Brown, A D and Phua, F T T (2011) Subjectively construed identities and discourse: towards a research agenda for construction management. Construction Management and Economics, 29(1), 83-95.
This paper is available for free download until 1 August 2011.
Abstract: Identity issues are under‐explored in construction management. We provide a brief introduction to the organization studies literature on subjectively construed identities, focusing on discourse, agency, relations of power and identity work. The construction management literature is investigated in order to examine identity concerns as they relate to construction managers centred on (1) professionalism; (2) ethics; (3) relational aspects of self‐identity; (4) competence, knowledge and tools; and (5) national culture. Identity, we argue, is a key performance issue, and needs to be accounted for in explanations of the success and failure of projects. Our overriding concern is to raise identity issues in order to demonstrate their importance to researchers in construction management and to spark debate. The purpose of this work is not to provide answers or to propose prescriptive models, but to explore ideas, raise awareness and to generate questions for further programmatic research. To this end, we promote empirical work and theorizing by outlining elements of a research agenda which argues that ‘identity’ is a potentially generative theme for scholars in construction management.