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The Value of Trust in Construction Supply Chains

Xu, Jing; (2019) The Value of Trust in Construction Supply Chains. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract Construction supply chains have a high level of specialism and involve loosely-coupled and relatively self-contained subsystems. Value is always co-created in networks of relationships. Effective relationships between those representing their respective organisations in the project are necessary for effective integration and healthy interdependencies to grow and be maintained. Relationships in construction supply chains have been featured as transactional and do not always generate effective working. Collaboration has been repeatedly proposed to counteract these trends and trust has been identified as a key success indicator. Yet less research interest has been in trust dynamically co-created through service interactions and levering value for those involved. This thesis aims to demonstrate the dynamic value of trust in construction supply chains, in particular relationships between main contractors and second-tier subcontractors, an under-researched area by supply chain and project management bodies of knowledge (BoKs). Taking the perspective of structuration theory and service- dominant logic (S-DL), this process-based research focuses on supply chain relationships in service ecosystems. Seventy-one semi-structured interviews were conducted at the preconstruction, then execution and finally completion stage of three construction projects. The findings reveal that trust development is both an intended and unintended process and involves various types of interaction. It is found that the interplay between different types of interactions can form the trust phenomenon in which the value of trust unfolds. Trust helps increase service value by improving the service experiences of those involved; the better service enables higher performance levels. The study also demonstrates the conditions for trust in terms of structures of service ecosystems and time. This study contributes to knowledge in that it 1) theoretically and empirically demonstrates the value of trust and relationship in construction project management and supply chain disciplines, 2) advances the relational approach in both disciplines and 3) links trust and relational concepts with S-DL.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: The Value of Trust in Construction Supply Chains
Event: UCL (University College London)
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © The Author 2019. Original content in this thesis is licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) Licence (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). Any third-party copyright material present remains the property of its respective owner(s) and is licensed under its existing terms. Access may initially be restricted at the author’s request.
Keywords: Trust, Construction supply chains, Value co-creation, Collaboration, Inter-organisational relationships
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > The Bartlett Sch of Const and Proj Mgt
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10072053
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