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Bowen, P A (1993) A communication-based approach to price modelling and price forecasting in the design phase of the traditional building procurement process in South Africa, Unpublished PhD Thesis, , University of Port Elizabeth.
- Type: Thesis
- Keywords: communication-based approach; design phase; price forecasting; price modelling
The premise upon which this study is based is that there has been insufficient examination of the communication function in building price forecasting. This inadequacy relates to the involvement of the quantity surveyor in the provision of price advice, to the nature of the price models used in the derivation of price forecasts, and the manner in which price messages are communicated to users. More specifically, this failure by the profession to develop an effective communication approach to the provision of price forecasts results in quantity surveyors being without adequate assurance as to the fidelity of their price messages. They are also not sure that their messages are understood by users in the manner intended. It is proposed that price forecasting comprises two main processes: an investigative process and an interpersonal communication (input and output) process. The investigative process may itself be considered to consist of two interrelated aspects, namely, the application of a price modelling technique to produce a price forecast, and the intrapersonal communication process that the quantity surveyor undergoes whilst engaged in the price modelling process. The interpersonal communication process is concerned with the communication of the input to, and the derived price message from, the investigative process. The published literature abounds with evidence of a concern for the nature of the heuristic processes per se of price modelling, but little or no attention has been focused on the communication of price messages in general, and the role of price modelling in the communication process in particular. In essence, this study is concerned with the effectiveness of the communication process associated with the provision of building price messages. Differing perspectives of human communication are introduced, and two theoretical models of communication proposed as a means for examining the theory of price planning and price control. An idealised communication-based model of the price planning environment of price forecasting is developed, and implications for the price modelling and price forecasting of buildings drawn. A national questionnaire survey into the current practice of price planning and control is documented, covering, inter alia, the role of the quantity surveyor in the provision of price advice, the methodologies of price modelling employed by quantity surveyors, and the manner in which price advice is communicated to users. In addition, an empirical study of communication in the practice of price forecasting is described. The empirical study comprises an interview survey and a case study involving the analysis of certain documents typically associated with the provision of price advice. These findings, together with those derived from the questionnaire survey, form the basis of an interpersonal communication-based analysis of the practice of price planning and control. A communication model of this environment is developed, and implications for price modelling and price forecasting drawn. The investigative process of price modelling is examined. This examination involves a description of the process of cost generation and the relationship between the building production process and building cost. Moreover, conceptual considerations of price modelling are introduced, and the process of price modelling examined in terms of the input data, modelling techniques and output. The impact of the price modelling process on the quality of the intrapersonal communication process of price message compilation, is highlighted. Communication-based evaluation criteria and a communication-based specification for price models are developed, and are used to evaluate the price models traditionally employed by quantity surveyors. Such models are found to be inappropriate to the communication process they purport to serve. Claims for a formative replacement paradigm are considered, and the relevance of construction planning techniques to price modelling described. A suitable environment for accessing such specialist expertise is suggested, and a conceptual framework for a cost modelling system proposed. Finally, the conceptual framework is assessed in terms of its perceived ability for enhancing the effectiveness of the intrapersonal communication process associated with the interpersonal communication of price messages by quantity surveyors.