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Arbulu, R J, Tommelein, I D, Walsh, K D and Hershauer, J C (2003) Value stream analysis of a re-engineered construction supply chain. Building Research & Information, 31(02), 161–71.

Ballard, G (2003) Lean project management. Building Research & Information, 31(02), 119–33.

Barlow, J, Childerhouse, P, Gann, D, Hong-Minh, S, Naim, M and Ozaki, R (2003) Choice and delivery in housebuilding: lessons from Japan for UK housebuilders. Building Research & Information, 31(02), 134–45.

Bygballe, L E, Håkansson, H and Jahre, M (2013) A critical discussion of models for conceptualizing the economic logic of construction. Construction Management and Economics, 31(02), 104-18.

Chang, C-Y (2013) A critical review of the application of TCE in the interpretation of risk allocation in PPP contracts. Construction Management and Economics, 31(02), 99-103.

Courtney, R and Winch, G M (2003) Re-engineering construction: the role of research and implementation. Building Research & Information, 31(02), 172–8.

Gerth, R, Boqvist, A, Bjelkemyr, M and Lindberg, B (2013) Design for construction: utilizing production experiences in development. Construction Management and Economics, 31(02), 135-50.

Gibb, A G F and Isack, F (2003) Re-engineering through pre-assembly: client expectations and drivers. Building Research & Information, 31(02), 146–60.

Gottlieb, S C and Haugbølle, K (2013) Contradictions and collaboration: partnering in-between systems of production, values and interests. Construction Management and Economics, 31(02), 119-34.

Green, S D and May, S (2003) Re-engineering construction: going against the grain. Building Research & Information, 31(02), 97–106.

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: casualization; enterprise culture; lean construction; neo-liberalism; private finance initiative; re-engineering
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0961-3218
  • URL: http://journalsonline.tandf.co.uk/link.asp?id=1lutbj4rhermxxmv
  • Abstract:
    An overtly critical perspective on 're-engineering construction' is presented. It is contended that re-engineering is impossible to define in terms of its substantive content and is best understood as a rhetorical label. In recent years, the language of re-engineering has heavily shaped the construction research agenda. The declared goals are to lower costs and improve value for the customer. The discourse is persuasive because it reflects the ideology of the 'enterprise culture' and the associated rhetoric of customer responsiveness. Re-engineering is especially attractive to the construction industry because it reflects and reinforces the existing dominant way of thinking. The overriding tendency is to reduce organizational complexities to a mechanistic quest for efficiency. Labour is treated as a commodity. Within this context, the objectives of re-engineering become 'common sense'. Knowledge becomes subordinate to the dominant ideology of neo-liberalism. The accepted research agenda for re-engineering construction exacerbates the industry's problems and directly contributes to the casualization of the workforce. The continued adherence to machine metaphors by the construction industry's top management has directly contributed to the 'bad attributes' and 'adversarial culture' that they repeatedly decry. Supposedly neutral topics such as pre-assembly, partnering, supply chaining management and lean thinking serve only to justify the shift towards bogus labour-only subcontracting and the associated reduction of employment rights.. The continued casualization of the workforce raises real questions about the industry's future capacity to deliver high-quality construction. In order to appear 'relevant' to the needs of industry, it seems that the research community is doomed to perpetuate this regressive cycle.

Menches, C L and Chen, J (2013) Using ecological momentary assessment to understand a construction worker's daily disruptions and decisions. Construction Management and Economics, 31(02), 180-94.

Murphy, R (2013) Strategic planning in construction professional service firms: a study of Irish QS practices. Construction Management and Economics, 31(02), 151-66.

Phua, F T T (2013) Construction management research at the individual level of analysis: current status, gaps and future directions. Construction Management and Economics, 31(02), 167-79.

Winch, G M (2003) Integrated life-cycle analysis. Building Research & Information, 31(02), 107–18.