A model for supporting inter-organizational relations in the supply chain

Peter E.d. Love, Zahir Irani, Eddie Cheng, Heng Li

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

110 Citations (Scopus)


The construction industry is highly fragmented and adversarial in nature, which has resulted in it being criticized for its poor project performance and lack of innovation. To improve performance, particularly inter-organizational relations, organizations need to consider the formation of alliances with their project partners. Some construction organ- izations are beginning to initiate short-term alliances with their customers and suppliers as part of a supply chain management strategy. However, such short-term alliances inhibit feedback, which in turn supports learning and the development of mutual trust and cooperation. It is proffered that construction organizations should consider developing long-term alliances, so as to enable parties to form learning alliances. The implications of forming different types of strategic alliances/partnering in construction are discussed. An inter-organizational model that can be used to support learning and is founded on the principles of total quality management (TQM) is described. A case study is used to demonstrate that cooperative relationships can be used to cultivate a culture for reflective learning and mutual trust, beyond merely project-specific performance improvements.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2-15
Number of pages14
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Construction
  • Learning
  • Partnering
  • Strategic alliances
  • Total quality management (TQM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • General Business,Management and Accounting


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