The role of leaders' paradigm in construction industry change

Frens Pries, Andries G. Doree, Bas van der Veen, Bas van der Veen, Ruben Vrijhoef

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As in other industries, firms in the construction industry need to become more client- and market-oriented. In the last decade, several initiatives have been taken to change the construction industry in that direction. The changes, however, seem to be slower than other industries and less forthcoming than projected. Old practices and patterns die hard. Fundamental changes in orientation, strategy and strategy deployment require shifts in the management paradigms (i.e. the frames of mind that steer individual and collective behaviour). Management is seen as a crucial factor in these change processes, but can the new business be created by old management paradigms? Can the leaders in the construction industry shake off the old paradigms? An explorative quantitative study shows that the mainstream paradigm of construction industry leaders today is much as it was in the past: technology- and project-oriented. Acting out of this paradigm, issues as social-organizational change and strategic focus on the client regarded as important for the industry will probably not be addressed properly. Change initiatives could gain in success, when they create wider awareness of existence and persistence of incumbent and prevailing paradigms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-10
Number of pages12
JournalConstruction management and economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2004


  • Innovation
  • paradigms
  • construction management
  • Construction industry
  • METIS-207135
  • IR-58580
  • barriers to change


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