Constructing Futures Industry leaders and futures thinking in construction

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2010-12-13
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell

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There is growing interest in future scenario planning of the construction industry but a disconnect between thinking about the future at the policy-making level and implementing real change.Constructing Futures: industry leaders and futures thinking in construction takes a thematic approach to the future of the UK construction industry by presenting the results of a series of in-depth interviews conducted with leading construction figures and structuring this material into chapters addressing the key contemporary issues in the industry.These high-profile figures are drawn from a wide range of stakeholder groups representing the realities of construction, including architects, client organisations (public-sector and private-sector), consultants, contractors, developers, lobby groups with special interests, policy makers, professional institutions, and trade unions. A total of 15 influential figures were interviewed for the book, from Sir Michael Latham and Bob White to Wayne Hemmingway and Kevin McCloud.Part One looks to the past by reviewing a series of foresight studies undertaken of the construction industry and re-presenting stories of our intervieweesrs" lives to explain the development of leadership in the context of the construction industry. In Part Two, the authors look at the present and discuss two fundamental issues: sustainable development and governance of the construction industry. In Part Three the book concludes with an afterthought for the future, highlighting key lessons learnt putting forward a series of research questions derived from this scholarly reflection of ls"futures thinkingrs" in construction.Throughout, the authors juxtapose the views of the 15 influential figures interviewed with a review of the salient points found in the relevant and authoritative sources of theoretical literature, both in the mainstream literature and the field of construction management. This allows the reader to benefit from the practical insights of those interviews whilst gaining a rapid understanding of the key debates of the theoretical subject under scrutiny.bull; deconstructs the views of the leading thinkers in the construction industry bull; provides practical insights as into issues confronted when creating a sustainable future for the construction industry bull; an important contribution connecting the legacies of the past, challenges of the present and hope for the future of the construction industry

Author Biography

Paul Chan, Lecturer in Project Management, School of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, University of Manchester, UK Rachel Cooper, Professor of Design Management, Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts, University of Lancaster, UK

Table of Contents

The Past.
This chapter provides a background literature review on futures thinking
It poses the question as to whether key thinkers are necessarily different from people at the grassroots
The chapter also explains the methodology employed in this book
This covers the conduct of the interviews and how the data collected was analysed and presented in the subsequent chapters..
Personal motivation and development of key thinkers
This chapter presents a cross-sectional analysis of the nature of key thinkers and seeks to understand how they got involved with their current work
The chapter is likely to distil the personal motivation and delve deep into their passion for a particular aspect of construction that each key thinker contributes in practice
The Present: What do key thinkers think about contemporary issues.
Partnering, alliances, collaboration and the whole gamut of initiatives
The concept of partnering has been around for more than a decade in the construction industry
Through the analysis of the views of key thinkers, the chapter should present a critical discussion of the trends towards collaborative working in relation to the performance and sustenance of the construction industry..
The role of the government
Between 30% to 40% of construction work is through the public purse
This chapter analyses the key thinkers' views on the role of government in terms of funding projects, as well as its role in regulating, legislation the working practices of the industry
The chapter should also discuss the role of public-sector procurement and how this impacts on the future of the industry..
Sustainability has become an important agenda in recent years, from the concerns with energy sources and efficiency, whole life costing, strategic view of procuring and using buildings, building sustainable communities etc
The chapter should present an analysis of the key thinkers' views regarding sustainability and examines the notion of "cradle to grave" in greater depth..
Corporate social responsibility
Corporate social responsibility appears to be the latest trend, or fad in the construction industry
The chapter should present an analysis of the key thinkers' views regarding social responsibility and questions as to whether corporate social responsibility can be achieved..
Anytime, anywhere and with anyone - globalisation invades every aspect of life
The notion of "Think global act local" is inescapable from construction
The chapter should analyse the key thinkers' views on the pervasiveness of globalisation and how this could alter the construction industry
Another likely issue to be discussed could include cross-cultural management..
Relationship management
The construction industry is somewhat incestuous
Managing relationships forms the crux of the business
The chapter is likely to analyse the key thinkers' views on the importance of networking, trust and building up long-term partnerships between stakeholders
A glimpse of the future.
Structure of the industry
The chapter should discuss the changes to the structure of the industry in light of the key thinkers' views of the contemporary issues above
Accordingly, the industry will become more polarised between the larger contractors (and networks of contractors) and the small jobbers who will become more distant from current industry-level initiatives
The need to reconsider the notion of a single industry becomes even more pressing..
Education and training
The education and training will change
On the one hand, cross-cultural understanding and appreciation becomes an integral part of training the professional of the future
Traditional craft boundaries also become questionable with the rising interests in modern methods of construction..
Professionalism in the industry
The traditional boundaries between built environment professionals are shifting
The re-emphasis of serving the public interest becomes core to the development of the professional
This should impact on working practices, as well as the issues of social responsibility of the professional and the regulatory aspects of professions..
Evolving nature of construction work
Construction work transcends the traditional project-based operations to see a further integration between design, construction and use
Furthermore, the commercial aspects of construction become ever more vital and the nature of construction businesses will transform into one that places more emphasis on management
On the other hand, traditional craft will diminish and labour will upskill in higher-order abstract skills e.g. process thinking with the growth in modern methods of construction..
Conclusions and Recommendations
This chapter synthesises the issues discussed in the book and the trends identified by the key thinkers
The chapter should also analyse the key thinkers' views as to how to embrace the future scenarios identified
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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