Role of action research in dealing with a traditional process

Seirgei Rosario Miller, Henderikus L. ter Huerne, Andries G. Doree

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Over the last few years, since a parliamentary enquiry into the construction industry, the business environment in the Netherlands has changed dramatically, not least in the road construction sector. According to Dorée (2004), the collusion structure that regulated competition has fallen apart. Public clients have introduced new contracting schemes containing incentives for better quality of work (Sijpersma and Buur, 2005). These new types of contracts, tougher competition and the urge to make a distinction in the market, have spurred companies to press ahead with product and process improvement. These changes have significantly altered the playing field for competition. The companies see themselves confronted with new ‘rules of the game’. Performance contracting and longer guarantee periods have created different sets of risk, but also incentives. In general, companies are experiencing pressure from new types of competition and other rules and trends, but at the same time they recognize the need and the opportunity to differentiate themselves. The road construction sector offers valuable insights into how this new order is shaping an industry that has been used to longstanding ways of working. This chapter examines one important aspect of road construction - the asphalt paving process. By focusing on a well defined and economically significant area, it is possible to mount an in-depth study with reasonable expectation of being able to take and apply the methodology and insights to other sectors of construction. In an effort to outperform competitors, asphalt paving companies are seeking better control over the paving process, over the planning and scheduling of resources and work, and over performance. Improved control can also reduce the risks of failure of the paving during the period of guarantee. To be able to achieve these goals, the relevant operational parameters need to be known and the relationships between these parameters have to be thoroughly understood. For asphalt paving companies to be able to improve both product and process performance, they need to develop a more sophisticated understanding of the asphalt paving process and the interdependencies within it.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPerformance improvement in construction management
EditorsBrian Atkin, Jan Borgbrant
Place of PublicationLondon, United Kingdom
PublisherCRC Press/Balkema
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780203876084
ISBN (Print)978-0-415-54598-3
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameSpon research
PublisherSpon Press


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