Date of Award

2013

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

School

School of Computer and Security Science

Faculty

Computing, Health and Science

First Advisor

Dr Dave Brooks

Abstract

The aim of the study was to establish the Facility Management knowledge categories within the life cycle of a building context. The significance of the study stemmed from research undertaken into the compliance to Australian Standards 1851-17:2005 Maintenance of Fire and Smoke Doors within West Australian nursing homes, which demonstrated 87 per cent non-compliance. The level of non-compliance appeared to identify a lack of knowledge, and appropriately qualified and experienced personnel involved within the management of nursing homes (Doleman, 2008). The issues identified prompted the question on how facility management knowledge categories evolves and develops throughout the life cycle of a building.

The research used a three Phase, Grounded Theory interpretive analysis of the Facility Management knowledge construct. Phase One involved the examination of 21 international tertiary undergraduate Facility Managers courses. The course content was analysed and assessed through linguistic analysis to extract the knowledge categories and subordinate concepts. The findings identified 14 primary knowledge categories which were presented to 10 Facility Management experts for validation. Phase Two presented the findings of Phase One in a Multi Dimensional Scaling (MDS) survey instrument to Facility Management experts for dissimilarity assessments. The results from the 56 completed surveys were embedded within MDS software to present spatial knowledge proximity cluster analysis. The final phase was the validation of the research findings through semi-structured interviews of 10 industry experts, selected with consideration of heterogeneity in order to validate the findings of the previous phase.

The outcome of this study was to develop an understanding of the Facility Management knowledge categories within the life cycle of a building context and the identification of 14 core knowledge base, required as a Facility Manager practitioner. Core knowledge categories included Finance as a central theme within the Facility Management domain with Building Services and Business providing an indication as to the broad nature of Facility Management knowledge construct. Also identified within the research was the lack of legislative harmonisation between different states and territories within the Facility Management domain and the disparity between Facility Management practitioners with regards to knowledge context and application.

The role of Facility Management and their involvement within the lifecycle of a building was also identified within the research as being little or none during the design and construction phases of the building. The handover and management of the buildings to Facility Managers occurs within the occupancy phase of the buildings life cycle meaning that the building was inherited without due consideration of continued operational efficiencies or functionality affecting the overall cost effectiveness of the building.

Such outcomes lead to a number of recommendations such as a the introduction of central knowledge standard in order to provide context of definitions and well as the continued development and drive of Facility Management practitioners and associations to establish the Facility Management profession as a respected body.

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