FM contract relationships: from mobilisation to sustainable partnership

ELLISON, I. and OWEN, S. (2010). FM contract relationships: from mobilisation to sustainable partnership. In: European facility management conference 2010: 9th EuroFM research symposium, Madrid, 1-2 June 2010. (Submitted)

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Abstract

Purpose / theory Outsourcing is a fundamental business model for the Facilities Management (FM) industry. To enable sustained mutual success the parties involved must seek to understand the unique, socially constructed, and often highly complex situational realities of the organisational ecologies they are engaged in. The FM industry can unlock improved performance and strategic credibility through an appreciation of the need for different conversations.

Design / methodology / approach Findings from two recent cases are considered. Data from two different client-contractor relationship situations was collected utilising a critical ethnographic research methodology; a phenomenological paradigm that acknowledges knowledge as socially constructed through language. A variant on Scott-Morgan‟s unwritten-rules coding method was used to analyse the data and justify the prevalent themes and issues presented.

Findings Findings include the role of perceptions and assertions in the construction of social realities, change management implications, and how these impact on the traditional view of the client/contractor relationship. Ethnographic findings are typically context specific, therefore generalisations must be carefully considered. The key findings are however substantiated by existing FM outsourcing literature.

Originality / value Highlights the practical importance of seeking to understand socially embedded realities for improved FM contract performance. Considers the human resource element of change via FM outsourcing. Takes a social constructivist approach to organisational sense-making. Uses examples from focused, critical ethnographies to explore existing FM contracting dynamics. Qualitative investigations into related organisational circumstances are encouraged to further develop an evidence base.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Paper accepted for presentation at the European facility management conference 2010: 9th EuroFM research symposium to be held in Madrid, Spain from 1-2 June 2010.
Uncontrolled Keywords: facilities management, outsourcing, change management, conversations, ethnography, unwritten rules
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Centre for Facilities Management Development
Depositing User: Sarah Ward
Date Deposited: 26 Feb 2010 15:53
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2015 01:43
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/1238

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