Theorizing construction industry practice within a disaster risk reduction setting: Is it a panacea or an illusion?

Bingunath Ingirige

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Construction industry practice is strongly influenced by the culture surrounding its operations and, with the prevailing emphasis on achieving efficiency, there is a strong focus on outcome metrics such as profitability and employee productivity. With the recent increases in natural hazard events worldwide, and the likelihood that this will worsen still further with anticipated climate changes, the industry is increasingly contributing to building resilience within disaster-affected communities. Existing industry expertise, its educational approaches and the related theoretical frameworks, however, all require adjustment if these changing needs are to be fully addressed. Most importantly, an agenda shift is required from the philosophical side and a more pragmatic approach is needed if community resilience goals and objectives are to be met, rather than the narrower focus of the current metrics-driven management system. A synthesis of the current literature is therefore presented, along with relevant case histories illustrating how such an agenda shift within a disaster management context may influence the development of appropriate theory, as well as impacting upon grass-roots educational requirements. The research concludes by discussing how the ‘mainstreaming’ of disaster management within construction industry practice could drive forward developments in theorizing expertise and educational provisions across the constituent disciplines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)592-607
Number of pages16
JournalConstruction Management and Economics
Issue number7-8
Early online date5 Jul 2016
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2016
Externally publishedYes


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