An Emergent Form of Client-led Supply Chain Governance in UK Construction: Clans

Stuart Tennant, Scott Fernie

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    Drawing inspiration and legitimacy from the traditions of organisational theory and in particular alternative mechanisms of organisational governance, the research explores an emergent, clan form of client-led supply chain governance in UK construction. Clan mechanisms of organisational governance are described as hybrid structures of exchange, neither pro-market nor organisational hierarchy. Not to be mistaken with alternative mechanisms of exchange such as networks, clan forms of client-led supply chain management are readily distinguishable by their highly socialised marketplace, enduring relationships and community of practice. A qualitative research strategy is adopted for this exploration of clan forms of client-led supply chain governance. Data collection uses semi-structured interviews, recorded, coded and analyzed. Participants include senior industry figures from a cross-section of construction stakeholder organisations, including client bodies, first tier service providers and construction contractors. In contrast to much of the prevailing work in construction supply chain management research, the findings draw specific attention to a hybrid form of organisational governance rarely discussed: namely clans. In light of challenging economic conditions, the recognition and potential contribution of clans as an alternative mechanism of governance is a timely and valuable contribution to the ongoing construction supply chain management debate.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Journal of Construction Supply Chain Management
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


    • Clans
    • Construction Industry
    • Organisational Governance
    • Supply Chain Management


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