A critique of conceptions of design and management in construction projects

Boyd, David and Bentley, David (2012) A critique of conceptions of design and management in construction projects. Construction Management and Economics, 30 (6). pp. 441-454. ISSN 01446193 (ISSN)

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Abstract

Construction is about changing the world in the future from our intentions. This involves organizing and manipulating the physical and social world through design, management and craft. These require thinking about the desired end product but also the means of achieving it. Thinking is set in social norms, here called pre-conceptualizations, which configure our conceptions and give them social validity, forming expectations of what can happen and how to improve it. The conventional pre-conceptualization of construction design and management is critiqued using a case study. This pre-conceptualization is shown to be backward looking where the future is assumed to be like the past and knowledge is ascribed to individuals. The causes of failure then appear evident and knowable inducing maladaptive management and blame of individuals. However, design/management is in reality forward looking; events cannot be seen with such significance looking into the future. Two alternative pre-conceptualizations are presented and their implications explored. The first acknowledges evolution, which works against intent, thus explaining deviations. The second involves complexity science where intentions are emergent phenomena and socially constituted, thus explaining improvisation and improvement. In conclusion, new pre-conceptualizations are required to avoid blame cultures, facilitate creative solutions and develop enduring improvements. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Complexity, intention, pre-conceptualization, social knowledge, Achieving it, Complexity, Complexity science, Construction design and managements, Construction projects, Creative solutions, Emergent phenomenon, End-products, Forward looking, intention, pre-conceptualization, Social Knowledge, Social norm, Construction industry, Design, architectural design, building construction, complexity, conceptual framework, project design
Subjects: K200 Building
Divisions: Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment > Integrated Design Construction
UoA Collections > UoA16: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
Depositing User: Hussen Farooq
Date Deposited: 21 Jul 2016 09:21
Last Modified: 11 Oct 2017 08:20
URI: http://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/2264

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