Engineering project networks: providing 'sustainable work systems' for construction knowledge workers

Hosseini, M. Reza and Edwards, D.J. and Singh, Tandeep and Martek, I. and Darko, A. (2020) Engineering project networks: providing 'sustainable work systems' for construction knowledge workers. Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology. ISSN 1726-0531

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Abstract

Purpose: The construction industry faces three emergent developments that in all likelihood will transform the industry into the future. Firstly, engineering project networks (EPNs), in which teams collaborate on projects remotely in time and space, are transforming global construction practices. Secondly, as a major consumer of resources and significant producer of green-house gases, construction is under pressure to reduce its carbon footprint. Thirdly, the construction industry presents as one of the least socially sustainable work environments, with high job dissatisfaction, skewed work-life balance, and over representation of depressive and mental disorders. It is incumbent on the industry to reconcile these issues. Specifically, what scope is there to shape the evolution of EPNs towards a configuration that both promotes sustainability generally, and enhances quality of work-life issues, while at the same time continuing to apprehend the economic dividends for which it is adopted? As salient as this question is, it has not been broached in the literature. This study, therefore, sets out to survey the extent to which EPNs align with the sustainability agenda, more broadly, and that of employee work-place satisfaction, more specifically.

Approach: A literature review of current knowledge of these concerns is explored and a summative assessment presented.

Findings: As the first in its kind, the study brings to light that EPNs go a long way towards facilitating economic objectives, part way towards realising ecological and sociological objectives, but make hardly any impact on improving employee work satisfaction.

Originality: This paper examines an entirely novel area that has henceforth, have not been studied. Future research should take up this finding to determine how EPNs may
be further adapted to accommodate these wider necessary objectives.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-12-2019-0343
Date: 13 June 2020
Uncontrolled Keywords: Engineering Project Networks, virtual teams, remote working, offshore outsourcing, sustainability, working unit
Subjects: K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Depositing User: Euan Scott
Date Deposited: 09 Jun 2020 09:01
Last Modified: 30 Jun 2020 15:44
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/9324

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