The Futures of Construction Management Research

Guest Speaker:
Professor Chris Harty (Head of the School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading, UK)
Dr Chai Chang Saar (School of the Built Environment, University of Reading Malaysia)
Subject Area:
Built Environment
Date & Time:
Wed, 30. May 2018, 13:00 h - 14:00 h
N3.24, University of Reading Malaysia - EduCity@Iskandar​

How do academic fields come about, grow and change and, more importantly, how do researchers shape and be shaped by them? Construction management today is a well-established academic area with departments and schools, conferences, journals, a broad community of researchers and students and a diverse range of interests. It also has a history. One might argue that it was established in universities as a professional discipline, and has expanded from education and practice to include multi-disciplinary research, and to encompass researchers from a range of science, engineering and social science traditions. It has also, perhaps, expanded from interests in the operation of construction firms and projects to examine the effect of building and the built environment on societies and economics. However, the landscape of universities are constantly shifting. Current trends in individual and institutional performance measurement, new financial pressures and reprioritisation of research funding are leading to new dynamics for us all to navigate. This keynote will begin by outlining some of those dynamics and the effects they are having, in order to open up a discussion of the future of construction management research. Drawing on future scenario development, four possible futures are outlined - convergence, retrenchment, disappearance and hybridisation. These each speculate on possible futures for the community, on the kinds of research questions we might ask, and the research we produce.


Chris Harty is Professor of Technology and Organisation and Head of the School of the Built Environment at the University of Reading. He has been the Director of two EPSRC Centres and since 2010 has been Principal Investigator / Lead Academic on over £3.5 million of research funding. He has authored over 50 referred papers, was an Editor of Construction Management and Economics between 2012 and 2017 and is a reviewer for over 30 journals in areas of built environment, organisation and technology management. He is currently a visiting professor at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden, and was previously visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School in Denmark. Chris has internationally recognised expertise in understanding cultural and strategic change in organisations, implementation of new technologies and working practices, future scenario development and the connection between physical space and working practices.

  • Admission is free.​
  • UoRM staff RSVP by responding to the internal event invitation.
  • All are welcome, RSVP by 29 May 2018.


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