CEM209-Managing Construction

Module Provider: School of Construction Management and Engineering, School of Built Environment
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: Basic management and and organisation theories
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Roger Flanagan

Email: r.flanagan@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The management of construction work requires a broad overview of management and organisational theories applied to the construction sector from the perspective of the project delivery team. While most of the work in the construction sector takes place on projects, the people who contribute to projects work in firms and other organisations. The module considers the importance of safety and health, production planning, logistics, environmental requirements, temporary works, quality assurance, and the management of the supply chain. The interfaces between various levels in construction organisations are made more complex because the work is done through projects. This module explores the complex interfaces in the management and organisation of construction work. It considers the changing nature of project delivery on the job site, with consideration of the regulatory environment and compliance requirements. Innovative approaches to project delivery will be explored.


The aim is to provide students with a range of tools and techniques for understanding and managing organisations and projects in construction. The focus is on the application of ideas to real-world situations.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On successful completion of the module, a student will be able to:

• Explain the scope and context of the construction sector and understand the position of construction organisations within the sector.

• Apply management and organisational theories to a range of practical and contemporary issues in the management of construction work on site.

• Develop control tools for projects in the context of the portfolio of work in a construction organ isation.

• Explain how construction firms manage site production to achieve an optimum level of profitability.

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

• Construction industry scope and context: The scale and importance of the industry, UK and international markets, trends and reports on future direction and shape of the industry. Visions and challenges for the future in major strategic reports relating to site production.

• Management theories and organisational studies: Review of prior learning and private study in relation to current trends in management innovations, organisational theory and practice. Case study of management and structure of a leading UK construction firm. Leadership, team working, influence and power and its application. Competitive advantage strategies. Relationship based business.

• The new workplace and developing management skills in relation to current issues such as, gender, new technology, digital communications, managing change, social media, leadership, engaging people, emotional intelligence, and decision making.

• Management of major and regio nal projects; features and differences. Case studies of projects. Integrated project working such as frameworks, joint ventures, and alliances. Supply chain management.

• Learning from successful projects.

• Managing risks in business and projects. The importance of health and safety, meeting the regulatory requirements and developing a health and safety plan. Managing quality on site. Site logistics. Off-site construction techniques.

• Commerci al management. The importance of bid selection, the bidding process and settlement. Commercial considerations; cash profiles, typical contractual amendments, summary of bonds, warranties and financial protection. Preserving margins. Brief coverage of integrated non-standard procurement approaches such as programme management, delivery partner(s), joint ventures.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The teaching is through lectures and seminars, augmented with guided independent study.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 4
Guided independent study: 76
Total hours by term 0 0
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

Formative assessment methods:

Active participation of students who have work experience internationally is encouraged to share experiences and knowledge. There will be discussion of the course content for the group assignment, with feedback in class groups, relevant to the assessed assignments.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:
A mark of 50 over all.

Reassessment arrangements:
Students are required to contact the School to confirm reassessment arrangements.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 4 April 2020


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