Practical post-modernism: FM and socially constructed realities

PRICE, I., ELLISON, I. and MACDONALD, R. (2009). Practical post-modernism: FM and socially constructed realities. In: European facility management conference: 8th Euro FM research symposium, Amsterdam, June 16-17 2009.


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The theme of the paper, with examples, is that strategic FM should engage not with elaborate structural functional models of building service supply but with the socially constructed realities of organisations and their results. Several, evidence based, examples of FM creating different conversations will be provided, viz:

• The creation of excellent patient environments in English Hospitals is not a function of structure (whether or not there is an integrated FM Directorate), sourcing (in house or outsourced) or a particular business process. It is a function of leadership exercised through context specific conversations.

• The creation of effective new ‘knowledge’ environments is not a function of a particular design or project structure. It is a reflection of FMs ability to create conversations for changes in business results.

• The failure of FM to capture strategic attention deriving from an obsession with considerations of unit costs and building condition rather than overall costs and business outcomes.

• The role of perceptions and assertions in creating or blocking effective business relationships between FM providers and clients

In the process the paper will challenge academic FM, whether research or education, to stop being in thrall to ‘practice’ to a degree that is arguably greater than is found in other areas of business and management, let alone other established disciplines. FM has too many models, too little theory and too little empirical evidence of specific business contributions. It is too concerned with supplying facilities rather than considering the purpose for which a given facility is managed.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Paper delivered by Professor Ilfryn Price on June 16 2009 at the European facility management conference: 8th Euro FM research symposium, Amsterdam, June 16-17 2009.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Business School Research Institute > Service Sector Management
Departments: Sheffield Business School > Service Sector Management
Depositing User: Ann Betterton
Date Deposited: 18 May 2009
Last Modified: 12 May 2018 14:51

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