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Charoenngam, C and Maqsood, T (2001) A qualitative approach in problem solving process tracing of construction site engineers. In: Akintoye, A (Ed.), Proceedings 17th Annual ARCOM Conference, 5-7 September 2001, Salford, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 1, 475–83.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: construction experience; decision making; site management; site engineer
- ISBN/ISSN: 0 9534161 6 X
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2001-475-483_Charoenngam_and_Maqsood.pdf
The construction project success greatly depends upon the effectiveness of problem solving process exercised by site managers. This process has been explored to investigate factors impeding its effectiveness. Ninety-nine civil engineers were presented with common on-site problems through various informal intuitive and formal non-intuitive tools and techniques. The nature of tools employed is found to have an effect on problem recognition. Factors like management and technical cognitive styles, the phenomenon of 'selective perception,' non-existence of mental models of problem and cognitive biases are found associated with informal tools usages. The study reveals a lack of meta-cognitive awareness among some engineers regarding the problem solving process and their role as a site manager. Non-intuitive formal tools help frame the problems in a more rational and logical way not affected by these psychological factors. The use of non-intuitive tools employed was not found to be difficult and their non-use may be attributed to the unawareness of the existence of such tools. Variations in the problem solving processes exercised by the engineers question the present definition of experience and its value as a measurement of expertise. The focus group interview approach assisted to develop some insights into the current practice of site managers.