Journal article

Are construction clients ready to lead the lean initiative?

Lean principles Literature review Stakeholders Middle East

Research Question: What are the current competencies of construction clients that can facilitate the implementation of lean projects? How evolved are these competencies for clients to assume their crucial role in such a process?

Purpose: The client plays a vital role in driving and setting the project framework thus greatly influencing the successful implementation of lean. However, this issue has not been given due attention in the literature. This study aims at identifying the status of the characteristics, behaviors and practices of Middle Eastern construction clients.

Research Method: A thorough literature review to identify the lean competencies of clients, the categorizing of the most relevant factors related to the role and impact of clients, and the analysis of the data collected through an online data collection survey.

Findings: Results reveal that clients are regarded as knowledgeable and involved. However, they seem to persist in taking unilateral decisions, to focus on short-term financial goals while neglecting the importance of enforcing collaboration measures.

Limitations: The assessment of construction client’s competencies was done from the perspective of designers and contractors instead of that of clients.

Implications: This study paves the road for future studies to further dwell into the critical role of construction clients in promoting the successful implementation of lean.

Value for practitioners: Gives insight into the behavior and lean-enabling competencies of clients to designers and contractors desiring to work with clients in emerging countries.

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