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Assignment On Construction Industry Of Saudi Arabia

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Added on  2019-09-25

Assignment On Construction Industry Of Saudi Arabia

   Added on 2019-09-25

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Barriers to implement lean construction practices in the Saudi Arabian
construction industry
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has witnessed the huge scale of construction during the last
decades. However, many projects experienced time delay, cost overrun and generated
massive wastes. To address these challenges, lean construction has been introduced to the
Saudi construction industry, however, is still at its infancy stage. This study aimed to
investigate the current state of lean construction and specifically current barriers associated
with the implementation of lean practices in the Saudi construction industry through a broad
questionnaire survey. Through extensive literature review 22 potential barriers were
identified and analysed using statistical tools. Results show that “Influence of traditional
management on construction” is the top ranked barriers identified by questionnaire survey
from Saudi construction firms. On the other hand, “Use of non-standard components” and
“uncertainty in supply chains” are ranked at the bottom of the list of potential barriers in the
Saudi construction industry. User end preferences and lack of training and tools are also
important barriers to be eliminated for successful implementation of lean practices in the
Saudi construction industry.
Keywords: Lean construction, Barriers, Saudi construction industry, Implementation,
Principal component analysis
Assignment On Construction Industry Of Saudi Arabia_1
1. Introduction
Poor performance of the construction industry is the result of inefficiency and ineffective of
traditional managerial approaches (Sambasivan and Soon, 2007). Lean construction has
emerged as an innovative concept based on ‘lean thinking’ to minimize waste and enhance
the value for the customer (Howel, 2001). The first Lean concept was derived from the
Toyota production system (TPS) and got huge appreciation, and its evolved form are used
in the construction industry which is bringing efficiency. Every stage in a construction
project is important and lean practices emphasis on increasing efficiency of work at every
stage (Banawi, 2013). Lean construction also minimizes the direct cost of effective project
delivery management and assists in making informed project decisions at all levels of the
project. In addition, lean construction practices ensure a continuous learning environment
and lesson learned are useful for future implementation of overall construction process in a
firm (Lehman & Reiser, 2000). As a result, there is an increased awareness among
construction industries about the benefits of using lean practices as the modern way to
enhance productivity and project performance (Abdel-Razek et al., 2007). The application
of lean construction principles, techniques and methods have the potential to address the
needs of construction at industry level.
However, adoption of new management approach is not an easy process because of resistance
from practitioners and traditional system maturity. Various studies (e.g. Johansen, 2007; Jin,
2008; Alinaitwe, 2009; Abdullah, 2009; Sarhan, 2013; Husaain, 2014;) have identified a
number of barriers involved for implementation of lean construction in this respect. Some of
the evident barriers are improper understanding and implementation of this concept. This
raises concern in adapting the method with other methodologies such as total quality
amangement and six sigma. Additionally, country specific characteristics such as culture,
professional practices etc. play a very vital role. The individuals of different countries are
prepared to work on their own unique style. Therefore, the implementation of methods that
require them to adapt to new practices usually calls for conflicts (David and Fahey, 2000).
The construction industry of Saudi Arabia is facing problems in measuring and improving the
performance (Bannah, 2012). Common problems are not limited to time delays (Assaf, 2006),
cost overruns (Harris, 2014), poor safety and quality issues (AMEInfor, 2014). Some issues
like fragmentation andsubcontracting are prevalent in most of the construction activities
(Sarhan and Fox, 2013). To adderss these problems, lean construction has been introduced
Assignment On Construction Industry Of Saudi Arabia_2
into the Saudi construction industry and there was no actual evidence of such practice prior to
2013 (AlSehaimi et al, 2014, p. 2). Al-Sudairi (2007) reported that lean practices have
significantly improved the project performance, especially at trade level by reducing waste
involved in production. Desipte so, lean construction in Saudi Arabia is still in its infancy.
The implementation of lean construction concepts in complex projects hasn’t taken place yet.
Neverthelss, no research has been performed to date to investigate the barriers involved in the
implementation of lean construction in Saudi construction industry.
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Therfore this paper aims to understand what hinders the implementation of lean construction
practices in the Saudi construction industry. Using a broad questionnaire survey, different
barriers and challenges will be identified. The findings of this research will help different
stakeholders better understand and overcome such barriers, specifically those highly
important. Eventually, the benefits of lean construction practices can be achieved effectively
by the Saudi Arabian construction industry in the wide spectrum.
2. Overview of barriers for lean construction implementation
Recent years have seen a growing international academic interest in lean construction
(Koskela, 1992; Alarc¢n, 1997; Howell and Ballard, 1998), mainly seeking to investigate the
extent to which the Japanese model of lean production can be applied to the construction
industry. The term 'lean production’ is commonly used to describe the Toyota manufacturing
system as applied within the car industry (Womack et al., 1990). The concept of lean has its
foundation in the deployment of reproduction activities by Fredrick Winslow Taylor
(Taylor’s theory) and its best historical implementation was based on Henry’s Ford’s
conveyor belt invention that led to mass production observed in the 19th century (Vieira
&Caehadinha, 2011). In the UK, the ideas of `lean thinking’ have been strongly endorsed in
the influential ‘Egan Report’ (DETR, 1998).
Flanagan et al. (1998) and Saad and Jones (1998) have advocated the application of lean
thinking to construction. They have asserted that the inclusion of lean thinking to the
construction bring appreciable changes in the way things are carried out on the ground. The
application of lean thinking impacts the existing procedures and brings efficiency if followed
Assignment On Construction Industry Of Saudi Arabia_5
The barriers concerning culture and human attitudes, finance, and reliance on traditional
methods are evident (Sarhan and Fox, 2013). Researchers all over the world are concerned
with investigating the different barriers and hurdles in the successful implementation of lean
practices in the construction industry. The successive sections discusses the various areas that
are under consideration.
Management and leadership
Adopting new techniques and implementing it successfully much relies on the commitment
of top managment as they are policy maker for any firm. Since top management in any
construction firm is much more concerned about profit of the company, they may not be
aware of the current practices and trend in construction. Support and commitment from top
management has been considered very important for lean implementation (Radnor, 2010;
Suárez-Barraza and Ramis-Pujol, 2010), and specifically necessary element in implementing
Just in Time (JIT) and Total Quality Management (TQM) in construction (Low and Teo,
2004; Low and Chan, 1997). Otherwise, some management policies may hinder in successful
implementation of proper lean practices, which has been observed and discussed in Germany
and Finland construction industry (Johansen & Walter, 2007; Koskela, 1997).
Organizational culture
Organizational culture is of great importance to people and they normally don’t want to
change it. They prefer staying in the comfort zone for long (Hornstein, 2015). The inclusion
of lean methods would call them to get out of their comfort zone and adapt to something new.
Such changes are bound to face resistance from these employees or people. A lean culture has
specific dimensions that define the behaviour of the employees (Womack and Jones, 1996)
This requires a different attitude and can be sometime difficult to follow through if one is
unaware of the importance and activities under consideration.
People don’t want change and it’s difficult to convince someone to adopt a new practice and
leave what they used to do for a very long time. In order to adopt lean practices workers are
asked to follow new production systems, working relationships, expectations about
productivity, quality. All of these can be scary and uncomfortable for workers (Sim and
Rogers, 2009; de Souza and Pidd, 2011). There are many stakeholders in a complex
organizational hierarchy of any big construction firm.
Techincal knowledge
Assignment On Construction Industry Of Saudi Arabia_6

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