• Making sense of rework and its unintended consequence in projects: the emergence of uncomfortable knowledge

      Love, P.E.D.; Smith, J.; Ackermann, F.; Irani, Zahir (2019-04)
      To make sense of the rework phenomena that plagues construction projects a longitudinal exploration and mixed-method approach was undertaken to understand its causal setting and why it remained an on-going issue for organizations contracted to deliver an asset. The research reveals that rework was an zemblanity (i.e., being an unpleasant un-surprise) that resulted in: (1) project managers ignoring established organisation-wide procedures and, at their discretion, amend them to suit their own goals while denouncing the importance of recording and learning from non-conformances; (2) a deficiency of organisational controls and routines to contain and reduce rework; and (3) an absence of an organisation-project dyad that supported and promoted an environment of psychological safety. A new theoretical conceptualization of error causation that is intricately linked to rework and safety incidents is presented. The research provides managers with ‘uncomfortable knowledge’, which is needed to provide insights into the determinants of rework that form part of their everyday practice.