The importance of a collaborative environment to achieve success in projects has been widely discussed in the literature and different mechanisms have been developed and introduced to support a collaborative approach to construction projects, i.e. new forms of agreement, new office arrangements, financial incentives, a shared risk and reward approach, the development of shared goals, etc. However, the literature related to these mechanisms is predominantly prescriptive, with little evidence and justification on why some of these mechanisms might be important to support collaboration. In this paper, we focus on discussing the development of shared goals as a means to support collaboration. We collected findings from two case studies in which an explicit process for goal setting and tracking was used to emphasize a collaborative environment. The technique used in these projects are not new and have been documented elsewhere. However, the benefits of these kind of techniques to support collaboration have not been fully explored in the lean construction community. Thus, the intent of this paper is to report some of the benefits that a goal setting exercise brought to two construction projects while having a theoretical discussion to explain why such process can be beneficial and should also be considered - along with other mechanisms - as an important element to support collaboration.

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