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ARCOM Conferences

32nd Annual Conference – Manchester, UK
5-7 September 2016

Venue: Manchester Town Hall
General Theme: Construction Work and the Worker?

In 2016, the ARCOM Conference heads to the heart of Manchester for the first time. Manchester is a city known for its many revolutions. From the industrial revolution in the 18th century that saw widespread mechanisation of industry, to the introduction of the first steam passenger railway in the world, Manchester is also where the recent discovery of graphene is set to revolutionise materials with potentially sizeable impacts for the construction industry. Socially, Manchester also played a significant role in the cooperative movement, and was the birthplace of the British Suffragette Movement and the Trade Union Congress in Britain.

In this spirit, the 2016 conference will be the first themed conference in ARCOM’s history. In this conference, we reflect on the many revolutions to ask questions about construction work and the worker. Possible questions include (though not restricted to):

  1. How have technological and social change transformed the nature of construction work and the character of the construction worker?
  2. Who is the construction worker in the context of ever-extending, multi-layered and global subcontracting? How is the organisation of construction work and construction workers changing in the normalisation of non-traditional forms of employment (e.g. agency work, self-employment)?
  3. There is increasing recognition of rising inequalities at work, demonstrated by the growing gap between the income of managerial elites and that of the worker. What implications does this growing consciousness have on construction work and the worker?
  4. Work is an incalculable noun. Yet, much work in construction management research is still concerned with measuring and managing the calculable. What are the complementary and conflictual logics between the research and practice of construction work, and how might we address the tensions?
  5. How can we put construction to work? The field is replete with studies that seek to establish the critical success factors of delivering construction work. What is the (strength of the) evidence base as to what works and what doesn’t, and for whom? How can we translate these success factors into reproducible practices for the benefit not only for construction work, but also for society more generally?

The ARCOM Conference is an inclusive conference that covers a wide range of topics pertinent to construction work (listed below though not exhaustively). In this general track, we invite contributions around these topics. Where possible, we also encourage authors to connect these topics with the theme of the conference – construction work and the worker? – and one or more of the aforementioned questions.

Please click on the links below to find out more about the 11 tracks for the 2016 conference:

Please click here to download the flyer.