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Organizing construction work: a digital and cooperative way forwards for micro-projects
journal contributionposted on 2023-07-26, 15:45 authored by Fred Sherratt, Chris Ivory, Simon Sherratt, Sarah Crawley
The Digital Construction Cooperative, or DigiConCo-Op, is a digital ‘virtual main contractor’ platform, able to support the collaboration of local micro-SMEs and SMEs (MSMEs) in the delivery of micro-projects. The design of the platform reflects and is intended to instantiate the theory and practice of cooperativism. Cooperativism is an organizational, economic and contractual model which assumes that humans work best when working together collaboratively and in contexts were they share ownership of the enterprise at hand. In Cooperatives, management responsibilities, profits and risks are fully shared between those doing the work. Following the theoretical detailing of the DigiConCo-Op platform, its fit with practice is explored through interviews with n = 25 MSMEs as to the potential benefits and challenges these future users perceived within the platform, and cooperative working generally. Findings show that there is an appetite for construction cooperatives among construction MSMEs, and for supporting digital technology, but also a concern for how responsibility and risk are shared in practice, and whether membership can be open without some form of pre-existing personal relationship.
Publication titleBuilding Research & Information
PublisherTaylor & Francis