Linked semantic platforms for social & physical infrastructure & wellbeing

Duration of project: June 2019 - June 2021APO Logo

Lean Construction


Ethical Construction



The focus of this project is on the engagement and implementation of networked open social scholarship. ‘Networked open social scholarship involves creating and disseminating research and research technologies to a broad, interdisciplinary audience of specialists and non-specialists in ways that are both accessible and significant’ (Implementing New Knowledge Environments, 2016). In the Built Environment there are numerous Professional Associations that seek to catalyse knowledge sharing of innovative research and leading edge practitioners’ experiences.

This project consists of two important collections embracing both Lean Construction and Ethical Construction practises.

The Lean Construction collection is an exemplar of what can be achieved to link the Australian academic community and the professional community. During the curation of the collection, there was ongoing collaboration with the Lean Construction Institute of Australasia (LCIA).

Lean Construction focuses on the elimination of waste through improved processes, utilising tools and concepts gained from Toyota’s Lean manufacturing system. It aims to increase efficiency and productivity leading to profitability, whilst adding value from the customer’s perspective. This pilot collection has important implications for Universities in relation to academic research, scholarship, learning and teaching and engagement activities. The collection has over 350 high quality selective examples of case studies from industry, presented in a variety of formats. The items within the collection are open access enabling easy access by the national and global construction community.

Ethical construction involves values-based behaviours. The construction industry at various times has been deemed as one of the most fraudulent industries worldwide. Ethics can influence many facets of construction and may manifest itself in corrupt dealings, poor recruitment in relation to equity and diversity, unsafe work environments,  collusion in bidding, poor quality service or project, employing illegal immigrants, inequitable payments, poor supervision, bribery, low client integrity in procurement and tendering, bid shopping, vexatious legal disputes and poor environmental practices. Ethical codes alone, commonly in the form of codes of practice for professionals, are not adequate enough to ensure a high standard of behaviour. Ethical construction is concerned with an ecosystem underpinned by values-based ethical thinking which seeks to create a culture conducive to achieving project and organisational goals within an environment that is transparent and trustworthy.

One of the greatest challenges in the construction industry is the opportunistic behaviours evident within the constant bidding world of projects where productivity and competitiveness are premium. The Ethical Construction collection aims to inform corporate social responsibility within construction through provision of access to resources advising on ethical procurement, equity and diversity, code of conduct, training and education and culture. The overarching goal of Ethical construction is to create and maintain better values-based behaviours across the industry.


Implementing New Knowledge Environments. (2016). Forum: The INKE partnership for networked open social scholarship.

Research Team

Western Sydney University LIEF Chief Investigator Prof Kerry London

Western Sydney University Collections Editor Jo Evans