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Construction Industry Institute - January 2020

Update (1/28/2020): New webinar date: 2/5/2020 at 1 pm Central. Link:

Update (2/5/2020):

Added Q&A responses 

Added the webinar recording below with additional budget guidelines - please make sure to check out the additional guidelines

2020 RFP Webinar Recording.mp4


CII is currently accepting proposal submissions for two research topics developed by CII’s Funded Studies Committee (FSC). We invite the academic community to submit applications through noon Central Time, February 17, 2020. 

CII is a consortium of organizations in the capital projects industry. Our mission is to provide a research and development platform to create and drive innovative solutions that tangibly improve business outcomes through an academically-based and disciplined approach. 

CII research topics are now organized into research programs – research threads that can be more strategic and long-term than traditional, one-off topics. The new research programs are aligned with the CII mission, driven by CII’s Strategic Planning Committee, and managed by the FSC. 

CII kicked off three research programs early in 2019. The two topics that are now accepting submissions represent two additional programsThriving in a Circular Economy and Cultivating Change. The FSC developed these topics in collaboration with its Academic Subcommittee, and the CII Board of Advisors reviewed them at its fall 2019 meeting. You can view the Research Topics Summary (RTS) for these topics in Appendix A and learn more about all five research programs on the CII website at 

Through this request for proposals, CII expectto identify investigators whwill conduct research that provides significant business value for the CII member organizations. When applying, applicants should remember the following precepts: 

  • CII seeks a highly innovative principal investigator (PI) who is capable of transferring knowledge from adjacent areas into the construction engineering and management area. 

  • CII requires the engagement of an “external member” from a field related to the topic and outside the construction engineering and management field. (See the topic summaries for specific requirements.) The external member may be engaged either as a consultant or co-PI may and their participation must be focused where it is expected to bring the most value – for instance, experts in organizational studies can help the team review the existing body of knowledge and set up the research methodology. 

  • Both projects are expected to have a two-year duration and to present results in 2022 (in principle, at the CII Annual Conference). 

  • Each submission is expected to include a budget that followthe provided template.  

Academics who wish to be considered for this project must respond by submitting their qualifications in accordance with the requirements described below and the instructions provided in the online form. 

CII Requirements 

  • CII expects each proposal to include one PI and, at most, one co-PI per team. The proposal should include an “external member” from outside the construction engineering and management field as described in each Research Topic Summary in Appendix A. Note that the external member can be either a PI/co-PI or an academic working as a consultant with a specific purpose in the project (and not necessarily engaged as an investigator throughout the project). 

  • Each proposal is limited to three pages and must follow the template provided in Appendix B. 

  • The budget will be submitted in an online form following the template provided in Appendix B. As part of the proposal, applicants will be asked to identify opportunities for co-funding, beyond cost sharing or matching funds from universities; however, this information will not be primary selection criterion. In their proposals, applicants can also identify where their own universities will provide leveraged funds as matching funds. 

  • The PI is required to attend the research project kickoff meeting in person in Austin, Texas, in the week of June 8, 2020. This availability should be confirmed in the online form. 

  • Applicants must be able to follow the milestone schedule provided below. 

  • Applicants will be required to acknowledge the terms provided in the RFP in the online submission form. All submissions are expected to indicate willingness to comply with CII guidelines for budget, expected deliverables, progress updates, surveys, and data confidentiality as described below. 

Who Can Apply? 

  • Any faculty member with an appointment in a U.S. or Canadian university and who holds a terminal degree in their discipline from an accredited university is eligible. 

  • Experience with CII research is strongly encouraged but not a prerequisite. 

  • Note that proposals with PI or co-PI(s) who have outstanding or late deliverables from previous CII projects will not be reviewed. 

CII Research Process and Guidelines 

CII research has relied on teams that include academics (research process experts) and owners and contractors (domain experts). Each proposal should follow a process that ensures the quality and trustworthiness of the research results.  

CII Research Process 

CII expects the research team to follow the process summarized below and detailed later in the document. 

  1. Kickoff 
    • This represents a full-day meeting with the full team in attendance. 

    • CII provides an introduction that covers the CII research organization, process, requirements, expectations, and project milestones. 

    • The team will use this kickoff meeting to build alignment on project objectives, scope, and its expected methodology and deliverables. 

    • The team will schedule its face-to-face meetings and recurring calls and share them with CII. 

    • Team leaders will meet separately with the Associate Director for Funded Studiesthe Research Coordinator, and the FSC sponsor in a one- to two-hour meeting. During this meeting, the CII representatives will review the guidelines for deliverablestemplates for progress updatesteam milestones. 

    • CII and the team leaders will agree on the schedule for progress updates. 

2. Progress Updates 

    • Scheduled updates create opportunities for the team and CII to align and to:
      • Identify any issues related to scope changes, methodology (including surveys and data analyses), interpretation of results, and team engagement and staffing levels.
      • Identify opportunities for further deployment, to be led by the Deployment Committee. Deployment Committee members will be invited to the progress updates with the goal of discussing and identifying any opportunities related to educational modules, benchmarking, and implementation tools.

3. Dry Runs

    • During its preparations for the final presentation (often at a CII Annual Conference), research team presenters will attend online dry runs. For an Annual Conference presentation, two dry runs should be expected while one dry run may suffice for presentations in other CII events. Members of the Funded Studies Committee, CII Associate Directors, and CII Annual Conference Committee members are invited to attend and give feedback. 

    • After the second dry run, the team’s slides will be polished by a graphic designer engaged by CIIThe graphic designer will provide the revised slides to the team ahead of the dress rehearsal. 

4. Report Writing

    • The team leaders will coordinate the final report write-up and the team’s industry members are expected to help in the report writing. 

    • Report writing should leverage the presentation’s storyline and graphics. 

    • Teams will coordinate with CII on their dates and timeline. For teams that present at the Annual Conference, CII may not be able to review, edit, and publish all reports ahead of the event. Some teams may be able to provide their final reports in time for publication before the conference, while others may elect to publish their reports after the conference. Note that, in any case, the results of the projects will be summarized in the CII Knowledge Base in time for the conference. 

5. Dress Rehearsal and Presentation
    • For teams presenting at a CII Annual Conference, team presenters are expected to attend the face-to-face dress rehearsal. 

    • The dress rehearsal focuses on the delivery of the content (storyline and slides are expected to be mature and almost final at this point) 

    • CII will meet with the teams and coordinate the rehearsal process. 

6. Closeout

The CII Research Team 

CII expects the research to be conducted by a research team composed of the PI (research process expert) and industry representatives (domain experts). CII will identify the industry members and establish the team once the academics have been selected.  

While each team develops its own culture and establishes its own norms for operation, the teams are expected to be led by two industry experts selected by CII to serve as “chair” and “vice-chair.” The PI(s), as the process expert, will work with the team to develop the detailed research plan, while the chairs will facilitate and lead the overall research effort. In their role, the chairs will facilitate team support (including contributions by and the involvement of the other industry team members), serve as spokespersons for the team, and assure that the results of the research will benefit CII’s constituents and sectors. 

CII will coordinate team membership, seeking a balance between owner and contractor organizations and industry groups as appropriate. Most research teams consist of 15-20 members, but this can vary widely depending upon the topic and the business environment. 

Any potential new member identified directly by the current team members needs to be submitted to CII for approval. CII requires the Board of Advisor member to approve nominations and any new member need to be reviewed by the FSC. 

Note that while non-member organizations may provide data and expertise, they cannot be part of the research team. This means that they cannot systematically attend team meetings and that they should not have early access to results. 

Guidelines for Meetings 

CII will host a team kickoff meeting (described above) to review the project objectives, questions, and scope; promote alignment across the team members; and initiate the development of the detailed research plan. Other team meetings will be hosted by the team members or, possibly, the PI’s university. CII expects two to four face-to-face meetings per year. More meetings may occur early in the process when scope definition, methodology definition, and data collection are occurring, while fewer meetings may be necessary toward the end of the project, when the team is focusing on writing its report and preparing the presentation. Research teams are encouraged to use web-based meetings to minimize travel impacts on team members. CII suggests that the team schedule a recurring monthly call that can be used as needed. Web meetings should be hosted by team members’ organizations’ resources. 

CII will request the team to provide a meeting schedule at the end of the kickoff meeting, including tentative dates for the face-to-face meeting and recurring online calls. CII’s Associate Director, Research Coordinator, and the FSC sponsors should be included in all meeting invitations. 

Guidelines for Research Methodology 

Applicants are required to provide an outline of their intended research methodology. This should include insights on the inputs (data intended for the research and data collection tools/instruments), analysis methods (indicating specific methods), and outputs (the expected findings). CII understands that this initial framework will evolve after the kickoff and expects the teams to have a final research methodology available for the second progress update. This update should also clearly define the inputs, analysis methods, and outputs of the research. Teams are encouraged to identify any partial outputs of the research and summarize them in separate phase of the overall methodology. The table below provides an example of how this can be represented. 

Table 1. Example of the description of data input, methods, and outcomes. 





Survey data on factors affecting construction readiness 

Descriptive analysis of the survey data to identify common factors 

Potential factors 

Exploratory Phase 

Expert input on the relative relevance of factors 

Delphi Method 

Weighted factors required to create a framework for Tool A 

Development of the proposed tool framework and proof of concept. 

Project data on cost and schedule outcomes 

Scores from the implementation of Tool A 

t-test to identify statistically significant benefits associated with the use of Tool A 

A statistically significant association between the score produced by Tool A” and certain project outcomes 



Guidelines for the Use of Surveys 

The data collection effort can be substantial to both the research team and companies that respond to surveys. Research teams are encouraged to use a variety of data collection approaches, which may include site visits and structured interviews in addition to surveys. If the team plans to use surveys, it should carefully plan and evaluate the purpose of these surveys. Many survey instruments (and the questions they pose), although they seek factual data, actually capture only the opinions of respondents. CII, therefore, provides the following guidelines for use of surveys in CII research: 

  • Surveys may be used to solicit ideas, suggestions, target resources, etc. from CII member organizations as well as non-member organizations, and may also be used to obtain hard project data from these organizations. As noted above, while non-member organizations may provide data and expertise, they cannot be part of the research team. 

  • CII research team surveys should not be used to generate opinion-based research conclusions unless the intent of the survey is actually to solicit opinions. Care should be taken in crafting survey questions to avoid unintended confusion between “opinions” versus “hard data.” For example, if a well-intentioned question (e.g., “What improvement in X would result if Y were implemented?) is ultimately an “opinion” question, then so too would be the response. Typically, survey results that reflect the opinions of the respondents might be used in guiding the progress and direction of the research effort but would not be used to validate findings of the research and, in particular, benefits to be derived from the research. 

  • Any research findings that rely on opinion surveys should be properly qualified to make their origin clear. 

  • Researchers should also recognize that directing surveys only to the CII membership may not result in the desired innovation and broadening of CII member perspectives. There is a risk that CII member surveys could simply reinforce existing practices, processes, and perspectives; inadvertently skew research results; and deny CII members the benefits of broader opportunities, innovations, and viewpoints. 

Further, the following additional conditions shall be applied to the utilization of CII member (or industry) surveys in executing the research contemplated in this RFP: 

  • Any planned use of a survey instrument must be approved in advance by the CII Associate Director for Funded Studies. Such approval shall be secured in advance of the development of the survey instrument. The request for approval must identify the basic goals and objectives of the survey approach. If the survey is approved, the actual survey instrument(s) shall also be similarly submitted for approval prior to distribution. 

  • Any such survey request submitted for approval should carefully identify the objective of the survey, which may include 

  • To gather general information, potential research resources, or ideas for innovations or solutions 

  • To gather hard data, typically associated with the Testing/Validation phase of the research 

Guidelines for Research Data and Confidentiality 

Data for CII research may be collected from many sources and via many methods, depending on scope and methodology, but will in all cases comply with CII data collection guidelines. PIs are expected to use diverse sources of data – both external and internal to CII. When appropriate, structured interviews, case studies, field trials, simulation modeling, project (hard”) data survey, and other data-gathering and data-generating techniques should be considered, provided such techniques and methods produce data, and that the resulting analysis and conclusions are consistent with the “rigorous, accepted academic standards following a structured scientific process” criterion mentioned above. 

As noted above, the data collection plan will be coordinated with the CII Associate Director for Funded Studies before data collection commences. Individual research teams, however, will be responsible for designing their data collection methodologies consistent with both the confidentiality and academic research standards specified herein. Only PIs and their designated academic research assistants will be afforded access to data collected from CII member companies. 

All data collected in CII research projects in support of research activities are to be considered “company confidential.” The data are provided by organizations with the assurance that individual company data will not be communicated in any form to any party other than CII authorized academic researchers and designated CII staff members. Any data or any analyses based on these data that are shared with others or published will represent summaries of data from multiple organizations participating in the data gathering and collection effort, aggregated in a way that will preclude identification of proprietary data origins and/or the specific performance of individual organizations. 

While serving on CII research teams, industry participants may at times have access to aggregated summaries of proprietary, company confidential data as necessary to support the research. These data will be used only for the support of the team research under the guidance of the PI and everyone granted access to the data must execute a CII-provided confidentiality acknowledgment before receiving access. 

Reports, presentations, and proceedings containing statistical summaries of aggregated company data may be used to support research findings. When collecting project-related data, to protect the confidentiality of companies submitting data, all data published and/or presented must reflect the aggregate of no less than 10 projects, where project-level data are collected; and must have been submitted by at least three separate companies. In cases where a disproportionate amount of the data is provided by a single company, the PI will suppress publication of results until the data set is sufficiently large to mitigate confidentiality and bias concerns. Where smaller samples are used to support case study and field trial research, either a release will be obtained from the companies submitting such data or all confidential identifiers will be removed before using the data. Reports and data files containing individual organization or project data are considered confidential and will not be published or released without specific permission in writing by the company’s representative to the CII Board of Advisors. It is the responsibility of the PI(s) to obtain this permission. 

A copy of the data set with the confidential company, project, and respondent identifiers removed may be kept by the PI at the completion of the research project to support future academic research and publication needs. At least 45 business days prior to the submission of derivative works containing these data for publication, a copy of the publication will be submitted to the CII Associate Director for Funded Studies for comment. Exceptions to these rules will be coordinated on a case-by-case basis with the CII Associate Director for Funded Studies. 

Datasetcannot be published or shared with the public in any form.  

CII considers the datasets to be part of the project deliverables. These datasets can be leveraged in future research projects and thus may become part of CII’s research database. Teams are required to create data dictionaries (see “Expected Deliverables” below) that explain the data fields being captured and to provide these dictionaries to CII along with the dataset. 

Guidelines for Progress Update 

During its kickoff meeting, the research team will schedule a series of progress updates, to be presented at online calls. At each update, the team leaders will deliver a slide deck to update the sponsoring committee (if a sector committee) and the Funded Studies Committee on the project’s progress. Each progress update will enable participants to address any issues regarding scope, objectives, or research methodology (e.g., surveys, data analysis) early in the process, rather than during later phases such as presentation development or report writing/review. The progress updates must align with the following requirements:

  • The team is expected to submit progress update slides on each due date. (See milestones below.)
  • Team leaders (i.e., chair, vice-chair, PI, and any co-PI) will attend to discuss progress.
  • During each update, these team leaders will report any changes to questions, scope, methodology, or deliverables.
  • Progress update 1 focuses on alignment and refining objectives.
  • Progress update 2 focuses on methodology.
  • Progress updates 3 and 4 focus on partial results and deliverables.
    • Representatives of the CII Deployment Committee will be invited to attend progress update 3 and any other meetings (like annual conference dry runs) when participants could be expected to identify deployment opportunities for the team’s products.
    • The team may consider delivering partial results that will provide value to members and build interest in the project. This may include a white paper, blog post, or some other vehicle to disseminate findings to CII members in an agile way.
    • The team should identify its expected final deliverables at progress updates 3 and 4.

The team should be prepared to identify opportunities for further deployment of its research results. For instance, if the team identifies a need to benchmark the use of a tool or practice, the Deployment Committee may propose integrating the results into the CII Data Warehouse and The progress update template can be found in the online Box folder ( – filename CII_FSC Progress Report Template v2.pptx 

Guidelines for Tools and for Further Development (validation, deployment, professional development) 

As a rule, CII expects research teams to create new knowledge and to test and/or validate any concepts or practices proposed by the team. As part of this process, teams may develop prototypical tools (e.g., Excel tool or beta software) to help test or validate new concepts or practices. CII will treat such tools as a proof-of-concept and make them available to CII members; however, CII will not maintain these tools. In cases where the research team develops proof-of-concept tools, the Deployment Committee should be engaged to assess which steps should be taken to enable the further development of these tools. The Deployment Committee will be invited to attend progress updates in order to identify opportunities for the deployment of the research results before the end of the project. 

Expected Deliverables 

The following deliverables must be provided by the academic team: 

  • Final report 

  • Three or four progress updates (as defined in the Project Milestones section below) 

  • Knowledge Base Topic Summary and Tagging Checklist (their templates are available in the online Box folder - 

  • One or more dry runs and dress rehearsal, and a final presentation at a CII event (as defined in the Project Milestones below). Some examples of past presentations at CII annual conferences are provided for reference: 

  • Datasets with raw data along with data dictionaries 

  • Closeout report 

Optional deliverables: 

  • Proof-of-concept tools or beta software (if applicable) 

Further details for these deliverables can be found in CII_FSC Guidelines for Research Project Deliverables v3.docx ( 

Note on Project Extensions 

CII will not provide project extensions for validation purposes. The research team is required to address validation within the project’s original duration. If further data collection is recommended for validation purposes or for the assessment of the value of practices, the team will provide data collection guidelines and instructions for data analysis as a project deliverable in coordination with the Deployment Committee. Further data collection will be directed to CII’s Deployment Committee, which will define the best approach for further data collection beyond the research project as a means to establish the value of CII practices. 

CII will not provide an extension for the original team to pursue identified gaps or issues that require further investigation. The research team may submit suggestions for further research to CII (through the Funded Studies Committee or other sponsoring committees). These suggestions will go through the topics selection process and, if selected, will require a new RFP/RFQ. 

As a rule, CII will not grant no-cost extensions. CII expects teams to finalize the work within the original period and will only consider no-cost extensions under exceptional circumstances. Any extension will require approval from the sponsoring committee and the Sector Leadership Committee (if a sector project), and the Funded Studies Committee. 

Selection and Evaluation 

CII will adopt the following selection criteria to evaluate applications: 

Proposal strategy, vision, and methodology (60%) 

  • Innovativeness and uniqueness of the research vision and strategy (evaluated by academic peers and industry members) 

  • Feasible, coherent, and clear research methodology (evaluated by academic peers and industry members) 

Academic qualifications (40%)  

  • PI qualifications, experience, reputation, and previous research on projects delivery and contracting (20%):  

    • The relevance of prior related research (based on three papers included in the online form) (evaluated by academic peers) 

    • Previous CII experience: CII values previous participation in CII research; however, although this criterion contributes to the selection, it is not a prerequisite. CII will work with selected academics without prior experience to make sure they have a productive relationship with the industry members (evaluated by academic peers and industry members). 

  • Graduate program reputation (the student(s) research program should be clearly identified) (20%)  (evaluated by academic peers) 

Leveraged funds (0%) – Used only as a secondary criterion to differentiate the top selected proposals 

  • Leveraged funds in terms of GRA contribution or any other cost-sharing from universities, or external funds from other funding sources that reduces CII’s cost. 

The submitted proposal will be reviewed by: 

  • Members of the sponsoring committee  

  • Members of the FSC’s Academic Subcommittee 

  • CII’s Associate Director for Funded Studies 

In case of conflict of interest, Academics or CII staff should recuse themselves from the evaluation process. 

How to Apply? 

Respondents must submit proposals using the online form available at:  

Proposals will not be accepted if submitted after the deadline. 

Appendix A describes the research topics and scope and can be used as a starting point for the proposals. 

Appendix B provides a template for the proposal to be uploaded in the online form. While the proposal should be uploaded as a document, qualifications for the PIs should be entered directly in the online form. Partial submissions will not be accepted. Make sure that you proceed until you see the “thank you” note at the end of the survey. Any questions regarding this RFP should be submitted to Kristi Delaney ( 

What Is Next? 

This timeline contains the main milestones that applicants should be aware of: 

  • January 102020: RFP released. 

  • January 20: RFP Webinar  (UPDATED ON 1/28/2020): February 5th, 1 pm (Central)

  • January 10-February 7: Questions will be accepted and addressed in this RFP page. 

  • February 17 (Noon Central Time): RFP Deadline (applications will not be accepted if submitted after the RFP deadline) 

  • February 17-March 31: CII will review and rank applications. 

  • March 31: Results will be available and the selected team will be notified via email. 

  • Week of June 8, 2020 Kickoff meeting: The project PI is required to attend the kickoff meeting at CII on the week of June 8 in Austin, Texas. Failure to attend the kickoff meeting will hinder any further development of the project. 

Project Milestones 

The following milestones should guide the research execution plan. The dates below are tentative and should be refined at the kickoff meeting. 

Week of June 8


July 15, 2020

Mid-August (updated on 1/31/2020)

Contract Starts / Revised Proposal Due / Progress update 1

October 14, 2020

Progress update 2 (feedback for the team due 1 week after)

April 14, 2021

Progress update 3 (feedback for the team due 1 week after)

November 10, 2021

Progress update 4

March 14, 2022

Dry run 1 slides due (schedule online dry run on the week of March 14)

April 11, 2022

Dry run 2 slides due (schedule online dry run on the week of March 14)

TBD (First week of June 2022)

Dress rehearsal (in person)

June 7 (Monday), 2022

KB Deliverables due

June 7 (Monday), 2022

Final report draft due

July 19 (Monday), 2022

Final report due

TBD (early August 2022)               

Presentation at CII event

September 30, 2022

Closeout report submitted

October 28, 2022

Closeout report approved

October 28, 2022

Contract ends

Appendix A – Research Topic Summaries 

Topic Title: Value and Opportunities of Circular Economy on Capital Projects 

Essential question 

What are the greatest opportunities, the value propositions, and key business models for driving a circular economy in capital projects? 


In a recent survey of American companies, over 60% are currently moving towards circularity in their operations, with another 16% already utilizing circular principles in their planning and operations (Fast Company, 2019). This is directly related to portions of the capital project industry, primarily at the product level, e.g., materials re-use, product as service models (e.g. carpeting, lighting, equipment, etc.), product life extension (e.g. Caterpillar’s Rebuild programs), buildings as materials banks, and adaptive re-use of facilities. 

As companies begin to implement a circular approach to their operations, a new circular economy paradigm is emerging relative to the prevalent capital project industry paradigm that focuses on optimal management of material flows through product design, reverse logistics, and business model innovation. 

This research should enable CII member companies to understand the opportunities and values of implementing circular economy principles on capital projects, and changes required to business models to maximize the value.  

The project should focus on business opportunities and value propositions for CII member companies. This project will critically assess existing and emerging commercial examples. The research team can consider CII best practices such as constructability or planning for modularization as examples of how to structure an implementation tool kit. The team should consider a diverse, multidisciplinary team as an advantage on this project to capture opportunities for different stakeholders.  

In addition, the research should identify opportunities that drive the circular economy into the execution of capital projects for each key stakeholder (Owner, Designer, Contractor) – this should focus on key discussion/buy-in items each stakeholder needs to accomplish in order to understand and integrate circular economy principles into their processes. 

Expected value 

The expected value of this research for our member companies include: 

  • Alignment of capital projects to member companies’ core circular economy initiatives. 

  • Ability to identify and implement opportunities for circular economy on capital projects. 

  • Understand the value of implementing circular economy on capital projects. 

  • Identify opportunities for changes to business models that operate better in a circular economy. 

Expected deliverables 

Potential deliverables include: 

  • Circular economy principle overview with respect to capital projects. 

  • Prioritized list of circular economy opportunities on capital projects. 

  • Value proposition of the key circular economy opportunities, preferrably tied to case studies and examples. 

  • A list of key circular business model elements needed for adoption into the capital projects and facilities domain, including commercially successful examples of each 


Provided above in the description 

Potential Participants/Collaborators/Co-funding 

This research team must engage an external researcher or consultant with expertise in the field related to circular economy. This external researcher can also be engaged as a consultant and provide input in specific points of the project (as opposed to participating as a co-PI across the entire project). The external researcher/consultant must be in a department/program not directly related to construction engineering and management (Civil Engineering, Construction Sciences, Construction Management programs). 

Time frame 

2 years- preferably, with partial deliverables at year one that provide some immediate value and set the state for the second year. 


Ellen MacArthur Foundation. THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY IN DETAIL. Last accessed: December 12, 2019 

Nußholz, Julia L.K. 2017. "Circular Business Models: Defining a Concept and Framing an Emerging Research Field." Sustainability 9, no. 10: 1810. 

Topic Title: Organizational Structures and Processes to Enable Cultivating Change  

Essential question(s) 

What organizational strategies, processes and structures are needed for the capital projects industry to thrive in an environment of new and increasing uncertainties and continuous change? 

What factors are driving change in capital project organizations (for owners, contractors, and suppliers)? 

What organizational structures and processes can enable companies to adapt to change in an agile way? Can we find examples or case studies in other industries that can help the capital projects industry? 

Other questions that may or may not be addressed: 

  • How can organizations be efficient to adapt and, at the same time, be able to fully incorporate lessons learned from the past and be consistent over time across different projects? 

  • Can we find examples in other adjacent areas where certain types of organizations allowed companies to adapt to change? This could lead to case studies in the final project to create these reference points. 


In recent years, CII members have experienced significant changes in their organizations. Among the drivers for these changes are mergers and acquisitions, divestments, globalization of the supply chain and organizations, and the emergence of technology disruptors. The Future of the Built Environment study, sponsored by the Funded Studies Committee, identified many of these drivers. The study identifies scenarios for the future where organizations may experience faster and continuous change. The question then is how to help CII member companies to be better positioned for such a level of change. In other words, how we create organizations that cultivate change and are equipped to thrive in a climate of continuous change. 

The Funded Studies Committee recommended that the first step into the problem is understanding the organizational strategies, processes, and structures that allow member companies to quickly adapt to new conditions while maintaining the lessons learned from the past. These organizational strategies, processes and structures can address both corporate organizations and project organizations, as well as organizations across owner and contractor companies. 

Once this first step is taken, it will be possible to either select available tools and approaches to enable change (such as ADKAR model) or pursue further research where existing approaches are not able to address the Capital Projects industry needs.  

Expected value 

This project will provide guidance to companies planning or undergoing organization changes by identifying successful organization structures and processes that can be used as a reference. More efficient structures will eventually allow companies to be better positioned in markets with disruptors and where change becomes more frequent.  

It will also help organizations to identify changes that are needed to face current and future challenges.  

Expected deliverables 

Potential deliverables include: 

  • Detailed definitions for change drivers in the context of the capital projects industry. 

  • Determination of the criticality of each change driver to the capital projects industry. 

  • Case studies of exemplary examples of organizational strategies, processes and structures that cultivate change. 

  • A set of strategies and organizational changes that organizations in the capital projects industry can consider when seeking to improve their ability to cultivate change. 

  • Guidelines and recommendations for optimal organization strategies, processes, and structures. 


A recent report prepared for the Construction Industry Institute highlights the key uncertainties that will drive the need for change in the capital projects industry over the coming decades. To thrive in this new environment will require addressing the drivers of change.  These have been broadly categorized as the “Pull of the Future” (from automation/labor, prefabrication, shifting senses of place, smartness, net plus, and 3D printing), “Push from the Present” (integration with surroundings, mixed-use development, off-the-grid, personalization, sharing, and voluntary simplicity), and “Weight from the Past” (impacts of climate change, more and more varied regulation, transparency and integration, and trade power).  The industry needs a clear understanding of how processes and organizations need to change in order to maximize the benefits of adapting to these change drivers. 

Potential Participants/Collaborators/Co-funding 

This research team must engage an external researcher or consultant with expertise in the field of organizational studies, organizational behavior, organizational learning, organizational ecology or organizational psychology. This external researcher can also be engaged as a consultant and provide input in specific points of the project (as opposed to participating as a co-PI across the entire project). The external researcher/consultant must be in a department/program not directly related to construction engineering and management. 

Time frame 

2 years- preferably, with partial deliverables at year one that provide some immediate value and set the groundwork for the second year. 


Appendix B – Templates 

Applicants should download the proposal and budget templates available in the Box folder ( proposal submission both proposals and budget files should be uploaded to the online form. Note that the qualifications section, also included in the file, should be entered directly in the online form (rather than included in the proposal file). 


Can a PI respond to both RFPs and submit 2 proposals?

Yes, you can. However, the Funded Studies Committee's policy is not to award more than one proposal to a given PI (either as PI or co-PI). 

The RFP states that the contract begins in August but it has the kickoff in June. What will CII make this timing work?

CII will reimburse any kickoff expenses. Following the kickoff, teams are expected to review the proposal (allowing for small changes to align with the industry members) and submit a final proposal to CII, which will be used to initiate the contract.

Can a project have PI, CO-PI, and Consultant?

Yes, but respondents should consider how to address the budget guidelines (see webinar recording) after including the additional third member.

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