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Design meetings and the coordination of expertise

Boudeau, C. (2013) Design meetings and the coordination of expertise. Construction Management and Economics, 31 (1). pp. 78-89. ISSN 0144-6193

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2012.738301


The coordination of work and expertise in construction projects is often treated in terms of models or formal rules. However, much is to be gained, if we are to understand it, by examining actual coordination practices. The objective in this article is to address practices of coordination of expertise in the context of design team meetings. The focus is specifically on conversational practices between the structural engineer and the landscape architect part of the design team in a healthcare infrastructure project. The central argument is that the coordination of expertise relied on and was organised by mundane and everyday methods, and not by formal and abstract ones. This argument is drawn from ethnomethodology, a form of sociological analysis that focuses on the situated methods by which activities are produced, but shares concerns found in the literature on actual project management practices. The ethnomethodological stance, however, offers a different perspective on the significance of the empirical reality of projects and a possibility to incorporate within this literature a concern with the ordinary methodical organisation of project activities.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment
ID Code:32168
Publisher:Taylor & Francis

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