The doctoral dissertations of the former Helsinki University of Technology (TKK) and Aalto University Schools of Technology (CHEM, ELEC, ENG, SCI) published in electronic format are available in the electronic publications archive of Aalto University - Aaltodoc.

Relational Risk and Relationship Management in Facilities Management Partnerships

Anssi Salonen

Dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Science in Technology to be presented with due permission of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for public examination and debate in Auditorium R1 at Helsinki University of Technology (Espoo, Finland) on the 19th of May, 2006, at 12 o'clock noon.

Overview in PDF format (ISBN 951-22-8139-2)   [738 KB]
Dissertation is also available in print (ISBN 951-22-8138-4)


This dissertation studies facilities management (FM) partnerships and related risks. The study consists of three research phases. The first phase was a qualitative pilot study to gain understanding and form preliminary research questions and propositions. This was conducted through four pilot cases. The second phase of the research process was a qualitative longitudinal case study. In this case work it was possible to investigate the proposed research questions more thoroughly as I worked with one case for over two years from its origin. In the third phase, it was conducted a descriptive survey to study the generalisability of the results as well as to validate the findings from earlier phases.

The purpose of this dissertation was to develop a framework for facilitating understanding of relational risk and management in facilities management partnerships. The results of this research contribute to the facilities management and to some extent relationship management disciplines. The dissertation increases our knowledge of partnerships in the FM context. Dissertation adds to the stream of relationship management literature by delineating a study in new context. This dissertation widens the partnership studies into the field of business services. The relationship management discipline was improved by introducing the difference between risk and perceived risk and its consequences on relevant management methods in FM industry. Additionally, the much debated concept in partnership literature, trust, was examined and it was stated that trust affects only perceived risk.

The dissertation delineates the characteristics of FM partnership and their consequences on FM partnership management and also provides information about the connection between trust and partnership management. The results of the research supported the original research propositions as follows: Companies are moving towards closer relationships in the FM industry. Companies face new kinds of uncertainties and risks as they move towards collaborative relationships. Uncertainty and risk cannot be managed with trust. Trust only affects perceived risks. As one of the main practical contributions of this dissertation, it was suggested that companies could use the presented conceptual model as a starting point for the management of their relationships and risks, particularly the management of relational risk.

This thesis consists of an overview and of the following 6 publications:

  1. Revised and originally published as: Tuomela, A. and Salonen, A. (2003) Network service organisation: a multiple pilot study, Proceedings of the EuroFM International Research Symposium, Rotterdam, Netherlands, 14.-17.5.2003, pp. R3.4/ 1-14.
    Revised and re-published as: Tuomela, A. and Salonen, A. (2005) Network service organisation: a multiple pilot study, Facilities, Vol. 23, No. 3/4, pp. 128-141.
  2. Salonen, A. (2004) Characteristics of facility service industry and effects on buyer-supplier relationships, Nordic Journal of Surveying and Real Estate Research, Special Series, Vol. 2, pp. 47-66.
  3. Revised and published first as: Salonen, A. (2004) Managing outsourced support services: observations from case study, Proceedings of the 3rd European Research Symposium in Facilities Management, Copenhagen, Denmark, 12.-14.5.2004, pp. 147-154.
    Revised and published again as: Salonen, A. (2004) Managing outsourced support services: observations from case study, Facilities, Vol. 22, No. 11/12, pp. 317-322.
  4. Salonen, A. (2004) Dynamic view to relationship management – a case study in real estate industry, Proceedings of the 13th International IPSERA 2004 Conference, Sisilia, 4.-7.4.2004, pp. W-657-W-666.
  5. Salonen, A., Lehtonen, T. and Ventovuori, T. (2005) A review and classification of empirical research in facilities management, Proceedings of the EuroFM International Research Symposium, Frankfurt, Germany, 19.-21.4.2005, pp. 477-485.
  6. Lehtonen, T. and Salonen, A. (2005) Procurement and relationship management trends in FM services, Proceedings of the 21st IMP Conference, in print. (Accepted 9.7.2005).

Keywords: facilities management, partnerships, relational risk

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© 2006 Helsinki University of Technology

Last update 2011-05-26