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Construction clients’ ability to manage uncertainty and equivocality

Listed author(s):
  • Erika Levander
  • Susanne Engström
  • Ylva Sardén
  • Lars Stehn
Registered author(s):

    While risk and uncertainty management have received much attention within construction management research, management of information interpretation remains unexplored. Situations that are generally overlooked are those where increased amounts and flow of information are not the solution to the human problem of managing multiple meanings of information and conflicting interpretations, i.e. ‘equivocality’. The aim is to identify and differentiate between construction clients’ uncertainty and equivocality about industrialized construction in Sweden, and, in the light of those findings, to evaluate clients’ current information processing practice on investment decisions in new-build in order to assess and discuss clients’ ability to manage uncertainty and equivocality. Based on information processing theory, analysis of aggregated data from three previous studies shows that there is a need to manage both uncertainty and equivocality. At the same time, clients’ ability to do this is found to be limited. Consequently, when industrialized construction moves clients beyond their current frame of reference, clients’ information processing practice does not support decision making. It is also proposed that differentiating between uncertainty and equivocality will enable a more profound understanding of the sequential order for information processing, i.e. that one must define questions (reduce equivocality) before one can find answers to the questions (reduce uncertainty).

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    Article provided by Taylor & Francis Journals in its journal Construction Management and Economics.

    Volume (Year): 29 (2011)
    Issue (Month): 7 (June)
    Pages: 753-764

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    Handle: RePEc:taf:conmgt:v:29:y:2011:i:7:p:753-764
    DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2011.595423
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