The essence of construction industry project management and why it needs to change

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


The Society for Projecct Management


School of Business and Law




Originally published as:

Fulford, R. (2016). The essence of construction industry project management and why it needs to change. In the proceedings of the International Conference on Project Management (ProMAC).

Original available here


Much of project management theory has been devoted to the praxis of project management with a focus upon project processes and the development of project documents. The extant literature abounds with project practices such as the rules and norms of project management. Much less concerns the ontology of projects and the environment in which they exist; the individuals who are involved and the interactions that occur. The process of project management in many sectors, such as the construction industry, has not improved for many years. For instance multi-factor productivity statistics in the construction industry have been static for three decades, projects are also still regularly over budget and often later than scheduled. This paper critically analyses the processes of project management and specifies the interactions that occur. It takes a metaphysical approach, and loosely utilises process philosophy, whereby the artefact of project management in the construction industry is scrutinised and the causations of the processes proposed, the suggestion being that we are going about project management with the wrong emphasis but with ever increasing precision.