Trust-Building in the Construction Project Delivery Process: A Relational Lookahead Tool for Managing Trust
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Low levels of productivity and recent evolutions in technology and practices are pushing the construction industry to collaborate on a higher level. A key component of effective collaboration is trust. Research also suggests that increased trust levels can lead to improved productivity in team performance. Trust appears to be valued by industry practitioners at the executive level but it also appears that active management of trust is minimal. With Design Science Research methodology as a framework, this project uses a mixed methods approach to develop and test a tool designed to assist in the management of trust levels between construction project participants. This project lays the groundwork for additional research into trust-building in construction by testing whether or not trust can be actively built and managed by rigorous analysis of current and upcoming relationships. In addition to supporting data from case studies, this was accomplished by introducing specific trust-building techniques into student group interactions and comparing changes in interpersonal trust levels to a control group of students. Results from the case studies and student experiment show some support for the idea that interpersonal trust levels, as perceived by the person making the attempts to build trust within the group, can be increased through use of a tool such as the one developed. Further testing and development is needed prior to wider industry application.
Smith, James Packer (2013). Trust-Building in the Construction Project Delivery Process: A Relational Lookahead Tool for Managing Trust. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from