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Boyd, D and Pierce, D (2001) Implicit knowledge in construction professional practice. In: Akintoye, A (Ed.), Proceedings 17th Annual ARCOM Conference, 5-7 September 2001, Salford, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, Vol. 1, 37–46.
- Type: Conference Proceedings
- Keywords: construction practice; tacit knowledge; implicit knowledge; education; research
- ISBN/ISSN: 0 9534161 6 X
- URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/ar2001-037-046_Boyd_and_Pierce.pdf
In educating for construction or in researching construction, it is necessary to have a deep understanding of how the industry operates. However, there is very limited information available on what construction professionals actually do in practice. What is written about is what should be done. From this there is an assumption that we do know or it is irrelevant, as we should do what the literature says should be done. This literature and assumptions rest on expertise based on the explicit technical task and process knowledge. This paper reports on a study that challenges these assumptions and is seeking to find a more relevant and useful perception of practice. The study is based on interviews with senior practitioners in the UK and the USA to determine their practice and how it has developed. Results are presented which identify the practitioner's use of a high degree of implicit knowledge that cannot be explained. In addition, their personal outlook influences their approach to the task. One location of this more extensive knowledge is in notions of teamwork which has only just been added tangentially to the technical expertise. A more holistic model is suggested which integrates the extensive implicit knowledge with technical expertise and the individual's personality.