Expert knowledge in the making: Using a processual lens to examine expertise in construction

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Expertise in construction has typically been associated with the esoteric, where experts occupy privileged positions through their possession of specialist skills and knowledge. In this conceptual piece, an attempt is made to broaden this view of expertise found in the construction management literature, by drawing on a reading of the process philosophical writings of Henri Bergson and others. Re-reading expertise from a processual standpoint, it is argued that our conceptualisation of expertise in construction management should move beyond its treatment as a thing to bring to the fore expertise as an open-ended, ongoing, ever-evolving process of becoming. At the heart of this ontological shift of expertise in construction lies the emphasis on the tacit and recognition that expertise is, at the same time, interactional, intuitive and incidental. These ideas are illustrated in a vignette of environmental expertise in an airport context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-483
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - May 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • Becoming
  • Intuition
  • la durée (duration)
  • Organisation Theory
  • Process Philosophy


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