The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Dr Hedley Smyth wins 'Best Paper' award

20 June 2013

Dr Hedley Smyth Wins BEST PAPER

At the 7th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organisation 2013 Dr Smyth’s paper “Green” or Maturing? Environmental Sustainability in Marketing and Business Development amongst Construction Majors was awarded "Best Paper" sponsored by the state develop organisation, Statsbygg.

Paper abstract: Perhaps international construction majors are “green” or maturing their green credentials and credibility. Thus, to what extent are major international contractors addressing environmental sustainability? The degree to which this is happening could be reasonably expected to be evident in marketing strategies and business development practices. Three possible options are examined: i) regulatory compliance, ii) alignment with best practice, iii) technical and service development to levels yielding competitive advantage. Four international construction majors are examined at several levels: a) amongst personnel with direct marketing and business development responsibilities, b) amongst other key functions that hold indirect marketing and business development roles in these respects, and c) the extent of effective vertical and cross-functional interfaces with marketing and business development. An inductive and qualitative case-based methodology and methods using semi-structured interviews was applied. The research found that international contracting majors are responders and followers to market drivers rather than proactive developers of technologies and services for injection into their projects to the benefit of clients and society. At a detailed level, marketing and business development proclaimed the “green” policies and practices, but these were largely framed around compliance and best practice rather than proactive development. This finding was supported in the hierarchy and cross-functionally with the result that the construction majors, which are leaders in the sector, have yet to add value in terms of environmental sustainability. In sum, they are “green” rather than maturing their green credentials and credibility.

Dr Smyth was also nominated for joint paper with former C&PM student and TfL employee Nick Boot-Handford The interplay of emotional intelligence and trust in project relationships.