مدیریت کیفیت در شیوه های معماری آفریقای جنوبی
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|4411||2008||9 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Building and Environment, Volume 43, Issue 4, April 2008, Pages 444–452
The building and construction industries worldwide are experiencing ever closer scrutiny of their operations as pressure mounts from clients to address the inefficiencies inherent therein. The issue of quality is of pivotal concern in this regard and this paper examines the status quo of a number of South African architectural practices with respect to how they are managing quality, and tests their opinions with regard to ISO 9000 certification as a means of addressing the issue. The results indicate that the architects in question generally have a poor grasp of quality management theory, although many of the eight main principles required for its implementation are already intrinsically present in the way they manage their practices; probably as a result of the small size of the average practice. A systematic and documented approach to quality management is however largely lacking in the profession and a great deal of negativity exists with regard to ISO 9000 certification.
South Africa, notwithstanding its geographically remote location, does not exist in isolation from the global economy. As such the contemporary trend toward globalisation, together with the advent of the Internet and recent advances in information technology and desktop processing expose local business to the full brunt of international competition and the complexities of the global market place. In this highly competitive climate the pressure is constantly mounting for local business to meet international standards in order just to maintain their market position. Since the recession of 1998 it has also become a common survival strategy among South African contractors, as well as building industry professionals, to expand their operations into the international arena, thereby mitigating the effects of the local economic cycle on business turnover. This trend is likely to continue into the foreseeable future, and will have an ever-increasing reach into ever-smaller local businesses. While the urgency and pertinence of quality to the architectural profession has been receiving attention in the UK since the mid eighties , in so far as the building industry professions in South Africa are concerned it appears that the architectural profession is slow at realising the benefits of quality management, and will in all probability take yet some time to embrace the discipline wholeheartedly. At present the South African association of consulting engineers (SAACE)  have implemented an incremental plan as of January 2006 whereby all of their members are required to initiate the development and application of a quality management system to their business processes over the subsequent 3 years. As yet there is little talk of other professional bodies following suit but it is envisaged that the requirements of influential clients/client bodies and the constant pressure of competition are likely to enforce the trend in the near future. This should not be seen in a negative light, as the benefits of applying quality management (QM) can be highly advantageous to such firms and their professional staff . It is therefore in all probability only a matter of time before the other professions are compelled to follow suit. Worldwide the building and construction industries are increasingly in the spotlight, as clients demand that the procurement processes in these sectors be closely re-examined. This is in a large part due to the fact that these industries have been slow to modernise and incorporate the benefits of recent technological advances, and are still highly wasteful and inefficient. This was highlighted in the UK by the Latham  and DTLR  reports, commissioned by the Prime Minister, and which resulted in the publication of the three best practice standards that now define the culture, relationships and processes of UK construction procurement. Internationally, the 1995 report by the Construction and Building sub committee of the Committee on Civil Industrial Technology (CCIT), part of the National Science and Technology Council of the United States, sets a similar standard. All these documents aim to radically reform the building industry and improve performance by 30–50%, and are set to fundamentally alter the face of these industries within the next decade. All of the issues are quality related, and professionals in the industry can expect to experience increasing pressure to conform to international quality standards in the wake of the reforms that these reports aim to bring about. A study by Rwelamila,  indicates that quality related problems also prevail in the local industry, and that at the end of the day “site managers, along with their supervisors, establish quality and their decisions are highly arbitrary”. This is despite the existence of specifications that extensively reference British and/or South African Standards and codes of practice. The architectural profession often lags behind other building industry professions in the realm of enterprise management, possibly as a result of the strong task orientation and design focus of top management . The fact that most architectural practices are small consultancies with one or two principles may also contribute to the tendency, as time spent on management is always at the expense of production. The extent to which quality management is applied in the practice locally is unknown, and few detailed guidelines exist for the implementation thereof to professional architectural service providers. It is in this context that this study was carried out, with the intention of shedding some light on the status quo and the way forward.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
Because of the influential position that designers occupy as regards downstream quality they are a crucial link in the project lifecycle chain and any campaign to address quality within the industry will need, as a matter of course, to include them as such. At present the drive to reform the industry in South Africa is still in its infancy and is not as yet characterised by a strong, visible leadership commitment to quality by all the associated participants. Given the losses that poor quality generates, and international trends toward improving the situation within the industry, this state of affairs is unlikely to last long before powerful clients begin to impose their preferences on how to address it. A pre-emptive action to address quality from within the industry would therefore be a prudent exercise that could help to mitigate the effect of yet more legislative restrictions and controls. This raises the question of how such inclusion is to be implemented and in what form, and whether enforced ISO 9000 certification is a strategy worth considering. It is important that the approach should not be that of imposing quality on a reluctant industry but rather that of creating and nurturing a pervasive culture of quality. As with any such effort visible leadership commitment is essential. As the governing body that protects the interests of the public with regard to the profession, the South African Council for the Architectural Profession (SACAP) should lead the undertaking and the South African Institute for Architects (SAIA) and its regional bodies should assist their membership with the implementation thereof. This should be done visibly and in cooperation with quality bodies such as the South African Quality Institute, and in consultation with quality experts that can guide the process. An important aspect that must be addressed is education and this could be done through both the CPD programme as well as through educational institutions. Insofar as enforced ISO 9000 certification is concerned the architectural fraternity would be well advised in this regard to bear the results of McAdam and Canning's study  in mind, and the conclusion that unless motivated by a real desire to improve quality and service excellence among practitioners, mandatory registration/certification can produce disappointing results. Also, the enthusiasm for certification that prevailed in Europe during the 1990s but produced little in terms of real quality improvement should be taken cognisance of. The objective of any quality programme must be to continually nurture a culture of quality, creating in the process an environment in which quality will flourish, and not merely to seek the assurance that something is being done. A strong argument exists therefore in support of the position that ISO 9000 certification should be a voluntary undertaking that constitutes a waypoint or milestone in an organisation's journey toward improved quality, and as such will only be undertaken if and when it makes good business sense to do so. It should ensue rather than be pursued. The positive response in this study from the two ISO certified practices with regard to the benefits thereof is probably due in part to the fact that their registration has to date been voluntary, and it is this attitude that should be engendered by whatever action is taken. That is not to say however, that incentives should not be used to encourage ISO 9000 certification, but merely that if used they should not be coercive, especially in view of the negative opinion that the majority of the respondents still possess in this regard. Such incentives could take the form of rebates on professional indemnity insurance due to the decreased liability risk, CPD credits, improved ratings with client bodies etc. not to mention the advantage to the organisation of delighted customers, reduced costs and increased profits as a result of less repeat work. Clients should also be encouraged to require evidence of a working quality system from their professionals at the time of appointing them. The literature strongly suggests that the most challenging aspect of implementing a quality drive lies in changing the attitudes of the participants. Sir John Egan's task force, required to advise the Deputy Prime Minister from the clients’ perspective on the opportunities to improve the efficiency and quality of delivery of UK construction, identified five key drivers for change in the construction industry : committed leadership; a focus on the customer; integrated processes and teams; a quality driven agenda; and, commitment to people. Four of these five drivers centre on people and the complexities of managing them, and the other on a quality culture. The implementation of quality management systems should not be seen as something additional to what architects already do but rather as a form of process control that needs to be applied to existing processes so that they reinforce the quality principles already existent in many practices.