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Alharbi, M (2013) Architectural management: a strategic framework to achieve competitiveness, Unpublished PhD Thesis, Department of Civil and Building Engineering, Loughborough University.
- Type: Thesis
- Keywords: architectural management; grounded theory; interview; prototype development; questionnaire survey;
- URL: https://hdl.handle.net/2134/13477
The theoretical aspects of Architectural Management (AM) have been widely researched from a variety of international perspectives through the published research work of the CIB W096 Working Group. There is much less research, however, covering the transfer of these theoretical aspects into professional practice. There is a lack of a holistic approach towards defining AM, explaining what it constitutes, its deliverables to its users, whether there is a need for architectural managers, and if so, what are their qualifications. Similarly, there is a lack of research concerning the opinions of those outside the CIB W096 community with regard to Architectural Management. This research has contributed to the theory and practice of AM by conducting a combination of inductive/deductive, exploratory/explanatory, and qualitative/quantitative approaches in order to understand the exact meaning of AM; capture and detail its components; and to validate all these issues by examining the professional opinions of two groups: researchers and practitioners. The primary focus of this research was answering the question as to how AM can be transferred successfully from theory into practice. In order to answer this question, the research was divided into five consecutive phases. Firstly, reviewing the literature helped establish a solid theoretical background for the research, and it helped in highlighting the major gaps in knowledge associated with AM. Subsequently, and in response to the shortage of information within the AM literature, a preliminary study was found to be a useful source for gathering information about the meaning, components, benefits, strategies and requirements of AM, and the need for architectural managers. Then, both the data extracted from the literature and the data obtained through the preliminary study were analysed and combined, generating a framework for transferring AM from theory to practice using the grounded theory methodology. Then the AM framework testing process was conducted in three stages through a workshop, interviews, and questionnaire survey examining the professional perspectives of architectural researchers (within and outside the CIB W096) and the leaders of UK architectural firms. The final stage involved discussing and synthesising the data obtained through the entire course of this research and generating conclusions. During its testing and after refinement, the newly proposed AM framework proved its practicality and usefulness for transferring Architectural Management from theory to practice. The findings indicated that the decision to adopt AM should be taken at the firm’s strategic management level; and there is a need for a facilitator expert in design, management and construction to lead the successful adoption and application of AM. Similarly, the findings revealed that adopting AM in practice has the capability to increase a firm’s competitiveness. However, this requires effective communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing within the firm’s internal and external environments. Similarly, the findings indicated the crucial role of basic and vocational architecture education in spreading the concept of AM and assuring its successful application.