Construction professionals and management in English local government : a triangulated investigation
The Thesis focuses on architects, engineers and surveyors in English Local Government. The research question recognises difficulties these professionals can have in engaging with management approaches and practices. The Thesis begins with a case study and, following a literature research, employs informal and formal interviews, together with a questionnaire. The opportunity is taken to seed Vignettes drawn from personal and colleagues' experience, to provide a quasi- anthropological parallel commentary. Also of significance is the degree to which the writer has relied on his professional experience during the course of the research. This has influenced the methodology and the apphcation of surveying techniques, such as triangulation, has assisted the academic research. Experience has also influenced the style, presentation and use of language. Most significantly, it has resulted in a Thesis which is neither wholly theory driven nor wholly theory driving - it is a mixture of the two and draws strength and vigour from this hybridisation. From the research, which examined the issues in terms of the reasons behind the ambivalence of many professionals to management, the differences and similarities between the construction professionals and the role of context and contextual awareness, it emerged that an understanding of the internal and external context in which professions in local government work was of vital importance. Also important was the need for a shared lexicon and the recognition that management can be seen by professionals as a rival rather than complimentary systemised set of procedures. The writer has adopted an iterative and triangulated approach. The use of triangulation matures as the research proceeds and, together with the conclusions from the research question and lessons for management development of construction professionals, is offered as an output in its own right.