The effect of using group decision support system (GDSS) on virtual value management workshops for major construction projects

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The effect of using group decision support system (GDSS) on virtual value management workshops for major construction projects


Author: Yuan, Zhao
Title: The effect of using group decision support system (GDSS) on virtual value management workshops for major construction projects
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2014
Subject: Decision support systems.
Group decision making.
Construction industry -- Management.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Building and Real Estate
Pages: xvii, 222 pages : illustrations ; 30 cm
Language: English
InnoPac Record:
Abstract: The construction industry is struggling to meet its customers' demands for value for money for their projects, especially for major projects because there are so many stakeholders such as the client, government agencies, specialist consultants, contractors and subcontractors. As suggested by the HKSAR Construction Industry Review Committee, many of these problems could be avoided through more thorough consideration at the planning and design stages. This problem has been rectified to some extent by the practice of Value Management (VM), in which stakeholders of major construction projects work together in a workshop, to systematically and proactively improve value for money for the projects by providing the required functions and specifications at the lowest life cycle cost, and eliminating potential sources of wastage and inefficiencies. For a number of practical reasons such as time and cost savings, there is an increasing need to conduct VM workshops virtually, with participants of the workshops dispersed geographically. The lack of understanding of the effects of this special setting on the processes and outcomes of the VM workshops, however, poses a serious problem to the use of VM for major construction projects. This research aims at improving the performance of virtual VM workshops through the use of remote Group Decision Support Systems (GDSS) to facilitate workshop participants in their search for value for money; and investigating to what extent the use of remote GDSS affect the processes and outcomes of virtual VM workshops where participants are geographically dispersed and rely on mediated (rather than face-to-face) communication to produce outcomes?
The research objectives of this investigation are: (1) To identify the essential features and functions to be possessed by a purposely-designed GDSS in order to support virtual VM workshops for major construction projects; (2) To validate and verity the extent to which a purposely-designed GDSS can support the completion of various tasks in a virtual workshop environment; and (3) To investigate and evaluate the extent to which the use of a purposely-designed GDSS affects the processes and outcomes of virtual VM workshops. These objectives have been achieved by adopting a group of rigorous research methods involving literature review, system development, system validation, experimental studies, interviews and questionnaire survey. A conceptual framework of virtual VM workshop was proposed based on the features of virtual team and virtual collaboration, in order to guide the implementation of virtual VM studies. A specific remote GDSS named as virtual value management system (VVMS) has been developed for realising virtual VM workshops in practice. Two experimental virtual VM workshops were conducted to achieve the research objectives mainly through a systematic approach using purpose-designed experimental studies conducted in Hong Kong. The results of the experimental studies have been analysed and discussed as well as of a questionnaire survey specifically conducted for the purposes of this research. The results have shown that GDSS is a useful technology to support the implementation of virtual VM studies with satisfactory effectiveness and efficiency. In particular, the creativity of virtual VM workshop participants could be significantly stimulated in virtual context. Finally, a number of issues which have major potential impact on the performance of virtual VM workshop were identified and discussed in details. This project leads to new knowledge and improved understanding of the actions, processes and changes in virtual VM workshops for major construction projects. The findings of this investigation are likely to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of collaborative working of multiple stakeholders in a virtual workshop, and to have a significant impact on the way these workshops are managed and conducted to ensure best value for these projects.

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