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SMART value management: a group decision support methodology for building design

Green, S. D. ORCID: (1996) SMART value management: a group decision support methodology for building design. PhD thesis, University of Reading

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A revised theoretical framework for value management is developed based on the principles of group decision support (GDS). In contrast to the currently dominant paradigm of value management, the concept of GDS is based on an underlying ontological position of social constructivism. The existing positivist paradigm is only applicable to well-defined technical problems which can be specified in advance. GDS differs in that it recognises that the multi-perspective problems which often characterise the early stages of building design defy any attempt at pre-definition. The articulation of the GDS paradigm has important implications for building economics. It is asserted that building economists have traditionally failed to provide multi-faceted clients with effective decision support due to their reluctance to leave the sanctuary of the rational high ground. SMART value management is proposed as a GDS methodology for rational intervention in building design. The methodology is primarily perceived as an aid to the briefing process rather than a technique of cost reduction. It is based on a series of decision conferences timed to coincide with the decision pinch-points which punctuate the building design process. SMART value management represents a decisive break with the American tradition of value engineering by rejecting both the optimising paradigm of operational research and the associated rhetoric of 'function analysis'. The methodology is justified with reference to the established typology of social science. Its feasibility depends upon the extent to which it is commensurable with the implicit metaphors which the project stakeholders use to understand the client organisation. The practical application of the methodology is evaluated by means of a case study approach conducted in accordance with the principles of naturalistic inquiry. Additional evidence is cited to support the claim that SMART value management is generalisable beyond the specific domain of the case study.

Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Thesis Supervisor:Bennett, J.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Construction Management and Engineering
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Organisation, People and Technology group
ID Code:80249
Date on Title Page:September 1996

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