Research

As a consulting research fellow and Associate of RMIT University, JH&A is well placed to deliver research to the academic context, industry and the not-for-profit sector.  JH&A has an ongoing research interest in the use of collaboration within the project management context as well as more broader research into construction environment.  Recent research includes undertaking 30 in-depth interviews with project and program managers as part of a project for the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority, and conducting focus groups for a project with the ACT government. 



Consulting Research Associate - Work health and safety benchmark survey design and analysis - RMIT University

Contracting to the Centre for Construction Work Health and Safety (RMIT University) this project entailed working with the ACT Government to contribute to an evaluation of the work health and safety culture within the Territory’s construction industry. Specifically, to  the Centre was asked to undertake:

Consultation with key stakeholder groups, including the design and delivery of a survey on work health and safety culture across the construction industry, which is intended to provide qualitative evidence as to the state of the present day culture within the industry; and the design and delivery of up to 4 focus groups involving key stakeholders (with a maximum of 40 people in total or 10 participants/per session), which are intended to provide qualitative evidence as to: 
i. the state of the present day culture within the industry; 
ii. what a “positive” or “strong” health and safety culture would look like in operational terms across the sector; 
iii. barriers to improving the industry’s health and safety culture (if any); and
iv. the role of key stakeholders in driving sustainable cultural change and enhancing awareness of work health and safety issues across the sector, including opportunities for ongoing collaboration. 

A report on the outcome of this consultation was delivered to the ACT government.

This research was funded by the ACT government through its Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations business unit.

Project date: January - July 2017


Consulting Research Associate - The Use of Commercial Frameworks to Drive Exceptional Health & Safety Performance in the Construction Industry - RMIT University

Contracting to RMIT University, this research will provide a strong evidence-base that can be used to design commercial frameworks that produce positive H&S impacts in construction projects. The research will also guide the appropriate and effective use of H&S performance metrics to drive H&S improvements in both the design and construction stages of projects. The research will seek to answer the following questions that were developed in consultation with the Major Transport Infrastructure Projects Research Committee in 2015.

1. What commercial frameworks have previously been used in major infrastructure projects to drive health and safety (H&S)?
2. How effective are these from the perspective of clients and contractors?
3. How are leading and lagging indicators and performance metrics used to measure and recognise performance within these commercial frameworks?
4. How does the use of performance metrics drive H&S activity/behaviour in the design and construction stages?
5. What are the characteristics of commercial frameworks that drive H&S effectiveness and how can metrics be used to support these?
6. How does the policy context shape the design of commercial frameworks in relation to H&S and what are the lessons learned from previous projects?
7. What is the evidence of success and how does it provide benefit to the project outcome?

This research was funded by the Melbourne Metro Rail Authority, an administrative office in relation to the Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Victorian government.

Project date: February - December 2016

Consulting Research Associate - Survey of Alliances Performance in Public Sector Infrastructure - RMIT University

Contracting to RMIT University, this research will develop an understanding of the issues around six broad areas of Project Alliances, including performance, commitment to best for project, value delivery, team collaboration, workplace culture and innovation. The research will also provide an opportunity to collect information on the role and function of the Alliance Leadership Team (ALT) and Alliance Management Team (AMT).  The study is fully supported by the Alliancing Association of Australasia (AAA) as a linkage partner in an Australian Research Council (ARC) grant commencing in 2012.  

Project date: May 2012 - March 2015


Consulting Research Fellow - More than a Roof Overhead Research Project - RMIT University

The aim of the research is to ensure that current and future investments in housing can maximize housing outcomes for indigenous people. This includes increasing the number of houses available, and improving the functionality and longevity of these dwellings. The research also addresses non-housing outcomes including improvements in family wellbeing, health, education and economic development. The project is in partnership with the Australian National University, Charles Darwin University, and organisational partners Northern Territory Department of Local Government and Housing, Centre for Appropriate Technology (NT), Department of Housing Works Western Australian Government, and Indigenous Business Australia.

Project dates: October 2009 - March 2012


Collaboration and the Use of Online Collaborative Toolsets in the Project Management Environment - RMIT University

This doctoral research investigated the use of online tools in the project management environment. The research developed an understanding of the extent to which collaboration occurs through the use of these technologies, by exploring the practical use of online collaborative tools as commonly employed in industry. The study presented a detailed comparative breakdown of common online systems whilst developing a scale that can be used to measure the extent that collaboration occurs when using these tools.

Project dates: May 2005 - February 2009


Employer Perceptions of Interdisciplinary Attributes within the Medical Radiations Profession - RMIT University

The intention of this research is to explore employer views about the interdisciplinary attributes required for practitioners working in the Medical Radiations disciplines, including Radiologic/Medical Imaging, Nuclear Medicine and Radiation Therapy. The research will be used to establish:

Employer perceptions of the interdisciplinary attributes required for clinical practice in Medical Radiations disciplines, for example working with practitioners from medical imaging, nuclear medicine and radiation therapy disciplines or other members of the Medical and Healthcare professions;
  • Employer perceptions of the current situation in relation to working in interdisciplinary ways in the Medical Radiations disciplines;
  • Employer perceptions of the future trends that will emerge in relation to working in interdisciplinary ways in the Medical Radiations disciplines.
The data was collected using a questionnaire survey and telephone interviews.

Project dates: April 2009


Dispute Avoidance and Resolution - RMIT University

This report detailed the research undertaken for the CRC-Construction Innovation. Its outcomes have formed the basis for the production of a practical ‘guide to best practice’. The objectives of the research were to:

Determine the underlying principles of conflict management in commercial disputes as they relate to the Australian construction industry;
  • Ascertain the range and types of proactive dispute avoidance strategies successfully employed in construction projects;
  • Ascertain the range and types of dispute resolution strategies that successfully facilitate the equitable, certain, amicable, timely and cost effective resolution of disputes;
  • Provide case examples of these strategies as employed in construction projects;
  • Articulate these findings into a practical ‘guide to best practice’ for use by the industry to implement some of these practices.
The data was collected using a questionnaire survey and focus group interviews.

Project dates: June 2008 - March 2009


Perceptions of Graduate Skills within the Building and Construction Industry - RMIT University

The construction and building industry is an industry where employees with knowledge and understanding of sustainability and sustainable development are in increasingly high demand. This is as a result of the push to implement more environmentally sustainable management policies, practices and operations to meet current environmentally focused legislation. The intention of this research was to establish whether skills priorities have changed given the increased awareness of the need to focus on the environment and on building ‘green’ and whether current graduates leave RMIT with the skills required to meet the needs of the industry.

Project dates: November 2007 - March 2008


Online Collaboration in the Victorian Regional Gallery Network - RMIT University

Research into the Victorian Regional Gallery Network's use of Online Collaborative Tools. The research sought to identify appropriate environments in which digital technologies can be expanded upon, applied and utilised within the Victorian Regional Gallery Network. The fundamental question of the research was, “What is the best way collaborative online technology can be used by the gallery sector, and what role can government play?” In answering this question, some general concepts of collaboration, and the part it plays in an online networked environment were detailed. The research had three broad objectives. 
  • the identification of an appropriate model of collaborative networks using internet technology that can be applied to the target group;
  • the analysis of the operating environment of the target group that will determine the implementation of the collaborative network;
  • the identification of the role, function and activity of the Victorian Government in supporting the proposed implementation. This research was undertaken as part of a Master of Applied Science, Project Management.

Project dates: January 2003 - March 2005


More information about the people that work at James Harley & Associates or to Contact us.