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Boyd, D and Foss, P (1997) Developing intimacy in construction industry groups. In: Stephenson, P (Ed.), Proceedings 13th Annual ARCOM Conference, 15-17 September 1997, Cambridge, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 1, 42–51.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: construction; teams; intimacy; group processes
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0 86 339 759 X
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar1997-042-051_Boyd_and_Foss.pdf
  • Abstract:
    The construction industry is characterised by organisational fragmentation and short term tempory project interactions. This places a very high demand on individuals in project groups.; firstly, on their ability to perform effectively and rapidly in a coordinated manner, and secondly on teir personal satisfaction with work encounters. Many modern construction practices such as partnering rely on the relationships between people and their success is dependent on individuals' abilities to handle these new closer interpersonal interactions. this paper analyses the difficult interpersonal relationships created in construction through a number of socio-psychological models and reveals the consequences on the effeciency and effectiveness of the industry. The concept of 'intimacy' is used provocatively partly as an educational tool to get the industry to challenge its current practice and partly as a desired end state. The advantages of deeper more personally satisfying engagements between people at work, beyond the normal approaches to team building are discussed. The necessary skills to achieve such positive working practices are presented. In particular, the use of these ideas in a post experience Masters programme are analysed to demonstrate the possibilities of creating and using these conditions with construction industry groups. In this programme, individuals learn to give and accept intimacy and become able to facilitate its development within groups. The result is a more effective practice and more satisfied project people.