- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 13 Nov 2018
Construction organisations and strategy
Like organisations in any other industry, construction companies must have a strategy for how to grow and develop their business, compete effectively in the market, and remain viable for the long-term.
A company's mission is an enduring statement of purpose which can distinguish one organisation from other similar enterprises. It is considered as a declaration of the company's 'reason for being', a common management tool that addresses an organisation's theory of business, and helps form the basis of its corporate strategy.
Objectives sitting under this mission might include:
- Securing and retaining clients and customers.
- Providing high quality services, products.
- Concern for survival.
- A particular company philosophy, such as social responsibility, ethics, sustainability, and so on.
- Concern for public image.
- Securing and retaining employees.
- A sustainable and efficient supply chain.
- Concern for employees health safety and wellbeing.
Strategies set out the fundamental steps or pathways that that will be followed to achieve objectives. They provide the formula for success, setting the direction and scope of an organisation over the short, medium and long-term and matching its resources to the changing market so as to meet stakeholder expectations.
For any strategy to be effective, it must have components addressing both middle level issues (such as production and marketing), and the upper level issues of integrating the whole organisation into its socio-economic environment.
 Departments in construction companies
- Financial policy.
- Investments and insurances.
- Cash requirements, supply of working capital.
- Shares register, and decisions on dividends.
- Cost control and accounting.
- Design, design management, design procurement and co-ordination.
- Production drawings and specifications.
- Site inspection.
- Estimating policy.
- Market research in relation to prices.
- Checking BoQs and estimates from subcontractors and suppliers.
- Preparing schedules of rates.
- Establishing the value of variations.
- Cost control, monitoring and reporting.
- Policy on stock holding.
- Managing orders.
- Delivery programmes.
- Stock control and reconciliation.
- Construction methods and procedures.
- Output standards.
- Construction programmes
- Method statements.
- Site layout and logistics.
- Working conditions and safety.
- Productivity and quality control.
- Site meetings and reporting.
- Managing plant availability.
- Policy on plant ownership.
- Policy on plant maintenance.
- Establishing / negotiating hire rates.
- Management of all the company's plant items.
- Personnel policy.
- Recruitment, interviews and promotion.
- Training schemes and executive development.
- Staff availability.
- Organisational structure.
- Motivation and incentive schemes.
- Staff appraisal.
- Succession planning.
- Management of admin staff.
- Policy on office accommodation.
- Office layout and decoration.
- Forms design and office procedures.
- Safety and security.
- Contractual arrangements.
- Legal representation of company.
- Drawing up of contractual documents.
- Advice on conflict avoidance.
 Health and Safety/Quality Assurance
Very broadly, construction companies comprise functional activity units (FAU) and interfaces. The arrangement of the FAUs and their interfaces give rise to the structure and culture that the company reflects. The arrangement also has important implications for the day-to-day operations of the company.
FAUs can be split as follows:
- Area of focus: Such as refurbishment for a design firm, or commercial development.
- Departments: Such as planning, estimating and purchasing for a contractor.
- Subsidiary: Such as a design and build subsidiary or a regional subsidiary for an international contractor.
A direct interface is characterised by the relationship between a superior and a subordinate. It involves the giving of instructions and the obligation to carry them out. This interface is often referred to as 'line relationship' because of its up-down-up lines of communication.
This type of interface arises between managers of equal standing in terms of authority. Lateral relationships exist between executives who report to a superior, but have to co-operate on issues of mutual interest, for which they have to co-ordinate related activities.
This form of interface occurs between a specialist who performs an advisory role and the rest of the management team. Authority for the functional interface is usually exercised indirectly through the line interface.
This form of relationship involves an auxiliary role. It derives its authority from the executive position for which it acts to provide a supporting function. Examples include special assistants and private secretaries.
 Organisational charts
Organisational charts are a graphical representation of an organisation's structure that presents the hierarchy of FAUs and their formal interfaces. The chart should outline the flow of authority and recognised lines of communication.
The need to maintain a simple and coherent chart means that usually only managerial and supervisory roles are represented in a chart. However, notwithstanding the planned structure expressed by such a chart, an organisation may in practice be driven by a more informal structure.
 Types of construction companies
- Sole traders.
- Unlimited companies.
- Limited companies.
- Private limited companies.
- Public limited companies.
- Holding companies and conglomerates.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Balance sheet.
- Building design and construction fees.
- Business administration.
- Business model.
- Business process outsourcing (BPO).
- Capital costs for construction projects.
- Cash flow forecast.
- Cash flow in construction.
- Company acquisitions in construction.
- Corporate finance.
- Corporate social responsibility in construction.
- Economic development and construction.
- Environmental scanning.
- Equity and loan capital.
- Human resource management in construction.
- Joint venture.
- Limited liability partnership.
- Office manual.
- Private sector.
- Professional body.
- Property development finance.
- Public sector.
- Relationship management.
- Special purpose vehicles.
- Succession planning.
- Types of construction organisation.
- Value added.
- Working capital.
Featured articles and news
A simple path to possible error avoidance.
Construction + technology = ConTech.
New low and high tech tools enter the marketplace.
Report looks at mental health in the built environment.
Radiant wall heating method to control rising damp.
What future infrastructure provision might look like.
Highlighting the health benefits of home improvement.
Pavilions for music, entertainment, and leisure. Book review.
Broadening our understanding of Dublin’s chequered social history.
The charm of London's Cabmen's shelters.
Future Weather Files research tool looking for feedback.
Exploring the Colour Rendering Index.
Why it's important to find out what went wrong.
ECA reviews the shape of the construction job market.
Why proper room acoustics make a difference.
Initiative puts gas networks on the path to net zero.
WICE Woman Architectural Technologist of the Year 2019.