A critique of the methodology of building economics: trust the theories

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Construction Management and Economics, 2015, 33 (2), pp. 117 - 125
Issue Date:
2015-01-01
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© 2015 Taylor & Francis. Ive’s most important contribution to good research was his promotion of existing theories and in particular, the use of the firm rather than the project, as the primary analytical unit. It is suggested that the current standard of research in building economics is poor, and that the failure to use existing theories shares a considerable responsibility for this problem. The predominance of poorly conceived and executed research has put us into a position where the conclusions of 80% of published research papers across the social sciences (which includes building economics) should probably be reversed because of poor methodology, research design and analysis. Peer review, rather than being one of the cornerstones of self-correcting science, is particularly problematic in building economics as it serves to isolate us from external monitoring. Replication, the second cornerstone of good science, has more or less disappeared from our journals as it’s not considered prestigious. The end result is that there is no real quality control at the same time as quantity has become increasingly important for resource allocations and academic positions, seriously overextending the system for publications. The only way back to good research is to stop experimenting with fashionable but unsound methodologies and return to tried and tested theories and methodologies.
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