Construction Management in Practice


Construction Management in Practice Second edition

The first edition of Construction Management in Practice appeared in 1982.

Since then there have been significant changes in the construction

industry and its practices (outlined in chapter 1) and the new edition

reflects these changes.

Chapters 2 and 3 on strategic management have been completely 
rewritten to reflect recent developments in strategic thinking and the way 

in which construction firms are now thinking more strategically. 

Trades unions have always been undermined in the construction 

industry by the self-employment system, which has increased in the 

last 20 years; this was exacerbated by the introduction of legislation to 
limit the power of unions during the Thatcher era. The chapter on 
industrial relations, whilst still dealing with the mechanics of collective 
bargaining, focuses more on management roles and empowerment of 
the work force.

As is pointed out in chapter 1, accident statistics for the construction 
industry have improved but are still far too high. Chapter 5 revisits the 

problem, again emphasising the current magnitude of the problem and 

reviewing the more stringent legislation which has been put in place since 

1980. In particular, it emphasises the changing attitudes to health and
safety and the need for the construction industry to adopt safer working 
Two chapters in the first edition on manpower planning and personnel 
management have been consolidated into a single chapter on managing 

people. The human resource management (HRM) function is still 

undervalued in most construction firms and the need to audit current and 

future needs for staff is often avoided by citing the need in the industry
for firms to retain flexibility. The result is the well-known skill shortages, 
which the industry perpetually suffers. Until HRM issues are included in 

the strategic thinking and planning of construction firms, this problem 

will continue. This leads to the second aspect of HRM dealt with in this 

chapter ± the need to attract and offer career development opportunities 

to young people. Staff and operative levels are discussed, as is the recent 
use of learning networks to create learning organisations in the con- 
struction industry. 
Chapters 7, 8 and 9 have been revised to reflect changes in financial 

management and accounting practices since 1982.


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