Thinking with materialities in construction management: a response to Alexander Styhre

2017-06-26T12:56:00Z (GMT) by Dan Sage
Alexander Styhre recently challenged Construction Management and Engineering (CME) scholarship to develop a stronger contribution to debates around materiality in mainstream management and organization studies. The rationale for his challenge is that CME scholars have a unique engagement with an important materiality – the built environment – that affords them a significant, yet largely unrealized, potential to inform wider debates about the materiality of social and organizational life. In my response here I do not disagree with Styhre’s overall argument. Instead I critically reflect, via a discussion of two themes implicit within his proposals – hiddenness and managerial power – on the rather unitary formulation of his argument. In so doing I do not so much seek to flag up challenges as to enliven his proposals by discussing the breadth of opportunities for contribution presented to CME academics in engaging with materialities with general management and organization scholarship.