D.B.A. Baker College (Michigan), 2017.
Impact of design fees and duration of design process on construction quality: Implications for quality management
228 pages. UMI #: 10606886
Citation, Abstract & Full text in ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Database
The American construction industry is a trillion-dollar business. Errors that occur during the building process result in billions of dollars in lost revenue and time. The focus of this study was the project design phase, which occurs at the beginning of the construction process. The researcher investigated the fees paid to design professionals and the time allotted for the design process. The purpose was to better understand the relationship between time, fees, and the errors produced by the design professionals, which can lead to construction cost overruns and rework. The design process was also explored, using questionnaires and interviews, to understand if quality management techniques were being used and if quality management could be applied to improve the design process. The theoretical underpinnings for this mixed method study stemmed from the works of Deming, Senge, and the Six Sigma concept of y = f (x). The quantitative study sample (N = 515) was drawn from the New York State public construction agencies engaged in vertical construction. Interviewees (N = 7) were a subset of the quantitative sample. Two quantitative and three qualitative research questions guided the study. The research findings were compared with other studies that show a correlation between the independent variables of design fee and design duration and the dependent variable of errors and omissions (as a measure of quality on construction projects). The results indicated that there was no relationship between design fee and errors and omissions. The results did reveal a weak correlation between the time allotted to design professionals and errors and omissions. The qualitative analysis revealed firms’ adherence to traditional design procedures and a reliance on staff for effective communication and process execution. Firm leaders have been forced to develop techniques to mitigate the reduced fees and design duration in an industry that is slow to adopt change. The potential exists for introducing quality management into the design process as a path toward improvement.