In the pursuit of sustainable building renovation: strategic partnerships and new business models in construction

Research output: Book/ReportPh.D. thesis

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As the building stock of the industrialized nations of the world ages and the demand for lower resource use, social responsibility and economic benefits increase in society, the increase in sustainable renovation projects is inevitable. This increases the complexity of building projects and traditional procurement methods often do not yield satisfactory results, leading some building clients to seek new ways of procuring building services, such as strategic partnerships. This leads to the key question this PhD thesis seeks to answer. When introducing a new relational contract type, such as strategic partnerships, how does this change the dynamics in the construction value chain?

As part of the PhD research’s theoretical framing Transaction Cost Economics enables analysis of change in procurement strategy and the suitability of relational contracts. Maturity models was used to evaluate organisational maturity when changing procurement practices and business models were used to examine how the companies in the construction value chain are challenged when entering into strategic partnerships. Since the subject of the research was organisations and companies a research philosophy of critical realism was used together with an abductive research approach. Both scoping and structured literature reviews were used to ground the research in the scientific literature. Using interviews, workshops, surveys, and case studies a mixed method research approach was used to insure reliability and validity.
Practitioner interviews and workshops, public procurement documents and case descriptions have given the research a solid empirical footing.

The results of the PhD research is a definition of the Danish model of strategic partnerships, the Construction Supply Chain Transaction maturity model, four construction value chain business model archetypes coupled with friction analysis and a taxonomy of relational contracts. The research has created a model for implementing innovative procurement practices in construction and maturity models to support procurement decisions in building client organisations, including strategic partnerships. It has also produced business model archetypes to analyse friction when Architect, Engineering and Contracting (AEC) companies and producers of building materials enter into strategic partnerships. Based on the literature reviews conducted, a taxonomy of relational contracts was created showing the connections between
Strategic Partnerships and the established relational contract types; Partnering, Alliancing and Integrated Project Delivery.

The work is relevant for practitioners, as it supports implementing new procurement strategies, developing organisational maturity and business models analysis tools to support strategic partnerships. A number of the results and models produced by the study have general applicability both in the construction industry and in other industries. These are also relevant for academics, who wish to develop definitions for types of relational contracts, models for organisational change or make research on business model innovation in the construction industry.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherTechnical University of Denmark
Number of pages239
Publication statusPublished - 2023


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