Synthesising emerging issues within key futures study reports in construction

Most futures studies aim to help people to better prepare for their future by identifying and examining emerging future issues relevant to them. In the last decade, there have been a range of futures studies published by individuals and organisations within the construction sector and wider afield. Despite this, little has been done on synthesising and classifying the emerging issues and analysing the substantive content of these studies. A thorough search of futures study reports in construction has been conducted from which key reports were selected to be examined in detail. Content analysis was employed to identify emerging future issues which were then used to populate a matrix showing the relationship between the reports and the issues identified. This yielded 337 emerging issues, both internal and external to the construction industry which were classified under six major themes, namely ‘technological’, ‘environmental’, ‘social’, ‘economic’, ‘governance’ and ‘construction industry’. Each is then discussed. The key characteristics of these issues, including the possible inter-connectivities among them are subsequently explained. The paper is concluded with a brief discourse on our future research work in this area and the possible associated methodologies to be employed.