Project completed in 2023
Level: Ph.D.

From theory to practice: A holistic exploration of integrated project development (IPD)


Collaborative approaches in the construction sector have recently gained in popularity and begun to be widely regarded as the way forward in overcoming the challenges inherent in the sector, underlining the need for a more nuanced understanding of its various theoretical underpinnings and practical applications. To this end, this research explores in depth one of the most innovative collaborative approaches, Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). Initially, the research addresses the lack of an R&D framework in the IPR field and simultaneously highlights the need for such a framework to determine the way forward in research and development. An R&D framework for IPR was developed on the basis of an in-depth literature review of 175 articles, then validated by a panel of experts and a research project comprising three case studies. The research path builds on this fundamental knowledge by introducing a new qualitative IPR maturity matrix. Formulated on the basis of observations of successful IPR implementations, this matrix is designed as a robust tool, filling existing gaps in qualitative indicators and ensuring an informed and optimized approach to IPR deployment. In the final stage of the study, the transformative influence of IPR is examined, in particular its “ripple effect” on organizational practices and procedures. Taken together, these milestones provide a comprehensive account of the development of IPR, from its theoretical foundations to its implementation.

Project results

Research results and expected outcomes: In our holistic investigation of the integrated project delivery (IPD) landscape in the construction industry, we have obtained and, by extension, anticipated the following results in the remaining stages of the research: R&D framework for IPD: In embarking on the development of an R&D framework for IPD, the research initially hinged on a few valuable contributions, including A.I.A Guide (2007), Cheng & Johnson (2016), and Allison et al. (2018). Building on these efforts, a preliminary framework was developed, presenting six themes and 19 categories, all crystallized from the content analysis of the aforementioned frameworks. In the next phase, a systematic and exhaustive literature review was conducted to synthesize a plethora of academic findings, which included a set of 175 articles between 2017 and 2022 that were all analyzed thematically, producing 88 unique codes, each representing distinct research topics around IPD. In the next step, a systematic combination method was used between the preliminary framework and the codes, evolving the R&D framework for IPR.
Expected outcome – Maturity matrix for IPD implementation: Building on the fundamental understanding provided by our R&D framework, our next step focuses on developing a qualitative maturity matrix for IPD at project level. This matrix, rich in lessons learned from real IPR projects, aims to provide teams with qualitative indicators to help them simultaneously assess and implement IPR. In addition, it facilitates decision-making and planning throughout IPR projects. Expected outcome – Influence of PDI on organizational practices: As our research progresses, we intend to deepen our understanding of the ripple effect of PDI on organizational dynamics. We hypothesize that IPRs, given their collaborative nature, can lead to significant changes in organizational practices and procedures. By studying this influence, we aim to give organizations an insight into how adopting IPR can potentially reshape their operational frameworks, promoting efficiency and collaboration.

Project contributions

Responding to the obvious lack of a structured R&D framework for IPR, the study carried out a systematic literature review covering 175 articles and refined it into a comprehensive R&D framework. The study also presents a new qualitative IPR maturity matrix derived from lessons learned from successful IPR implementations. This research also introduces a new qualitative IPD maturity matrix, derived from lessons learned from successful IPD implementations, which promises to fill the knowledge gap in qualitative indicators for IPD deployment. At a later stage, this research aims to highlight the transformative potential of IPD on organizational practices, hypothesizing a profound ripple effect. Overall, this work represents a holistic account of IPD, starting with its theoretical underpinnings, moving through its application and anticipating its wider influence on organizational dynamics in the construction sector. In terms of contribution to industry, this research will firstly provide IPR practitioners with a navigational tool to bridge the gap between academic research and practice; secondly, it will provide a maturity matrix-style tool that could help them both assess and implement IPR, and finally, it will provide organizations with insights into how the adoption of IPR can potentially reshape their operational frameworks, promoting efficiency and collaboration.


Publications from this project are available below:

Research team

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