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Systems thinking and CMM for continuous improvement in the construction industry.

Omotayo, Temitope Seun; Boateng, Prince; Osobajo, Oluyomi; Oke, Adekunle; Obi, Loveline Ifeoma


Temitope Seun Omotayo

Prince Boateng

Adekunle Oke

Loveline Ifeoma Obi


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to present a capability maturity model (CMM) developed to implement continuous improvement in small and medium scale construction companies (SMSCC) in Nigeria. Design/methodology/approach: A multi-strategy approach involving qualitative studies of SMSCC in Nigeria was conducted. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with purposively selected construction experts in Nigeria to identify variables essential for continuous improvement in SMSCC. Data collected were thematically analysed using NVIVO. Subsequently, a system thinking approach is employed to design and develop the CMM for implementing continuous improvement SMSCC, by exploring possible relationships between the variables established. Findings: CMM provided a five-level approach for the inclusion of investigated variables such as team performance; culture; structure; post-project reviews, financial risk management, waste management policy and cost control. These variables are factors leading to continuous improvement in SMSCC, implementable within a six to seven and a half years’ timeline. Practical implications: The system thinking model revealed cogent archetypes in the form of reinforcing loops that can be applied in developing the performance of SMSCC. Continuous improvement is feasible. However, it takes time to implement. Further longitudinal studies on the cost of implementing continuous improvement through CMM a knowledge transfer project can be initiated. Originality/value: A methodical strategy for enhancing the effectiveness and operations of SMSCC in developing countries can be extracted from the causal loop diagram and the CMM.


OMOTAYO, T.S., BOATENG, P., OSOBAJO, O., OKE, A. and OBI, L.I. 2020. Systems thinking and CMM for continuous improvement in the construction industry. International journal for productivity and performance management [online], 69(2), pages 271-296. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 5, 2019
Online Publication Date Sep 12, 2019
Publication Date Mar 31, 2020
Deposit Date Aug 5, 2019
Publicly Available Date Aug 5, 2019
Journal International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management
Print ISSN 1741-0401
Electronic ISSN 1758-6658
Publisher Emerald
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 69
Issue 2
Pages 271-296
Keywords Capability maturity model; Continuous improvement; Kaizen; Nigeria; Systems thinking
Public URL


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