Coaching at the Building Site – A Feasibility Study

Christian Koch, Morten Alsdorf, Dag Sander

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Coaching has become widely used in business, and is well described. However it is rarely used in construction. This makes a contrast to the poor performance of site interaction, leading to a vast amount of reported cooperation and coordination problems. This paper investigates the feasibility of a coaching approach to site management. The coach is a person who helps and guides another person or group to maximize his /their own capacity. Coaching arguably is useful in many different work situations, for example problem solving, group working and planning. These assumptions are evaluated through observations in a building site operating with lean construction, where the managers did not use coaching consciously in their interaction with employees. 29 participant observations of five of the managers at the building site were carried out, at individual- and group meetings. Coaching can be used successfully at a building site, in certain specific situations. The feeling of security is important for the focus persons at the building site and is best obtained in the open air. The way the leader acts towards the employee/focus person is decisive. Consciousness and responsibility is developed by the manager asking relevant questions back, instead of just answering the employees’ questions. It would be appropriate to inform about the use of coaching in the beginning of a building project. The situations not suitable for coaching are for example those where an order has to be given, or in situations where a dialogue would work better
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings 22th Annual Conference ARCOM : Association of Researchers in Construction Management
EditorsDavid Boyd
Number of pages1029
Volumevol 1
Place of PublicationBirmingham
PublisherARCOM, Association of Researchers in Construction Management
Publication date2006
ISBN (Print)0-9552390-0-1
Publication statusPublished - 2006
Event22nd Conference Association of Researchers in Construction Management - University of Western England, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 4 Sep 20066 Sep 2006
Conference number: 22


Conference22nd Conference Association of Researchers in Construction Management
LocationUniversity of Western England
CountryUnited Kingdom


  • lean construction
  • building site
  • Denmark
  • coaching


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