The building or enactment of expertise in context: what the performative turn in the social sciences may add to expertise research in construction management

Karen Mogendorff

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Expertise tends to be seen as something people possess: one needs to have the knowledge, skills and competences to be able to do a job well, preferably better than others, under various conditions. In practice not all objectively relevant knowledge and expertise gets endorsed as such. In multi-party settings different forms of expertise tend to compete with one another. The latter is certainly true for the construction sector in which parties with different backgrounds, stakes and interests work together in order to create or maintain buildings and infrastructural works. Existing knowledge and expertise need to be performed in order to get treated as relevant to the interactional business at hand by the people one collaborates with. Whose expertise is treated as most salient may differ across interaction settings that make up the different phases of a project. So far, however, what expertise is treated as relevant when in the day-to-day management of construction projects and the effects thereof have been understudied. The argument put forward is that expertise research informed by the performative turn in the social sciences may enrich the construction management research agenda. Performative studies tend to further insight in what expertise ends up to being treated as relevant when in actual practice, e.g. by researching how various expertises are discursively positioned relative to one another in multi-party settings. Insight into how and when existing expertise counts may be of help in developing strategies to ensure that expertise that is considered relevant but is underused in practice may be optimally deployed in the future. General directions are provided for how expertise may be researched from a performative perspective in construction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-491
Number of pages8
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Volume34
Issue number7-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2016

Keywords

  • Enactment of expertise
  • Performative turn
  • Researching expertise

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