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1. Department of Construction Engineering, École de Technologie Supérieure, Montreal (QC), Canada
2. Department of Management & Technology, University of Quebec at Montreal, Canada


Value generation is defined as meeting client requirements while minimizing waste. Researchers concur on the issues related to sequential design in handling client requirements, and suggest the use of an integrated design approach as an alternative. Little has been said, however, about the impact of adopting integrated design’s work organization to traditional design practice, processes and tools, nor about the importance of breaking down socio-cognitive barriers related to mental model fragmentation between design professionals, clients and users. This may result in cognitive inertia, a major source of waste. The objective of this research is to develop and test the introduction of boundary objects, such as new technologies, to the context of integrated teams and organizations to break the cognitive inertia that hinders value generation. The research is conclusive about the effectiveness of using boundary objects to transform practices in construction. This research also contributes to a better understanding of the new purposes of construction projects by framing its context and process dimensions within a theoretical framework, as well as to the evolution of practices in construction – and of practices that could be applicable to other fields.


Integrated design, value management, activity theory, boundary artefact.

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