Welcome to Martin Löwstedt’s lecture for Docent.
Managerial work in construction companies
The construction industry is ongoingly berated for its lacking performance. A succession of governmental reports and research have concluded that the industry suffers from excessive production costs, low efficiency, slow delivery, unsafe workplaces, and failure to innovate, among other things. Grounded in this criticism, construction research is rich of contributions and ideas about how the industry should transform according to improved structures, processes, technologies, materials, and (in)famous management concepts, not seldom adopted and translated from other industries and contexts. The overarching
theme in my research is to foreground how these dominant perspectives frequently downplay the role that the workforce – the people that do construction work – play in this ongoing transformation, pointing to fact the it is insufficient to conceive of them as being easily malleable in accordance to the broad range of envisioned improvements.
In this talk I will provide a brief summary of my research concerned with “managerial work” in large construction companies and its link to the embedded industry practices. In particular, I intend to highlight various dimensions of a more social perspective of change in the construction industry and the clues it might offer for research going forward. The general idea might be effectively summarized by the following important reminder: in order for us to support the transformation of construction processes, we must also support the transformation of construction work.
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