A critique of conceptions of design and management in construction projects
AbstractConstruction 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.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Construction Management and Economics.
Volume (Year): 30 (2012)
Issue (Month): 6 (April)
Contact details of provider:
Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/RCME20
You can help add them by filling out this form.
reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.Access and download statisticsgeneral information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Michael McNulty).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.