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Leading role or bit player? Main contractors, supply chain and sustainable construction.

Russell, Erica F. (2020) Leading role or bit player? Main contractors, supply chain and sustainable construction. Doctoral thesis, University of Surrey.

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Abstract

Driven by increased urbanisation, construction of buildings and infrastructure continues to grow worldwide, further exacerbating the social and environmental impacts created by this sector. Large scale projects, requiring thousands of component parts and globally sourced materials, flow across supply networks to construct built assets. Embodied within these supply networks are minerals, energy, water, labour, waste, modern slavery and other human rights abuses. This thesis focuses on the UK construction industry and the ability of the main contractor, a key procurer of materials and manager of the build process, to affect the sustainability of the final asset. This research is case study based on unprecedented access to staff and key suppliers of a major UK main contractor, Carillion plc. The work is an holistic approach to sustainability, incorporating both social and environmental lifecycle thinking, sustainable supply chain theory, and the fields of stakeholder and collaborative working. Applying grounded theory methodology, four major themes emerge from this inductive research; fragmentation, the role of focal nodes, inter- and intra-company collaboration and knowledge of sustainability. Set within the context of a lifecycle perspective they define the ability of the main contractor to directly implement or influence sustainable build. The research develops theory uniting economic equity, network actor perspective and life stage impacts. The findings demonstrate that operating within current unsustainable business models the main contractor can only play a bit role. Additionally, it provides the basis for recommendations on business model, policy and process change.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Divisions : Theses
Authors : Russell, Erica F.
Date : 31 January 2020
Funders : EPSRC - Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Carillion plc
DOI : 10.15126/thesis.00853330
Contributors :
ContributionNameEmailORCID
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSFrance, ChrisC.France@surrey.ac.uk
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSLee, JacquettaJ.Lee@surrey.ac.uk
http://www.loc.gov/loc.terms/relators/THSWinhall, Michael
Uncontrolled Keywords : construction, sustainable supply network, holistic, fragmentation, collaboration, lifecycle
Depositing User : Erica Russell
Date Deposited : 07 Feb 2020 13:01
Last Modified : 07 Feb 2020 13:01
URI: http://epubs.surrey.ac.uk/id/eprint/853330

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