Level : Ph.D.

From Theory to Practice: A Holistic Exploration of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD)


Collaborative approaches to the construction industry have gained, recently, popularity and begun to be widely seen as the way forward to overcome inherent challenges in the industry, highlighting the need for a more nuanced understanding of its various theoretical foundations and practical applications. To this aim, this research thoroughly explores one of the most novel collaborative approaches, Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). Initially, the research addresses the lack of an R&D framework in the IPD field and simultaneously underscores the need for such a framework to determine a path forward for research and development. An R&D framework for IPD was developed based on an extensive literature review of 175 articles and, subsequently, validated through a panel of experts and a research project encompassed three case studies. The research journey expands upon this foundational knowledge by introducing a novel qualitative IPD maturity matrix. Formulated from insights into successful IPD implementations, this matrix is conceived as a robust tool, bridging the existing knowledge gap in qualitative indicators and ensuring an informed and optimized approach to IPD deployment. In the final stage of the study, the transformative influence of IPD is investigated, specifically its far-reaching “ripple effect” on organizational practices and procedures. When taken as a whole, these steps provide a comprehensive account of IPD’s development from its theoretical foundations through its application and, ultimately, its impact on organizational dynamics within the construction industry.

Project results

Research Results and Anticipated Outcomes: In our holistic investigation into the landscape of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD) within the construction industry, we have achieved and, by extension, anticipate the following in the remaining research steps: R&D Framework for IPD: Embarking on the development of an R&D framework for IPD, the research initially pivoted around a few valuable contributions, notably 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 of which crystallized from the content analysis of the aforementioned frameworks. In the subsequent phase, an exhaustive systematic literature review was conducted to synthesize a plethora of academic outputs, which included a set of 175 papers between 2017 and 2022 that were all thematically analyzed, producing 88 unique codes, each representing distinct research topics around IPD. In the following step, a systematic combining method was utilized between the preliminary framework and the codes, evolving the R&D framework for IPD.
Anticipated Outcome – Maturity Matrix for IPD Implementation: Building on the foundational understanding furnished by our R&D framework, our subsequent step is focused on developing a qualitative maturity matrix for IPD at the project level. This matrix, packed with insights obtained from real IPD projects, is meant to supply teams with qualitative indicators to help them evaluate and implement IPD simultaneously. Furthermore, it facilitates informed decision-making and planning throughout IPD projects. Anticipated Outcome – Influence of IPD on Organizational Practices: As our research journey progresses, we intend to delve deeper into understanding IPD’s ripple effect on organizational dynamics. We hypothesize that IPD, given its collaborative nature, may drive significant shifts in organizational practices and procedures. By investigating this influence, we aim to present organizations with insights into how IPD adoption can potentially reshape their operational frameworks, promoting efficiency and collaboration.

Project contributions

Responding to the evident gap in a structured R&D framework for IPD, the study curated a systematic literature review spanning 175 articles, further refining this into a comprehensive R&D framework. This research also introduces a novel qualitative IPD maturity matrix derived from insights from successful IPD implementations, which promises to bridge the knowledge deficit in qualitative indicators for IPD deployment. In further stages, this research aims to illuminate the transformative potential of IPD on organizational practices, hypothesizing its profound ripple effect. Altogether, this work represents a holistic account of IPD, beginning with its theoretical underpinnings, moving through its application, and anticipating its wider influence on organizational dynamics in the construction sector. On the side of the contribution to the industry, this research will first equip the IPD practitioners with a navigating tool to bridge the gap between academic research and practice; second, it will provide a tool in the maturity matrix style that could help them both evaluate and implement IPD, and lastly, it will provide the organizations with insights into how IPD adoption can potentially reshape their operational frameworks, promoting efficiency and collaboration.


The project team

Erik Poirier


This project was supported by :

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