Quality management programs in the construction industry: Best value compared with other methodologies

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62 Scopus citations


The drive to maintain competitiveness by increasing performance has been an ever-present goal of industries within the global market. Although many industries have benefited from classical quality management programs such as total quality management (TQM), lean production, and six sigma, the construction industry has remained primarily unaffected. This paper analyzes these three popular programs, the basis for their success and failures, and their documented level of susceptibility in the construction industry. These programs are then contrasted to the best value system, an owner-driven quality program that has been tested recently in the construction industry and documented to produce encouraging results. On the basis of the findings, it is proposed that most quality management programs are designed to be instigated by the vendor, by improving the company's ability to deliver a quantifiable, replicable product or service. This is significant because it indicates that although the underlying principles of the classic quality management programs are relevant to all markets, the processes and methods of application may be inappropriate for an industry that dispenses highly diverse or integrated products or services, such as construction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-219
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Management in Engineering
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2011


  • Best value
  • Construction industry
  • Lean
  • Quality control
  • Quality management
  • Six sigma
  • TQM

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • General Engineering
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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