Understanding the effects that teamwork has on project implementation as a part of the project management framework is vital to UK companies in all industries. Therefore, studying the numerous levels at which teamwork is connected to project implementation and project management is central to effective performance. This paper seeks to review recent studies addressing different aspects of teamwork being related to project management and, specifically, project implementation. Due to the opportunities to increase the efficacy of communication, leadership, conflict management, quality management, data processing, and a range of other issues, teamwork must be seen as an indispensable part of project implementation.
Quickly becoming one of the more lucrative businesses in the UK, the construction industry has flourished substantially to engage in massive projects. However, to ensure that projects in construction companies are implemented impeccably, factors that may possibly improve or impede team members’ performance must be isolated and assessed. Since a seamless transition from one stage of project management to another is vital and since the current project management context often suggests a multinational scale, ensuring teamwork may be a problem (Zaman, 2020). Therefore, the aim of this paper is to investigate the impact of teamwork on project performance in the construction industry in the United Kingdom. In turn, the key objectives include: 1. investigating the effect of teamwork on project performance in the United Kingdom construction industry, including data management, quality improvement, communication and conflict management, innovation, HRM practices, risk management, and related issues; 2. Identifying the various ways in which teamwork affects project implementation, specifically in the UK construction industry; and 3. analyzing how different elements of teamwork influence the performance of projects in the construction industry in the United Kingdom. This paper consists of an introduction, followed by an explanation of the methodology, a literature review of the existing studies on the issue and a conclusion summarising the results.
This research will use secondary data as its key source of information. Specifically, studies on the subject matter will be examined to identify the presence of a correlation between the extent and efficacy of teamwork and the project performance rate within construction companies in the UK. Eight research papers will be selected, the key inclusion criteria being them being published in peer-reviewed journals over the past five years, addressing the issue of teamwork in project management, focusing on construction in the UK and written by experts in the area of project management. The review will be structured thematically, with the philosophy and methods explained first, then proceeding to the appraisal of the findings and concluding with the discussion of the results’ relevance and significance for the construction industry.
Key Findings and Discussion
The conceptual nature of research philosophies and methods considered in this paper is exceptionally varied. Each of the eight articles analyzed in this study introduces a unique perspective on the issue of teamwork in project management, offering a specific manner of assessing its importance and role in addressing issues related to implementing projects in the construction industry environment. Most of the articles considered in this review represent the qualitative research method due to the focus on the nature of the relationships within the project management setting. Therefore, phenomenology as the basis for the conceptual nature of most of the studies, can be considered the dominant framework. Furthermore, the philosophical approach that each of the studies adopts stems from the broader perspective into which the authors place their work. As a result, all of the articles considered below embrace broader themes of quality management, leadership and communication in a workplace setting while also addressing industry- and project-specific issues. As a result, a thorough and nuanced assessment of the issue is provided.
The impact that teamwork has on risk management is another crucial point raised by several authors in their evaluation of the factors conducive to the successful implementation of projects in general and project management in the construction industry in particular. Specifically, Shayan et al. (2019, p. 5) mention that teamwork is vital to risk avoidance in the project management context since “risk management is teamwork by its nature.” Therefore, the study proves the crucial role that teamwork has in the successful completion of corporate projects, particularly in the construction area. Thus, while the research can be considered as bound by some of the limitations associated with the chosen method of data collection and analysis, its outcomes are undeniably important for the further improvement of the quality of project implementation in the construction industry environment in the UK.
Marinelli and Salopek (2019) describe a similar premise, emphasizing the crucial role that teamwork has in addressing the issue of risk management within a project. Specifically, Marinelli and Salopek (2019) detail that the ability to introduce a proper risk and the skill of collaborating within a project context represent two of the critical success factors for project management. However, the study also adds an ethical dimension to the issue, outlining the increase in responsibility among team members once the principles of teamwork are established (Marinelli & Salopek, 2019). Since risk management is especially important in the construction industry due to exposure to the threat of injury, the described outcome of teamwork is especially valuable for project management and its successful implementation. For this reason, the study in question can be seen as vital in adjusting the current UK construction environment so that its members could collaborate not only within the setting of a single company but also on a cross-disciplinary and cross-professional level, sharing knowledge actively and promoting further industrial development.
The positive impact of teamwork on project management within the construction industry can also be viewed through the lens of information processing and transfer. Papadonikolaki et al. (2019) assert that the focus on teamwork allows for enhancing data management within a team due to better connectivity and the focus on interdisciplinary collaboration (Papadonikolaki et al., 2019). The outlined perspective implies that teamwork is highly beneficial to project management in the UK construction industry setting, where international cooperation requires a high level of efficacy in data management so that all participants can remain informed and so that misunderstandings can be avoided (Papadonikolaki et al., 2019). The specified outcome also leads to a drop in delays, which also affects project management positively. In other words, the study in question can be used to develop the framework for aligning core project implementation issues with the rest of corporate processes, thus, allowing team members to utilize the available time more effectively and minimize the costs typically caused by delays.
Another critical facet of the array of positive effects that teamwork has on the construction industry environment, particularly in the UK setting, concerns the opportunity to promote change management. The research by Zaman (2020) details that, among others, the opportunities to implement the transformational leadership framework within a project where teamwork is prioritized allow for shaping the participants’ attitudes toward the project. Moreover, according to Zaman, the described setting is perfect for implementing high-performance work (HPW) practices since the presence of teamwork will allow not only for completing the project more effectively but also changing the participants’ idea of collaboration, implementation of objectives and participants’ role in project management, in general. The connection to HPW practices makes the specified study especially important for the advancement of teamwork management for improved project implementation in the UK construction industry. Therefore, the significance of this research for the project under analysis is quite high since it offers a way to introduce reciprocity between the impact of teamwork and the effects of the transformational leadership approach. Specifically, an increase in participants’ motivation as the expected outcome and the resulting improvement in the quality and efficacy of teamwork initiatives within the UK construction industry setting can be expected.
Moradi et al. (2020) also insist on prioritizing the promotion of teamwork in the context of project management. Expanding on the idea of change management and the development of new skills through teamwork during project implementation, the study focuses on the opportunity to build additional competencies both in leaders and team members. Thus, Moradi et al. (2020) introduce a new argument that adds to the importance of teamwork in project management, namely the significance of teamwork in talent management and the introduction of opportunities for consistent skill improvement. From the perspective of research ethics, the study in question can be deemed as fully aligned with the existing ethical standards since it ensures the privacy of data while contributing substantially to the improvement in the construction industry’s performance.
Due to the involvement of a number of participants, the management of corporate projects is inextricably linked to addressing workplace conflicts. In turn, the enhancement of teamwork and collaboration is believed to serve as the means of minimizing the harmful effects of conflicts in the workplace, as Tabassi et al. (2019) argue. The study demonstrates the positive outcomes of team-building strategies on the quality of the interdisciplinary dialogue within the team, thus, proving the connection between teamwork and increased efficacy of project management. In the UK setting, where cross-cultural collaboration is quite expected due to high diversity rates within most workplace environments, the outlined information is particularly important for managing projects. Moreover, ethically, the research in question can be considered impeccable since it fully addresses the participants’ needs and rights while examining the ethical underpinnings of project management in a cross-cultural setting.
Openness in communication and the resulting rise in the extent of error prevention is another reason for considering teamwork to be highly beneficial for project management within the UK construction industry. Wawak et al. (2020) clarify that quality management might seem more convoluted with the introduction of a greater range of participants, which is why promoting teamwork and collaboration is critical for spotting defects and deficiencies in the end product, as well as in different stages of project implementation. Therefore, the opportunity to control quality within the project and at different stages of its implementation can be seen as one of the core advantages of the emphasis on teamwork. Ethically, the specified study meets the established standards since it ensures that the information represented in the review remains confidential and that only core findings are incorporated into the review.
Additionally, the incorporation of teamwork within the construction industry context allows adjusting the existing strategies to meet sustainability principles. In the construction industry environment, the specified issue represents particular importance due to the need to preserve the cultural heritage and value of specific buildings and areas while ensuring their safety and maintaining the renovation process (Nieto-Julián et al., 2021). Therefore, the results of Nieto-Julián et al.’s (2021) analysis, prove the increase in sustainability to be one of the primary positive effects of introducing teamwork to project management in construction to be one of the potential outcomes. Furthermore, from an ethical standpoint, the study by Nieto-Julián et al.’s (2021) meets the set criteria since it maintains the participants’ privacy while also accurately representing the key outcomes of the analysis. Finally, the research can be considered ethically significant since it addresses the issue of sustainability as a means of reducing the extent of resources used during project implementation, which leads to a more environmentally safe approach to construction processes.
The connection between teamwork and improved project management within the construction industry environment has also been outlined in several reports issued by credible sources. In other words, the opportunities for enhanced quality management should be mentioned as some of the most prominent outcomes of incorporating the focus on teamwork into the project management process, as the UK Construction Excellence (2022) reports. The connection between the principles of quality management, particularly, the emphasis on the continuous innovation and improvement and the use of teamwork-oriented techniques, has been outlined as an essential opportunity for construction companies in the UK. The research ethics principles are also met in the specified study due to the focus on confidentiality; furthermore, it contributes to the ethical management of projects due to the emphasis on the needs of key stakeholders by outlining the significance of teamwork and the positive effects that it has on the people involved.
Moreover, the Aberdeen and Gramplan Chamber of Commerce (AGCC) (0 shares a similar sentiment, pointing to the importance of promoting innovative solutions through teamwork in project management in the construction context. Furthermore, AGCC adds the opportunity for more effective cost management by introducing cost savings into the framework within the construction context (Aberdeen and Gramplan Chamber of Commerce, 2022). Adding the specified perspective into the framework for addressing the current inconsistencies in the management of projects within the construction industry confirms that teamwork is central to the successful implementation of projects, in general, and projects within the UK construction industry, in particular. Additionally, ethically, the study under analysis contributes to improving relationships within a team during the project management while also increasing the quality of the outcome, which benefits target customers and the rest of the stakeholders involved.
Other reports also indicate that there is a strong need to connect the notion of teamwork to the concept of project management in the UK construction context. Specifically, the report by the University of Lincoln (2022) indicates that the introduction of teamwork and the related strategies into the realm of the construction industry, particularly into the project management environment is concerned, leads to a substantial improvement in the outcomes. Namely, positive adjustments to companies’ supply chains can be made with the specified alterations.
Finally, one must address the positive changes that teamwork can inject into the project management process within the construction industry setting due to the opportunity to introduce innovation into the construction context. Specifically, the report by PBC Today (“Facilitating collaborative working in construction,” 2018) mentions that innovation, particularly the application of digital tools in the UK construction setting, has been one of the key trends that have been defining the further development of the industry. Specifically, the incorporation of teamwork is expected to promote rapid development of relevant skills due to active communication and knowledge sharing (“Facilitating collaborative working in construction,” 2018). As a result, faster acceptance of innovative digital techniques and devices can be expected, which is an admittedly positive alteration proving the importance of incorporating teamwork into the project implementation process in the UK construction industry. Ethically, the report in question adds to the available pool of studies on the issue of teamwork in construction projects due to its focus on team members as primary stakeholders, namely, the opportunities for their professional growth.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Due to the opportunities to improve collaboration, information management and sustainability levels within a project during its implementation phase, teamwork must be considered instrumental in project management within the construction industry in the UK. The existing research indicates that the role of teamwork is tremendous in improving project management since it allows introduction of positive changes in other areas, such as the management of risk, change and talent within the context of an organization, as well as on the project level. As a result, cohesion can be introduced into the implementation process, improving the quality of the outcome drastically. Moreover, the extent of safety can be extended when addressing core tasks within the construction industry setting. Finally, the outcomes of the analysis can be easily adjusted not only to the UK construction business, but also to the construction industry within any cultural environment, therefore, making the further multicultural collaboration between construction companies and the development of innovative construction projects possible.
For this reason, it is recommended that UK organizations in the construction industry should prioritize teamwork and especially interdisciplinary collaboration. The effects of teamwork in the target context can be amplified by incorporating the concepts of innovation, transformational leadership, effective conflict management, and related concepts into the teamwork process. As a result, due to enhanced data processing and better cohesion in the actions of the participants involved, project implementation will occur at a substantially faster pace.
Aberdeen and Gramplan Chamber of Commerce (2022) Web.
Facilitating collaborative working in Construction (2018) Web.
Marinelli, M., and Salopek, M. (2019) ‘Joint risk management and collaborative ethos: Exploratory research in the UK construction sector’, Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, 18(2), pp. 343-361.
Moradi, S., Kähkönen, K., and Aaltonen, K. (2020) ‘Project managers’ competencies in collaborative construction projects’, Buildings, 10(3), p. 50.
Nieto-Julián, J. E., Lara, L., and Moyano, J. (2021) ‘Implementation of a TeamWork-HBIM for the management and sustainability of architectural heritage’, Sustainability, 13(4), pp. 1-26.
Papadonikolaki, E., van Oel, C., and Kagioglou, M. (2019) ‘Organising and managing boundaries: A structurational view of collaboration with Building Information Modelling (BIM)’, International Journal of Project Management, 37(3), pp. 378-394.
Shayan, S., Pyung Kim, K., and Tam, V. W. (2019) ‘Critical success factor analysis for effective risk management at the execution stage of a construction project’, International Journal of Construction Management, pp. 1-8.
Tabassi, A. A., Abdullah, A., and Bryde, D. J. (2019) ‘Conflict management, team coordination, and performance within temporary multicultural projects: Evidence from the construction industry’, Project Management Journal, 50(1), pp. 101-114.
Wawak, S., Ljevo, Ž., and Vukomanović, M. (2020) ‘Understanding the key quality factors in construction projects—A systematic literature review’, Sustainability, 12(24), pp. 1-25.
Zaman, U. (2020) ‘Examining the effect of xenophobia on “transnational” mega construction project (MCP) ‘success: The moderating role of transformational leadership and high-performance work (HPW) ‘practices’, Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, 27(5), pp. 1119-1143.