Partnering as a process of unlearning

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    Over the last decades interest in partnering arrangements has increased enormously. Recent critics have stated that prescriptive approaches dominate the discussion on partnering in construction. There is a lack of multiple perspectives on the partnering phenomenon including its economic, social, organisational and institutional context. Taking this criticism as a starting point, this paper investigates the partnering of a road maintenance contract from an activity-theoretical perspective. The results of the case study show that partnering can be described as a process of unlearning. That is, the implementation of a closer relationship between client and contractor contradicts and challenges the behaviour and working style that project team members had internalized and been used to. Team members are trapped by the beliefs and values they had cultivated throughout the years. Hence, establishing partnering is not only a matter of learning new knowledge and adjusting existing
    working processes. First of all, it requires discarding old routines and behaviour and overcoming vicious circles of reinforcing perceptions.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationW102 - Special Track 18th CIB World Building Congress, May 2010 Salford, United Kingdom
    EditorsPeter Barrett, Dilanthi Amaratunga, Richard Haigh, Kaushal Keraminiyage, Chaminda Pathirage
    Place of PublicationSalford, United Kingdom
    PublisherUniversity of Salford
    Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2010
    Event18th CIB World Building Congress 2010 - Salford, United Kingdom
    Duration: 10 May 201013 May 2010

    Publication series

    NameCIB Publication


    Conference18th CIB World Building Congress 2010
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • Partnering
    • Unlearning
    • Activity theory
    • Case study


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