On the metaphysics of production

Koskela, LJ and Kagioglou, M 2005, On the metaphysics of production , in: 13th International Group for Lean Construction Conference, 19-21 July 2005, Sydney, Australia.

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Since the pre-Socratic period of philosophy, there have been two basic metaphysical views. One holds that there are substances or things, that is, atemporal entities in the world. The other insists that there are processes, that is, intrinsically temporal phenomena. These metaphysical assumptions tend to strongly influence how the subject of the inquiry or action is conceptualized. The thing-oriented view seems to lead to analytical decomposition, the requirement or assumption of certainty and an ahistorical approach. The process-oriented view is related to a holistic orientation, acknowledgement of uncertainty and to a historical and contextual approach. It can be argued that production is intrinsically a process oriented endeavour. However, an analysis of current conceptualizations and methods shows that it is the thing-oriented view on the world that has dominated the research and practice of production management. The resulting mismatch between the assumed nature and true nature of production has arguably led to major generic failures of production management. As a conclusion, it is contended that the discipline of production management has to seriously address the metaphysical issues confronting both practitioners and scholars.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Metaphysics, Production, Substance, Process
Themes: Subjects / Themes > T Technology > TS Manufactures > TS155-194 Production management. Operations management
Subjects outside of the University Themes
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment
Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Built Environment Sustainability and Transformation (BEST)
Journal or Publication Title: Proceedings of 13th International Group for Lean Construction Conference.
Refereed: Yes
Depositing User: LJ Koskela
Date Deposited: 21 Jun 2010 09:51
Last Modified: 29 Oct 2015 01:15
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URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/9378

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