The economic theory of production conceals opportunities for sustainability improvement
Koskela, LJ and Tommelein, ID 2009, The economic theory of production conceals opportunities for sustainability improvement , in: 17th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction, 15th-17th July 2009, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, LCI-Taiwan and LCI-Asia, The Grand Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan.
|PDF - Published Version |
Download (316kB) | Preview
In analyses of action options regarding sustainability, the economic theory of production is often used as a conceptual starting point. We contend that this theory is deficient, even counterproductive. Especially, we argue that effective options exist for sustainability improvement that are not visible in this theory, and thus will not be taken into consideration when comparing alternative options based on it. We argue that the fundamental problem of the economic theory of production is that it cannot explain the formation of either cost or value in an adequate way. This situation seems to have been caused by the foci and assumptions of the “marginalist turn” of economics, starting from 1870, especially the denial to consider any internal organization of production other than that caused by prices and costs, the assumption of optimal efficiency, and the assumption of ends as given. The shortcomings of the economic theory of production are demonstrated through a case study on plasterboard (also known as drywall) installation. We show how practices for installation of these products, as advocated in lean construction, would not have been suggested or visible in a “sustainability” analysis based on economic theory.
|Item Type:||Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)|
|Uncontrolled Keywords:||Theory of production, economics, sustainability, lean production, waste, plasterboard, drywall, installation|
|Themes:||Subjects / Themes > T Technology > TH Building construction|
Subjects / Themes > T Technology > TS Manufactures > TS155-194 Production management. Operations management
Built and Human Environment
Subjects outside of the University Themes
|Schools:||Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment|
Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment > Salford Centre for Research & Innovation (SCRI)
|Journal or Publication Title:||Proceedings of the 17th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction|
|Depositing User:||LJ Koskela|
|Date Deposited:||12 Aug 2010 13:25|
|Last Modified:||27 Sep 2011 12:13|
|References:||Anon. (1921). Report on Elimination of Waste in Industry. Mechanical Engineering, September, pp. 579-583. Arbulu, R.J. and Tommelein, I.D. (2002). “Value Stream Analysis of Construction Supply Chains: Case Study on Pipe Supports used in Power Plants.” Proceedings IGLC-10, August 2002, Gramado, Brazil. Ashford, N.A. and Caldart, C.C. (2008). Environmental Law, Policy and Economics: Reclaiming the Environmental Agenda. MIT Press. Blomqvist, M., Camitz, M., and Mattson, K. (2009). Improvement of Material Handling at Construction Sites. Master of Science Thesis 2009:004, Department of Technology Management and Economics, Division of Logistics and Transportation, Chalmers Univ. of Tech., Göteborg, Sweden. BREEAM. http://www.breeam.org/index.jsp, accessed April 17, 2009. Chew, W., Bresnahan, B., Timothy F., and Clark, K.B. (1990). “Measurement, Coordination and Learning in a Multiplant Environment.” pp. 129-162 In: Kaplan, Robert S. (ed.)(1990). Measures for Manufacturing Excellence. Harvard Business School Press, Boston. Ferguson, M. (2002). Drywall: Professional Techniques for Great Results. The Taunton Press. Ferguson, M. (2004). “Invisible Drywall Seams.” Fine Homebuilding, June/July, pp. 76-81. Ferguson, M. (2009). www.thatdrywallguy.com visited 4/5/09. Georgescu-Roegen, N. (1970). The Economics of Production. The American Economic Review, Vol. 60, No. 2, pp. 1-9. Koskela, L. (in print) “On the theory of production in economics and production management.” To appear in de Valence, G. (in print) Modern Construction Economics: New Developments in Theory. Francis & Taylor. Koskela, L. and Howell, G. (2002). “The underlying theory of project management is obsolete.” Proceedings of PMI Research Conference 2002. Slevin, D., Cleland, D., and Pinto, J. (eds.). Project Management Institute (PMI), pp. 293-302. Mikati, S., Roller, T., Tommelein, I.D., and Khanzode, A. (2007). "Priority Conversations: A Case Study On Priority Walls." in Pasquire, C.L. and Tzortzopoulos, P. (eds.)(2007). Proc. 15th Annual Conf. of the International Group for Lean Construction (IGLC 15), 18-20 July 2007, East Lansing, MI. Myers, D. (2004). Construction economics: A new approach. Spon Press, London. Pearce, A.R., Hastak, M., and. Vanegas, J.A. (1995). “A Decision Support System for Construction Materials Selection using Sustainability as a Criterion,” Proceedings of the NCSBCS Conference on Building Codes and Standards, Albuquerque, NM, November 1-4. Robbins, L. (1935). An Essay on the Nature and Significance of Economic Science. 2nd ed. Macmillan, London. Samuelson, P.A. and Nordhaus, W.D. (1985). Economics. Twelfth Edition. McGraw-Hill Book Company, New York. Seo, S., Tucker S.N., and Ambrose, M.D. (2007). “Selection of sustainable building material using LCADesign tool.” In: International Conference on Sustainable Building Asia - SB07 Seoul, 6. Seoul, Korea, June 27. Wallboard (Drywall) Recycling. http://www.ciwmb.ca.gov/conDemo/Wallboard/, visited 5/5/2009. Wardell, C. (1993). “Installing Drywall – How to keep the sheets flat and the seams to a minimum.” Fine Homebuilding, No. 81, April/May, 38-43. Womack, J.P. and Jones, D.T. (1996). Lean Thinking. Simon & Schuster.|
Document DownloadsMore statistics for this item...
Actions (login required)
|Edit record (repository staff only)|