Research Portal

July 1, 2022

Barriers to Effective Implementation of Quality Management Systems in Public Design Projects in Iran

Abdirad, Hamid; Nazari, Ahad. (2015). Barriers to Effective Implementation of Quality Management Systems in Public Design Projects in Iran. Architectural Engineering And Design Management, 11(6), 457 – 474.

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The goal of this research is to investigate why architectural design practice in the public domain in Iran has not implemented quality management systems (QMSs) as effectively as expected. Through an in-depth review of the literature and a set of interviews, a framework of challenges is identified and validated, and it served as the basis of a survey among high-ranked design firms active in public projects. This study shows that there are many barriers to reach design excellence, rooted in general policies and standards, characteristics of clients' organizations, and strategies and organizational factors in design firms. Although many design firms and agencies in Iran have certification of accredited QMSs, realities of architectural design practice show that norms in public projects clearly contradict principles of QMSs and make them ineffective. This study reveals a strong need for developing QMSs that address (1) true definition of design quality in standards and guidelines, (2) importance of final users and public community as true customers of public projects, (3) strategies in design firm management and organizational structures, (4) prerequisites of learning cycle in design projects, and (5) modifications in cultures and interactions among parties involved in design decision-making.


Quality Assurance; Public Building Design & Construction; Architectural Design; Construction Project Management; Construction Industry; Iran; Architectural Practice; Design Management; Design Quality; Public Buildings; Quality Management; Organizational Factors; Organizational Structures; Quality Management Systems; Standards And Guidelines; Decision Making; 0