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Constructing Futures: Industry leaders and futures thinking in construction

Constructing Futures: Industry leaders and futures thinking in construction

Paul Chan, Rachel Cooper

ISBN: 978-1-444-32784-7 September 2010 Wiley-Blackwell 240 Pages

 E-Book

$98.99

Description

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 interviewees' 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 'futures thinking' 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.

About the authors xi

Preface xiii

Part 1 Tracing the past 1

1 Introducing foresight in construction: exploring the missing link of personalising futures thinking 3

Chapter summary 3

Setting the ‘scene’ 4

Construction foresight studies 7

The ‘future’ agendas since the Second World War 7

Contemporary foresight reports at the turn of the century 9

Synthesis of critical trends and implications from the foresight reports 16

Critical appraisal of foresight studies 17

A note on the methodology 22

The structure of the book 24

Part 1: Tracing the past 24

Part 2: Eliciting the future 24

Part 3: Towards an afterthought 25

2 Influential people in the UK construction industry: what makes leadership in construction? 26

Chapter summary 26

Introduction 27

Leadership theories and application in construction 28

Development of leadership theories 28

Application of leadership theories in construction management research 30

Looking forward but learning from the past 30

So what makes a ‘leader’ in construction? 31

Critical antecedent: people 31

Critical antecedent: place 34

Critical antecedent: events 35

To be or not to be? The age-old question of nature and nurture 37

Closing thoughts 41

Part 2 Eliciting the future 45

3 Developing a sustainable future: theoretical and practical insights into sustainable development 47

Chapter summary 47

Introduction 49

Connecting people, profits and planet: the rise of the sustainability agenda 50

Interactions between people and places 51

Role of political leaders and infrastructure development 58

Industry response to the sustainable development agenda 68

Role of education and research 70

Summing up the thoughts of our leading figures 75

Sustainability: definitions and perspectives 78

Man-made capital: problems with an output-driven model 78

Human capital: the rhetoric versus reality of investing in people 81

Natural capital: consensus gained or paradise lost 86

Social capital: building trust and sustainable communities 94

The measurement problem: are efforts towards sustainable development doomed to fail? 100

Closing thoughts 102

4 Connecting up government, corporate and community stakeholders in governing the future of the construction industry 105

Chapter summary 105

Introduction 107

Governance of the industry: seeking an institutionally coordinated response to meet the challenges of the future 108

Think global act local 109

The changing role of government: relinquishing control to the private sector 115

Public–private interface 122

People and managing relationships in construction 128

Bringing interactions to the fore: exploring the intersections between government, corporate and community actors 140

Shifting perspectives of governance 142

Political governance: governance without government 143

Corporate governance: the rise of corporate social responsibility 145

Community governance: revisiting social capital 147

The need for joined-up governance 150

Governance in construction: the trends of privatisation and community engagement 155

The relationship between government and construction 155

Structure of the industry 161

Changing landscape of professionalism 165

Connecting political, corporate and community governance in construction: the importance of human relations 172

Closing thoughts 173

Part 3 Towards an afterthought 177

5 The last word: synthesising lessons learnt from the journeys... 179

Chapter summary 179

Introduction 180

Recap on previous chapters 181

Leadership as an emergent process: moving away from individualistic notions of leadership in construction 181

The missing social link of sustainable development 182

The aspirations of joined-up governance 182

Key conclusions 183

Futures thinking as emergent thinking 183

Disrupting boundaries: the age of hybrids 184

Tensions, ambiguities and paradoxes 185

Knowledge gaps to frame the research and practice agenda of the future 187

Epilogue 187

Appendix: Brief biographies of influential figures interviewed 189

Alan Ritchie 189

Bob White 189

Chris Blythe 190

Chris Luebkeman 190

George Ferguson 190

Guy Hazelhurst 190

Jon Rouse 191

Kenneth Yeang 191

Kevin McCloud 191

Nick Raynsford 192

Sandi Rhys Jones 192

Sir Michael Latham 192

Stef Stefanou 193

Tom Bloxham 193

Wayne Hemingway 194

Notes and references 195

Index 219

“Overall, I found this book to provide useful insights into the past and present issues faced by the construction industry, and feel that the authors have indeed succeeded in their intention to ‘initiate a first step in providing a more scholarly reflection to the journey of constructing a future for the construction industry.”  (Construction Management and Economics, 6 April 2012)

"This academic treatise on the state of the construction industry synthesizes the thoughts and experiences of fifteen influential actors in the UK building community to present a fresh look at future research topics in project management. Divided into three sections dealing with the past, the present and the future, the work covers such topics as foresight in construction planning, leadership traits in construction, sustainability, balancing the needs of development stakeholders and directions for future studies. An appendix provides a brief biography of each of the construction leaders interviewed for this work." (Reference and Research Book News, February 2011)

"For those new to the industry, or wanting an overview, it will provide a useful summary of the some of the key issues - leadership, sustainability, and governance. The first chapter also provides a useful review of recent forsight studies and this is recommended as a reference source for anyone working on long term planning." (Competitive Advantage Consultancy Limited, January 2011)

• deconstructs the views of the leading thinkers in the construction industry
• provides practical insights as into issues confronted when creating a sustainable future for the construction industry
• an important contribution connecting the legacies of the past, challenges of the present  and hope for the future of the construction industry