Shared sense of purposefulness”: a new concept to understand the practice of coordinating design in construction

Cidik, Mustafa Selcuk and Boyd, David (2019) Shared sense of purposefulness”: a new concept to understand the practice of coordinating design in construction. Construction Management and Economics. ISSN 0144-6193

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Construction management literature sees the collective task of coordinating design as being about the “‘integration’” of “fragmented” discipline-specific design tasks/outputs, thus overlooking the important role of social interactions. This is not only conceptually problematic but also presents a practical management problem. As a response, a practice-based approach, which relies on a “becoming” ontology, is adopted for a practical explanation of design coordination for more effective design management. The adopted methodology suggests that design develops as a result of unfolding (path-dependent) individual actions and interdisciplinary interactions. Based on this, the concept of a “shared sense of purposefulness” is proposed to refer to the temporary and precarious organizational state of a design team in which each of the interacting team members has achieved a state of purposefulness to resume individual action. Hence, design coordination in construction is redefined as continuously re-establishing and maintaining “a shared sense of purposefulness”. The concept’s usefulness for understanding the practice of design coordination is demonstrated using data collected from a project in the UK. The discussion enables fresh insights into the everyday operation of design coordination. It is concluded that the proposed conception paves a way forward both for the research and practice in construction design management.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: “This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Construction Management and Economics on 9th April 2019 available online at:
Identification Number:
Date: 9 April 2019
Uncontrolled Keywords: Design coordination, design management, sensemaking, organizational analysis, practice-based study, construction
Subjects: K900 Others in Architecture, Building and Planning
Divisions: REF UoA Output Collections > REF2021 UoA13: Architecture, Built Environment and Planning
Faculty of Computing, Engineering and the Built Environment > School of Engineering and the Built Environment
Depositing User: Euan Scott
Date Deposited: 24 May 2019 12:34
Last Modified: 01 Oct 2021 15:05

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