A KNOWLEDGE-BASED INDUSTRY?

My posts will be briefer over the next few weeks, as I attend to family matters and undergo some medical treatment.  Perhaps I can just pose a few questions, without trying to answer them.

What evidence do we have that research in construction management, over say the last 30 years, has led to measurable improvements in industry performance – in aspects such as productivity, safety, quality and project delivery?  I’m convinced that higher education in CM has changed the industry for the better by producing thoughtful, knowledge-based practitioners who have generated new ways of doing things, and a raised level of response to client needs.  Measurable improvements have occurred in all the outcomes I’ve listed above, and higher education has been an unsung hero in these achievements.  I’m also sure that wouldn’t have happened to anything like the same extent without the research-based approach to higher education which has been promoted by dedicated academics around the world.  In the UK, the impetus provided by ARCOM (the Association of Researchers in Construction Management) for more than a quarter of a century has been notable.  I’m less sure that new knowledge generated  by CM research has directly impacted upon industrial practice to the extent we all might wish, nor do I see much evidence of a ‘research-development-application- evaluation-adjustment-normalisation’ loop on the scale that the importance of the industry warrants.  Am I wrong?

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