SCM In The United Arab Emirates Construction Industry
3.0 Rationale for study design:

The premier purpose and idea behind this chapter is to analyse the materials that are accessible and chalk out the salient areas which require more in depth research .the research design will be systematic review. Higgins and Green (2005) opines “A systematic review is a scientific tool that has been developed for appraising, summarising and communicating the outcome and implication of or else uncontrollable quantities of research”. The major advantage of systematic review lies in the fact that systematic review can identify, summarise, garner information and analyse the researches previously done pertaining to the field of study in such a way that it is possible to zero in one those areas which have been duly addressed together with those points which have been missed out in previous researches. SCM In The United Arab Emirates Construction IndustryThe systematic review has thus the advantages of critically reviewing the literature and finding the salient points within the same and presenting it in the context of the research (Higgins and Green, 2005). A systematic review extends focus on the questions related to the research with the attempted identification, appraisal, selection and synthesizing of the superior quality evidence pertaining to the research that are relevant to the questions on hand. A high quality systematic review is effective in random collection of trials and studies that are crucial for evidence based studies. The data pertaining to the selected topic were restricted in number specially so the country had been mentioned and details pertaining to the United Arab Emirates were not adequate. Considering that the articles taken into account were published and been used for similar purposes in the past, their authenticity cannot be doubted. The philosophical stance that the researcher has taken for this particular research is positivism Positivism has been taken since the researcher believes that there is a definite outcome possible by studying the available literature although it is not quantitative in nature.

3.1 Search method for identification of studies:

In order to conduct this secondary data based research it was necessary to systematically search and skim not only Google in general but many data bases especially which contain academic materials and references. Some of these were Google Scholar, Ref Seek, Ref Repository, BASE, JSTOR, i SEEK etc. While searching the focus was primarily on previous research articles by various researchers and student articles regarding the subject were avoided for the purpose of better quality and reliability. For the purpose of search, specific keywords like SCM in construction were used to narrow the search from the broad category of SCM in general. Using the advanced search and Boolean search options available within these search engines helped to chalk out the most relevant of all articles, which were in line with the inclusion-exclusion criteria.

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3.2 Inclusion and Exclusion criteria:

Considering the fact that SCM in the construction sector is a relatively new research agenda and study the researcher chose to select all articles that were published between the years 2000-2012. Another very important consideration was to select the articles to be review in English language only in order to avoid the hectic task of translation which would have been very tedious for the researcher. Moreover ,in order to do justice to the research the researcher had to avoid researches that were conducted on other countries pertaining to SCM practices in the construction sector like that of US,UK, China  ,Australia etc. Understanding the geography of the region the researcher decided to include the neighbouring Middle East countries like that of Saudi, Kuwait, Bahrain, Doha, Qatar etc. Research articles that were conducted by students for the fulfilment of their degree were also carefully avoided.

3.3 Ethics:

It is necessary for every researcher to conform to certain policies or standards that have been laid down either by the university, government or the regulatory authorities and the interest of all concerned parties be protected(Smith, 2008). Although it is often assumed that secondary data analysis raises very few ethical considerations however it is imperative to make sure that the researcher does not in any way distort with the information or channelize the course of the study to some premeditated idea. It is also the responsibility of the researcher to conform to the rules and regulations stated within Data Protection Act (1998).the integrity of the researcher to the cause of the research is of utmost importance.

3.4 Description of each study:

Author and Year of PublicationYear  Title of studyAims  of the studyConclusion
AmirReza KarimiAzari , Neda Mousavi ,  S. Farid Mousavi, Seyed Bagher Hosseini2011Risk assessment model selection in construction industryRisk management In SCM in the construction industryA number of techniques for the risk assessment related to construction project have been adhered to by the construction industry though adequate attention has not been given in the selection of a model that would be suitable for risk assessment has been mentioned in the study
Ruben Vrijhoef and  Lauri Koskela2000The four roles of SCM in constructionIdentifying the Characteristics of construction supply chainsThe study contributes towards knowledge the facts such as the explicit relation of generic methodology of SCM to the different initiatives that are existent in terms of development of construction supply chain
Helal Albaloushi and Martin Skitmore2008SCM in the UAE construction industryTo assess the utility and state  of SCM in the construction sector  in UAEThe application of SCM principles in Construction in UAE is a very new concept with differences between foreign construction companies and the native contractive companies pertaining to implementation of the principles.
Ranjan Tiwari, Henry Shepherd and R K Pandey2014Supply Chain Management In

Construction:   Literature Survey

An in depth study of SCM practices in the construction industry in particular and the problems in the same.Various numerical models of SCM have a been formulated but the optimality of the methods is debatable and it varies for each company or institution.
Sreejith Balasubramanian2012A hierarchical framework of barriers to green

SCM in the construction


To understand the potential barriers in the way of implementing a Green SCM system in the construction industryA noteworthy strategy for taking up the challenge of reduction of carbon emission would be Green SCM (GSCM) and the subsequent enhanced sustainability due to the potential of improvement of organisational environmental performance


3.5 A Brief Insight into the Studies

Study 1: The four roles of SCM in construction; Vrijhoef and Koskela (2000)

It is believed that due to the peculiarities associated with construction, SCM plays specific types of role in the domain. The two pressing issues that are related to supply chain in construction include the increased weight economically of supply chain and the lag in development of productivity. The increase in productivity in relation to construction of building has been relatively slow though it cannot be considered adequate for compensation for the average level rise in the cost of labour. Relatively, primary contractors are involved in the purchase of higher material and labour. This constitutes 75% approximately of the turnover of such contractors. As a result of this, such contractors have increased dependence on the other elements in the supply chain of construction such as the sub contractors and suppliers.

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It can be said that the study contributes towards knowledge the facts such as the explicit relation of generic methodology of SCM to the different initiatives that are existent in terms of development of construction supply chain, the empirical assessment of the current construction status in terms of supply chain, reliant on the new generic theories and empirical understanding of SCM, the role limitations and so on. The construction logistics and material handling should also be kept in mind. Another factor which affects the supply chain is the variance in the capacity of supply and ever changing on site demands. It can easily be taken into account that the knowledge related generic body that has been accrued in terms of the SCM framework tends towards better understanding of the problems of the construction SCM and guides towards the required direction that needs to be taken. It is required to implement the SCM practical methods for taking into account the specific construction situation and its related characteristics.

Study 2: Risk assessment model selection in construction industry; KarimiAzari et al. (2011)

A project is considered to be people who form an organisation being dedicated towards the deployment of a resource set having specific objective or purpose. Project management includes resource plan, directing, control for the achievement of objectives or goals that are specific related to the project on hand. There are a number of uncertainties in the industry of construction and such issues include the fluctuation in the profit margin of the organisation, the process of competitive bidding, alterations in the weather, productivity observed at site, political scenario of the nation, contract related rights, inflation, existing competition in the market and so on. Thus the number of risks in the construction industry is higher than the other industries. With the industry becoming more advanced, the uncertainties witness an increase also. It is required that the construction companies overcome such uncertainties for accurate assessment of the effect such sources have to determine the risks associated with each project and tackle them efficiently. A primary step in construction risk management is identification and assessment of the risks that are potential.

Though it is significant in the success of construction related project management, management of risks has not always got adequate importance as the other processes of the realm such as scheduling and scope. Risk management related process ideally includes identification of risk, assessment o risk and mitigation of risk.  The method that has been proposed will be successfully able to discriminate among the methods of risk assessment with adequate clarity. The proposed method is the way of solving the TOPSIS of the risk assessment model under a fuzzy environment where there a number of decision makers and a committee to assess the minimum risk model The effective identification and subsequent assessment of project related risk formulate the crucial procedures that result in success. A number of techniques for the risk assessment related to construction project have been adhered to by the construction industry though adequate attention has not been given in the selection of a model that would be suitable for risk assessment.

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Study 3: SCM in the United Arab Emirates Construction Industry; Albaloushi and Skitmore (2008)

SCM is considered to be for improvement of processes that helps in saving cost and enhances the revenue in terms of business strategy. Supply chain in terms of construction encompasses the processes of construction commencing from the primary demands of the client or the owner, then designing, constructing, maintaining, replacing and finally demolition. The different organisations who are part of the process of construction are also included such as the owner, the client, the designer, the general contractor, the supplier, the sub contractor and so on. Construction related SCM is considered to be the practice followed by the company groups as well as individuals who work within the network of processes that are inter related for satisfying the ultimate needs of the customers in a collaborative way while providing rewards to the chain members. SCM is most beneficial in the enterprise level involving a number of companies. SCM in construction does not refer to only the chain of businesses in construction with relations that are business to business but also refers to the network that includes a number of organisations and relations including information flow, material flow, products and services, fund flow that occurs between the designer, owner, general contractor, sub contractor and also the suppliers.

In United Arab Emirates construction companies involve foreign companies where each of them are associated with a minimum of one local company counterpart. Both the companies agree on the significance of SCM though the implementation is different for both. The approach is contrasting in terms of coordination and knowledge sharing. More awareness of the significance of these factors leads to the success in implementing of SCM later on. The Supply chain is not only related to single construction business but it is a multiple business and institution relationship where the entire UAE construction business is affected as they are interlinked to each other The difference in SCM of the two parties affects the supply chain implementation in the nation making it different from the other countries that are developed. This is mainly as the approaches are situation based different.

Study 4: A hierarchical framework of barriers to green SCM in the construction sector; Balasubramanian (2012)

The sector of construction is accountable for almost 40% of the total emission of carbon in the world as per the United Nations Environmental Program which is significantly higher in United Arab Emirates where the swift growth of the construction sector resulted in the rise of energy being used and subsequent greenhouse gas type emission. In the scope of framework development towards a model and adequate assessment of the barriers faced by GSCM in the construction sector of United Arab Emirates, there exists a gap in the knowledge which is significant to a nation like United Arab Emirates where the concept of GSCM is relatively new. The state government and the federal government require a framework for encouraging and regulating organisations in the adoption of a GSCM that can be termed as sustainable. Hence if an efficient framework is lacking in the evaluation and modelling of the barriers it may lead to the lacking of a green initiative amongst the stakeholders of the construction industry. In order to determine the gap, the queries that need to be catered to include knowledge about the barriers that are critical for the adoption of an effective GSCM in the construction sector of United Arab Emirates, the contextual relation between the barriers, methods of developing a framework that would effectively and easily display the complicated interdependence of the barriers and the classification of the barriers depending on their importance and criticality. The interpretive structural modelling (ISM) is put to effective use for the purpose of modelling and subsequent analysing of the complicated influence of the different criterions and also for the purpose of creating a framework of hierarchical structure amongst such criteria. The demands pertaining to complexity science is thus met and a systematic structure is displayed. The Driving and Dependence Power Analysis (DDPA) is also applied. .These form the crucial barriers in the GSCM adoption in the construction sector of the United Arab Emirates. The internal barriers are reliant on the external ones. Policies are required by the government to attract right resources.

Study 5: SCM in Construction: A literature Survey; Tiwari et al., (2014)

Huge projects of infrastructure construction execution include issues that are complex in terms of the attributes such as geography, atmosphere, topography and other constraints. In modern times, such work are mostly mechanised with the optimum use of machinery for desired output in order to achieve work quality of international standards specially for the work that are considered to be challenging.  Basic techniques of SCM have witnessed extensive application in the construction industry. The approach included in mechanised construction of projects that involve large infrastructure demonstrate immense scope and successful implementation of the techniques all over the world have been achieved by a number of companies involved in construction. The concept application in the construction sector require the managers of supply chain to get out of the traditional mould pertaining to the manufacturing industry and make the idea of supply chain more centric towards the project than the organisation. This is required since the requirements of the construction project are immensely customised and supply chain need to adapt and duly redesign to match the priorities of the clients. The SCM provides the scope for constant improvement, better coordination at each level and a sense of coherent bonding in the whole process of supply chain. The various aspects of SCM includes the reduction in the onsite costing which can be done by ensuring a smooth flow of labour and work between the labours and contractors

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The general requirements of the construction project clients include timely execution of the project with all work being completed as per the contract defined scope, standard quality in terms of execution in accordance to the terms of the contract, doing away with cost overruns and execution cost being within the project cost and the aim of the supply chain to fulfil the requirements of the client with a systematic approach to the activities of the construction and the project involved agencies.

3.6 Summary:


This chapter identifies and presents the five major case studies that have been taken for this research which will help to understand the research in the best possible way. The studies are varied and have approached the research from various angles in order to eliminate the possibility of missing out on something. All the studies are very recent and thus are intrinsically linked to the research and will help to contribute positive findings. This chapter also lays down the methodology followed for this research and how and why the particular studies have been selected with all the inclusion and exclusion criteria as well as details such as ethics and rationale behind the approach of the research.

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