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Is production outside management?

Koskela, Lauri and Ballard, Glenn (2012) Is production outside management? Building Research & Information, 40 (6). pp. 724-737. ISSN 1466-4321

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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
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
Schools: School of Art, Design and Architecture
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sara Taylor
Date Deposited: 16 Jul 2015 12:36
Last Modified: 28 Aug 2021 11:52


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