Theory and practice in value management: a reply to Ellis et al (2005)
Green, S. D. and Lui, A. M. M. (2007) Theory and practice in value management: a reply to Ellis et al (2005). Construction Management and Economics, 25 (6). pp. 649-659. ISSN 0144-6193
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/01446190601161473
The constructivist model of 'soft' value management (VM) is contrasted with the VM discourse appropriated by cost consultants who operate from within UK quantity surveying (QS) practices. The enactment of VM by cost consultants is shaped by the institutional context within which they operate and is not necessarily representative of VM practice per se. Opportunities to perform VM during the formative stages of design are further constrained by the positivistic rhetoric that such practitioners use to conceptualize and promote their services. The complex interplay between VM theory and practice is highlighted and analysed from a non-deterministic perspective. Codified models of 'best practice' are seen to be socially constructed and legitimized through human interaction in the context of interorganizational networks. Published methodologies are seen to inform practice in only a loose and indirect manner, with extensive scope for localized improvization. New insights into the relationship between VM theory and practice are derived from the dramaturgical metaphor. The social reality of VM is seen to be constituted through scripts and performances, both of which are continuously contested across organizational arenas. It is concluded that VM defies universal definition and is conceptualized and enacted differently across different localized contexts.