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Putting theory to work: the use of theory in construction research

Schweber, L. ORCID: (2015) Putting theory to work: the use of theory in construction research. Construction Management and Economics, 33 (10). pp. 840-860. ISSN 1466-433X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1080/01446193.2015.1133918


Attention to epistemology, theory use and citation practices are all issues which distinguish academic disciplines from other ways of knowing. Examples from construction research are used to outline and reflect on these issues. In doing so, the discussion provides an introduction to some key issues in social research as well as a reflection on the current state of construction research as a field. More specifically, differences between positivist and interpretivist epistemologies, the role of theory in each and their use by construction researchers are discussed. Philosophical differences are illustrated by appeal to two published construction research articles by Reichstein et al. and Harty on innovation (Reichstein, Salter and Gann, 2005; Harty, 2008). An analysis of citations for each highlights different cumulativity strategies. The potential contribution of mixed research programmes, combining positivist and interpretivist research, is evaluated. The paper should be of interest to early researchers and to scholars concerned with the ongoing development of construction research as an academic field.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:54469
Publisher:Taylor & Francis


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