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6.3 Survey findings

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub

CHAPTER 6

ISO 9000 for small construction firms

6.1 Introduction

The application of ISO 9000 Quality Management Systems (QMS) seems to be confined presently to the larger construction firms and not their smaller counterparts. However, many of the smaller firms are employed by large construction firms as their subcontractors. It therefore appears that QMS should also be extended to the smaller construction firms if the long-term objective of developing a construction industry which is capable of producing consistently good quality work is to be achieved (Low, 1995). This chapter presents the findings of a survey which examined the reasons why small construction firms are not receptive to ISO 9000. It also suggests measures to overcome some of the hurdles currently faced by small construction firms when developing and implementing quality management systems within their organisations. Total Quality Management within the construction industry can be achieved only when both large and small contractors have implemented quality management systems in their operations.

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2.1 Introduction

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub

CHAPTER 2

Behavioural influence of ISO 9000

2.1 Introduction

The ISO 9000 standard is a quality management system which involves every employee within an organisation, both directly and indirectly. As a management system, it requires discipline within an organisation to ensure that procedures are followed closely by all employees. Unless everyone contributes with the right attitude, the system will not function properly. While documentation is the key to implementation, top management’s commitment, the generous provision of resources and a positive attitude towards ISO 9000 are important attributes which underpin quality management systems. Quality management systems do not function effectively without the support of senior management.

In reality, however, things are not always smooth going. It is human nature to resist change, even for the better. Apart from employees’ reluctance to follow a set of rigid procedures, they may also perceive it as pointless to document procedures for activities which they have been doing every day for many years. The failure of management in securing co-operation and co-ordination adds to difficulties in implementing quality systems. Furthermore, organisation politics is another reality which should not be ignored for managing quality systems effectively. While the technical requirements of ISO 9000 are important, studies have suggested that other non-technical, irrational and socio-political factors may have an equally adverse influence on quality management systems (Seymour and Low, 1990; Low, 1989, 1993).

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Vernacular Architecture

Henry Glassie Indiana University Press ePub

BUILDINGS, LIKE POEMS and rituals, realize culture. Their designers rationalize their actions differently. Some say they design and build as they do because it is the ancient way of their people and place. Others claim that their practice correctly manifests the universally valid laws of science. But all of them create out of the smallness of their own experience.

All architects are born into architectural environments that condition their notions of beauty and bodily comfort and social propriety. Before they have been burdened with knowledge about architecture, their eyes have seen, their fingers have touched, their minds have inquired into the wholeness of their scenes. They have begun collecting scraps of experience without regard to the segregation of facts by logical class. Released from the hug of pleasure and nurture, they have toddled into space, learning to dwell, to feel at home. Those first acts of occupation deposit a core of connection in the memory.

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6 - Unstable Landscapes of Property, Morality, and Status

Fehérváry, Krisztina ePub

EARLY IN THIS book, I recounted an incident in which a university student from Dunaújváros nodded out the window of our bus at a silver car speeding by and remarked, “If everyone had a car like that, that would be normal!” In one breath, this young man summed up a complex mixture of expectation and disappointment. As with widespread invocations of a counterfactual “normal” in Hungary, he expressed the socialist middle strata's frustrated expectations for the kind of life they had assumed would be ushered in by democracy and a free market. Simultaneously, he delineated places and kinds of behavior in Hungary that conformed to such expectations. His insistence that “everyone” was entitled to a car like that also highlighted the fact that most people were still sitting on the bus. At the same time, these people could see that others—often inexplicably—enjoyed not only “normal” material goods and environments but far more lavish ones. Just as disturbing was the emergence of a visible homeless population as well as the regular sight of impoverished pensioners selling small, straggly bouquets of daisies on street corners.

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4.9 Evaluation of subcontractors

Low Sui Pheng Chartridge Books Oxford ePub

CHAPTER 4

Legal implications for the construction industry

4.1 Introduction

Traditionally, a client’s expectations with regard to quality in construction works are ensured and upheld by building contracts. With the recent emergence of ISO 9000 quality management systems, however, the definition and assurance of quality have taken on a new dimension. Many contractors have since applied quality management systems in their organisations without understanding its intricate relationship with the building contract used. This chapter examines the likely conflicts and compatibility between Standard Forms of Building Contract and quality management systems. An understanding of the possible legal obligations that may arise from adopting a quality management system contractually will help contractors and clients protect their interests when defects arise. In addition, many contractors are in the process of establishing their quality management systems to increase their competitive and bidding edge.

This trend has raised questions as to the application of quality systems to Standard Forms of Building Contracts in the construction industry. There is a tendency for both the Quality Manager and Construction Manager to consider quality systems and their associated legal obligations separately from building contracts. This may be acceptable when the quality system is still in its infancy stage. As the quality system matures, however, there would be unavoidable interaction between quality systems and contractual/legal obligations at different levels, especially when there is evidence of reliance by the purchaser on certification such as ISO 9000.

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