American Society of Civil Engineers

Construction Crises As Periods of Social Adjustment

by M. Loosemore, (Sr. Lect., School of Build., Univ. of New South Wales, Sydney 2052, Australia; formerly, Sr. Lect., Ctr. for Res. in the Built Environment, Univ. of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, Mid Glamorgan, CF37 1DL, UK)

Journal of Management in Engineering, Vol. 13, No. 4, July/August 1997, pp. 30-37, (doi:

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Document type: Journal Paper
Abstract: A construction crisis initiates a period of social adjustment within its host organization. During a construction crisis, people attempt to mold the structure of social relationships in order to serve their interests in the new order that emerges. This paper reports research that has investigated this period of social adjustment, but, in particular, the motives which drive people to pursue particular social structures. The findings suggest that the process of decision making and the exercise of power in the pursuit of relational control are key aspects of the construction crisis management process. They also elucidate the reasons why construction project participants attempt to manipulate the social structure of a project organization in a specific way. The findings will be of value to construction project managers by helping them make more informed judgements in dealing with construction crises.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Human factors