies can have various impacts on their performance, the decisions their supervisor make and their action from both engineering and social aspects. The main focus of the past research is on the project parties’ relationship based on the information exchange and formal communication, while the research pertaining to the interpretation and investigation of the construction crews/trades’ interdependencies during the construction project is very limited. How are the construction jobsite actors connected in a construction jobsite? How do the existing interdependencies among them affect their performance? And how can understanding these interdependencies be beneficial for construction site managers? The primary goal of this research is to better understand the existing interdependencies among the construction crews/trades/subs and its impact. Particularly, the objectives of this research are to: 1) develop the jobsite social network of construction crews/trades and quantify its impact, 2) investigate the impact of social conformity on the performance of construction crews/trades, 3) identify the improvement direction (benchmarks) for inefficient construction crews/trades, and 4) investigate the cost/benefit of low or high reliable construction crews/trades and to develop a new educational version of Parade Game.

First, social network analysis (SNA) is implemented to develop a technique to construct the dynamic jobsite social network of crews/trades in a project and quantify its impact through the network centrality analysis. The results of a case study are presented. Then, SNA and social norm analysis are combined as a method to measure conformity, one of the main social network influences types that results in a change of performance/behavior in order to fit in a group, at construction crew/trade level and demonstrate how it can play role in the performance of crews/trades/subs particularly in their work plan reliability through two case studies. Then, inspired by social learning phenomenon, data envelopment analysis and SNA is combined to develop a procedure that can identify the improvement direction for the inefficient crews/trades/subs in a construction project. At the end, the research concentrates on the engineering aspects of the jobsite interdependencies by developing a simulation model, as a new educational version of Parade Game, that uses different variability levels and the corresponding costs at different work stations to investigate the relationship between the interdependencies and crews/trades’ variability/reliability.

Results demonstrate that the performance of construction crews/trades is under the influence of the social aspect of the interdependencies as well as the engineering aspect. They show that there is an association between influences a crew/trade/sub receives from the network and his/her performance. Results of case studies show that the subcontractors follow the performance norm in the project and their tendency to follow the norms of their neighborhood is higher than their willingness to follow the project norm. Parade Game simulation results also show that the production will enhance if the reliability increases and the investment made to improve reliability will return in most of the scenarios.

This research is significant and valuable as it looks at construction jobsite interdependencies from an exclusively analytical perspective, which has not been done previously. Previous research also did not investigate the social aspects of the construction crews/trades/subs interdependencies. Construction personnel at every level of management are constantly planning and trying to figure out how best to manage and coordinate the construction crews/trades/subs. A better understanding of the existing jobsite interdependencies will help project managers to control it through better planning and leadership, consequently increasing jobsite productivity.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Liu, Min, Hsaing, Simon
Commitee:
School: North Carolina State University
School Location: United States -- North Carolina
Source: DAI-B 77/10(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Civil engineering
Keywords: Construction projects, Lean construction, Site management
Publication Number: 10110533
ISBN: 9781339737782
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