ایزو 9000 در ساخت و ساز: بررسی کاربرد آن در ترکیه
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|5947||2006||11 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Building and Environment, Volume 41, Issue 4, April 2006, Pages 501–511
ISO 9000, the quality management system standards developed by the International Standards Organization (ISO), is widely used in the construction industry, as it is in all industries in the world. Recently, a growing interest has been paid to the use of this system in the construction industry. Despite the growing interest, ISO 9000 use of construction firms has not been sufficiently studied from the perspective of developing countries. In this article, with regard to the ISO 9000 quality management system (QMS) in Turkey, the characteristics of contractor firms in the construction industry, the perceptions, behavior and experiences of the firms in regard to ISO 9000 QMS are discussed. A field study has been executed, and a questionnaire has been carried out. In total, 138 construction firms, members of Turkish Contractors Association and representing the top-level firms operating both in Turkey and in the international market, have been selected for this study. The evaluation of the data points to the fact that the surveyed construction firms generally have a positive approach toward ISO 9000 QMS and that ISO 9000 QMS provides important advantages for the firms. However ISO 9000 QMS cannot be made widespread and applied effectively due to certain disadvantages and difficulties in practice.
In the construction industry, quality is defined as meeting the requirements of the designer, the contractor, the regulatory agencies and the project owner . The term “high quality building project” reminds us of factors like the design being easily understandable and applicable, conformity of the design with specifications, economics of construction, ease of operation, ease of maintenance and energy efficiency . In the construction industry, it is a rule that projects must be completed within the planned cost, at the scheduled time and at the required quality level. Quality may sometimes be ignored in the construction industry in order to cut the costs and/or shorten the project term. Quality assessment is provided through quality assurance and quality control in the construction industry. Quality assurance refers to the system controlling the provision of a product or service for the purpose of satisfying the customer needs . Construction quality control means the specific application of the quality assurance program and its related activities . In this framework, ISO 9000 QMS standards have been widely used in the construction industry in recent years as in all industries of the world. As a result, a growing interest has appeared in the literature with respect to the use of ISO 9000 QMS in the construction industry. Various studies have been carried out for ISO 9000 applications in European, Asian and North American countries in the construction industry , , , , , , , , , , ,  and . In these studies, it is questioned whether ISO 9000 QMS is an appropriate tool for the construction industry, or, more specifically, for the construction firms. In the studies, the advantages and disadvantages are presented on equal terms and the constraints in application are identified. However, the use of ISO 9000 QMS in construction firms has not been sufficiently studied from the perspective of developing countries. That is, very few studies have been produced to-date for ISO 9000 applications within the construction industry using examples from developing countries. The purpose of this article is to put forth the contractor firm characteristics in the construction industry related to ISO 9000 QMS in Turkey, and to find out the perceptions and behavior of the firms and the firms’ experiences. The contribution expected from this study are taking the guidance of the knowledge and experiences attained to make widespread the ISO 9000 QMSs and use them in relevant applications in the construction industry at both the domestic and the international level. Extending and applying ISO 9000 QMS for the construction industry in Turkey is important for three aspects. The first aspect is that the construction industry, as in all other countries, is an important economic activity in the Turkish economy. It is accepted as one of the leading industries of the Turkish economy since this industry is based largely on domestic production, and has a wide employment potential, an intense input-output relationship with other industries, especially the manufacturing industry, and brings in foreign exchange with the contractors’ projects that are carried out abroad. The construction industry, which works with relatively labor-intense technology and plays an important role in the reduction of unemployment, has a 6% share on average within the total employment picture . It is estimated that the construction industry also has a 6% share on average in the GNP generated in the Turkish economy with respect to production, and this share has risen to 33% with the contribution of other industries that operate in conjunction with the construction industry. As the construction industry is directly related to fixed capital investments, the growth of the construction industry affects the rate of growth in the national economy. The construction investments generally constitute 60% of the total investment amount realized in Turkey . In the economy, besides the construction investments realized by private and public sectors, international contracting services are also important. The contractors who undertake international construction projects do not only provide foreign exchange to the country in terms of profit transfer or the money earned by the employees of the firms, but also contribute largely to the balance of payments through construction materials, machinery and equipment export. It will be useful for the Turkish construction sector to apply QMS effectively and widely in order to strengthen its position in the international market, to have access to new job opportunities, and to improve its image. Secondly, application of QMS especially by contractors in the domestic market will be useful in order to restore their images distorted particularly due to the major earthquakes that occurred recently. As a matter of fact, the devastating loss of life and property in these earthquakes occurring in 1999 in Turkey has adversely affected the image of the construction industry as a whole. Nearly, 93% of Turkey is located in an active seismic zone. Nearly, 98% of the population lives in settlement units that involve an earthquake risk. In total, 61% of dwelling losses, the highest rate of dwelling loss in natural disasters, is caused by earthquakes. The economic losses caused directly by the earthquakes are approximately 3% of the GNP . It is a known fact that this rate amounts to 7% with the addition of the indirect losses. Despite rapid transition and the ability to adapt to new technologies in the construction sector in Turkey, the performance of building inventory against natural disasters causes great concern. The concerns about the duration and cost of construction may override the quality of construction much of the time. Therefore, it will be constructive if the use of ISO 9000 QMS in the domestic market increases. The third aspect is Turkey's adaptation process to the European Union. In particular, the extensive use of ISO 9000 QMS and standardization in the construction industry in member countries of the European Union  may require the use of ISO 9000 QMS especially for contractors in the construction industry in Turkey, a country aiming to be accepted to the European Union. In order for Turkish contractors to have a more effective position in both the domestic and international construction market, QMS should be established and used extensively and effectively in the construction industry as well as in all industries. This application and sustainability of QMS will increase the quality of construction projects in Turkey. In addition, it will make it easier to adapt to the systems of developed countries and may strengthen the position of the construction industry in the international market. When all these national and international activities in the Turkish construction industry are taken into consideration, the studies that probe the experiences and opinions of the firms on the use of ISO 9000 QMS are not sufficient. In a thesis study in 1998, a survey carried out on a very limited number of firms (22 firms) in the construction sector revealed that almost all firms have grasped the importance of having a quality system, but they do not have enough experience on how to apply the system correctly, and experience problems on issues such as documentation, communication, training and process development . In the first part of the paper, a literature survey has been performed with respect to ISO 9000 QMS applications in the construction industry. In addition, a theoretical infrastructure has been set up in connection with ISO 9000 QMS applications and the existing situation of construction firms in Turkey. The second part of the article covers the questionnaire surveys carried out to provide information and collect data about the use of ISO 9000 QMS in the construction firms that are the members of the Turkish Contractors Association (TCA) and their relevant outcomes. The results of the questionnaire are considered in four parts. In the first part, the characteristics of the firms are explained. The second part deals with the perceptions of the surveyed construction firms on the importance of ISO 9000 QMS. In the third part, perceptions of the firms related to the advantages and disadvantages of ISO 9000 QMS are analyzed. In the third part, the experiences of the firms related to the applications of ISO 9000 QMS are given. The third section of the article focuses on the conclusion and recommendations. 1.1. Literature survey: ISO 9000 in the construction industry ISO 9000 QMS standards have been applied in almost all industries in the world since 1987. Among the basic principles of the system are that it is customer-focused, has established an in-house leadership environment, has the participation of employees, uses a process approach and a systematic management approach, seeks permanent improvement of the system, desires decision-taking on a factual base, and suggests the establishment and maintenance of relations between the sub-contractor and suppliers based on mutual benefits. ISO 9000 QMS standards are widely accepted in the global construction industry. This industry has taken its place as the largest one in the listing of ISO 9001:2000 certificate numbers granted throughout the world up to the end of 2003 and has approximately a 9% share overall . The products produced and the services provided in the construction industry are unique, in other words, not repetitive, unlike other industries. The products and services provided in each project have a unique design and construction process, process sequence, and modules unique to each project. It is very common to involve suppliers and sub-contractors in the process in order to keep these processes appropriately continuing. This makes it difficult to define and apply the projects and processes with prototype and repetitive procedures. Also, construction projects are associated with different factors. For example, local effects, environmental factors, social reactions, cost and the completion period are the effects to be planned at the design stage. All these have revealed the need to study whether ISO 9000 QMS was appropriate for construction firms in the past. Some studies in the literature put forth that ISO 9000 QMS is not appropriate for construction firms. For example, Landin  has put forward, as a result of interviews with 12 construction firms holding ISO 9000 certificate in Sweden in 2000, that QMS standards are very abstract and hard to put into practice. Although it is considered that it will increase the competition, especially in the construction industry, and that the firm will start to work more effectively, it is stated that it is hard for the industry to meet its needs due to the diversity of the processes in construction applications and the requirement to produce a different product/service for each project. Similarly, in another study based on a questionnaire survey carried out with 93 firms in the construction industry of Singapore, regardless of whether they have ISO 9000 quality certificates or not, it is shown how the ISO 9000 certification has been reflected in its application. The results show that certification does not affect quality management applications of the firms and the product/service qualities provided . However, according to some studies in the literature, ISO 9000 QMS is an appropriate tool for construction firms. In a case study carried out by Pheng and Wee , it is presented that the effective application of ISO 9000 QMS can impede the shortcomings arising from the application of construction projects and the prevention and repetition of faults. Pheng, Abeyegoonasekera  has brought together the principles of ISO 9000 QMS and the principles of buildability in the construction industry by using a case study of a condominium project. It is claimed that an effective and appropriate work platform can be formed for these types of projects. In the condominium project, the buildability rate has increased, effectiveness has been raised and costs have been reduced with the use of this platform. It is put forth that ISO 9000 QMS will set up an appropriate platform to enhance the buildability of the project in both design and construction stages of the project. The firms in the construction industry obtain ISO 9000 QMS certification for different reasons. Ideally, the construction firms should obtain ISO 9000 QMS standards in order to satisfy their customers, to optimize the firm's resources, and to manage the aimed for in-house quality procedures. However, in reality, many construction firms attain this certification due to the request of their customers or as a condition of the public tender authorities. On the other hand, there are many firms that consider using ISO 9000 certification to gain a reputation and as a tool to attract potential customers. In another study carried out on 33 contractors from Hong Kong certified with ISO 9000 QMS, it turns out that the main reason for the application of the firm of ISO 9000 QMS is especially to participate in public projects as an obligation of their customers . A questionnaire survey was carried out by Ofori and others among the contractors holding ISO 9000 certification in Singapore. The purposes for a firm's transition to ISO 9000 QMS include the following reasons respectively starting from the most important one: to provide their customers quality assurance, to improve the operation procedures of the firm, to enhance the competitive power of the firm, to improve its image, to consider that it will become obligatory in the future, and to reduce the operational costs . It is proposed that obtaining ISO 9000 QMS certification by construction firms in the industry has various advantages and disadvantages. It is identified that ISO 9000 QMS certification introduces advantages such as more systematic paper work and documentation, bettering of in-house communication, and an increase in the firm's competitive power. On the other hand, the increase in paper work and the addition in the amount of time required of the management along with an increase in project costs have been recited as disadvantages. It is noted that there is a great similarity between the responses of large- and medium-scale firms . In a study carried out by Ofori and others, the advantages of having a QMS for the firms are, respectively, the strengthening of the corporate image, the development of operation procedures, an increase in competitive power, an increase in output, an increase in communication among employees of the firm, and a reduction of material waste . In the study published by Yates and Aniftos, the results of a comprehensive questionnaire survey carried out for US construction firms have been published. As a result of the questionnaire, the firms cited, protecting their international market shares, having the ease to include new projects, and having an advantage over their competitors, as advantages, and additional work loads and costs caused by standardization as disadvantages  and . In a questionnaire survey carried out in the US, it is stated that ISO 9000 QMS is an appropriate tool for US construction firms, and bears the advantages of development of in-house management and its use as a marketing tool . The results of a questionnaire survey carried out among contractors in Saudi Arabia point to some difficulties such as the increase in the amount of paper work, the difficulty in controlling the sub-contractors, the difficulty in understanding the terminology used in the standards, the additional work load on personnel, and the need for a full-time quality manager. The high costs of certification, reaction to the alterations in the system at various levels within the firm, loss of productivity in the work force during the restructuring of the system, conflicts in management, lack of trained personnel, difficulty in applying QMS due to the distance of construction sites, communication problems caused by a multi-lingual environment arising from the diverse nationality of the personnel, and cultural differences in the work force have been noted as current obstacles for transition to QMS . When all these studies are examined, it appears that there are different opinions for the reasons for having ISO 9000 QMS and the advantages and disadvantages brought by its application in the construction industry. As for other industries, it has been proven that ISO 9000 QMS will create an effective mechanism to reduce material and labor waste in procedures like production and delivery, and will improve profitability, whereby the firm may increase its market share. In addition, it is acknowledged that the product or the service provided will be presented optimally, due to the enhancement provided at all levels of product and service with ISO 9000 certification, by which the firm's marketing opportunities and market share will increase and the firm improves its image. Likewise, advantages such as enrichment of the firm's operation processes, increase in productivity, improvement of the firm's self-confidence, improvement of customer satisfaction, increase in the performance of suppliers and tighter controls on the sub-contractors may also be perceived as an advantageous outcome of ISO 9000 QMS. In ISO 9000 QMS, beside the products and services, processes are certificated. The main point here is the idea that if the management of the processes is good, the products or the services that are provided will be good too. However, it is another finding that, unlike other industries, goods and service production, which has unique characteristics and quality cannot be standardized in the construction industry. It is also one of the findings of the studies that there is involvement of many different processes, with large numbers of professionals and firms into a project in the construction industry. For example, the existence of a large number of suppliers and sub-contractors causes a uniqueness of the product or service provided as well as perhaps causing difficulties in the application of ISO 9000 QMS among the firms in the sector and even among the counties. Therefore, the studies concerning the application of ISO 9000 QMS in the construction industry in different countries will contribute to the literature. 1.2. The existing situation of the use of ISO 9000 in the construction industry in turkey Despite the acknowledgement of ISO 9000 QMS by the construction industry as well as in many other industries in Turkey, it can be seen in Table 1 that the number of ISO 9001:2000 certificates is very low when compared to other countries such as European and Asian countries. According to the report published by ISO, the total number of ISO 9001:2000 certificates in Turkey was 2396 as of the end of 2003, approximately 100 of which belong to construction firms . TCA is the most experienced professional organization of the Turkish construction industry. The business volume of TCA members covers 70% of the domestic projects and 90% of the foreign projects carried out by Turkish construction firms. The member firms of TCA have been operating in the international market since 1972, and nearly 50% of 1500 projects undertaken in 56 countries until the end of 2003 are projects related to housing, superstructures (roads, bridges, dams, tunnels) and industrial plants. Table 2 gives the change in business volumes undertaken by the TCA and the member firms in the international market on a yearly basis . Additionally, 11 Turkish contractors (Enka, Gama, Tekfen, Stfa, Summa, Alarko, Hazinedaroglu, Dogus, Baytur, Soyak, Limak), all members of the TCA, are listed among the ENR 225 Top Contractors of 2004. These firms are ranked according to construction revenue generated outside of each firm's home country in 2003 in US$ millions .
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
It can be observed that the number of ISO 9000 QMS certified construction firms in Turkey is low when compared to other countries, particularly European and Asian countries. An increase in this number will improve the existing position of Turkish construction firms in both the national and international market. As stated in a survey of the literature, much research has been carried out as to whether or not ISO 9000 QMS is appropriate for construction firms. Two different opinions have emerged as an outcome of the research. According to the results of the questionnaire, most of the construction firms in Turkey think that ISO 9000 QMS has a positive effect on and is appropriate for construction firms. It can be concluded as a result of the questionnaire that the perceptions of the surveyed construction firms regarding ISO 9000 QMS are not related to the size of the firm or as to whether the firm has been awarded contracts in the international market. This shows that the surveyed construction firms generally have a positive approach to ISO 9000 QMS. Examples in the international literature indicate that most of the construction firms attain this certification either because their customers have requested it or have made it a condition. The construction firms in Turkey have attained ISO 9000 QMS certification for the purpose of entry into the international market, as a requirement for bidding on contracts and understanding that it will become obligatory in the near future. This shows a similarity with other international examples, and is linked with Turkey's being in a transition period (in the process of accession to the European Union). According to the construction firms surveyed in Turkey, the advantages of having ISO 9000 QMS are: enhancement of the company's image, better definition of responsibilities in the company, better communication with the customer, improvement in the company's operating procedures, and providing tighter controls on the sub-contractors that the firms work with. In the examples of other countries, in addition to such advantages, benefits such as an increase in competitive power, protection of international market shares by the firm, and the convenience in contracting projects have been defined. In this respect, Turkey, as an example, displays a discrepancy. As a matter of fact, the above-mentioned advantages are not considered to be extra and important advantages for the surveyed firms. Additionally, nearly half of the surveyed firms have stated that having ISO 9000 QMS certification does not increase their business volume. According to the construction firms surveyed in Turkey, the most important disadvantage of attaining ISO 9000 QMS certification is the increase in documentation. This result is similar to other studies in the international literature.