An empirical study of the impact of lean on the performance of the construction industry in UAE
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The purpose of this study is to propose a conceptual framework for the exploration of appropriate lean techniques applicable to medium and large construction companies and measure their impact on the competitiveness and economic performance of construction companies in United Arab Emirates. Design/methodology/approach A questionnaire survey is conducted on 215 construction professionals in UAE to investigate the lean technique’s effect on the construction companies’ performance. The data collected were analyzed with SPSS 20.0 version software using the Cronbach’s a reliability test, correlation coefficient test and Kaiser–Meyer–Olkin test. Findings Analysis of lean techniques in the construction industry reveals 21 lean techniques. These techniques were categorized into the six types of lean core values. Process focus was found to be the most applied type of construction core value in the surveyed companies. This is required to focus on applying other core values as it will impact the company’s economic performance positively. Research limitations/implications The integrity of the research findings is based on the accuracy and reliability of collected data from 215 respondents working for construction companies in UAE, implementing lean construction techniques within a their daily activates and not achieving significant project achievements in terms of quality improvement, speed and cost reduction without adopting the overall lean construction framework. Practical implications This research recommends a systematic approach for the implementation of the anticipated framework within a cyclical look-ahead period and emphasizes the practical implications of the proposed approach in the construction companies. Originality/value Research significance emphasizes increasing the effectiveness of the construction industry and influences the development of lean construction framework, which improves lean construction practices using the lean techniques. This contributes to the effort of applying lean techniques in the construction industry. Limited studies have been done in the construction industry, mainly in UAE, compared to lean manufacturing.