Is production outside management?

Koskela, LJ and Ballard, G 2012, 'Is production outside management?' , Building Research & Information, 40 (6) , pp. 724-737.

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It is contended that the root cause for disagreement between lean construction proponents and management scholars is related to the new direction of management research which was proposed in 1959 in two influential books, by R.A.Gordon and J.E. Howell and by F.C. Pierson. It was argued that management was to be approached through three root stems: behavioural science, economics and quantitative modelling. The mainstream academic work on management has followed the guidelines presented in these books. Unfortunately, this kind of management science has also attracted vocal and wide criticism regarding its practical relevance. The 1959 work rejected the production centric scientific management tradition – a tradition on which lean construction has been based. Thus, the underlying disagreement is about the role of production in management: is production a starting point for management or outside management? This root disagreement is demonstrated through two research topics at the heart of the development of management science after 1959: organizational theory, as developed by J.R. Galbraith, and transaction cost economics, initiated by O. Williamson. Based on evidence from the analyses made, it is suggested that the failure to include production in theory has been one major cause for the problematic situation of management science in the last 50 years.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Schools: Schools > School of the Built Environment > Centre for Urban Processes, Resilient Infrastructures & Sustainable Environments
Journal or Publication Title: Building Research & Information
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0961-3218
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: LJ Koskela
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2012 08:06
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 22:58

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