The Self-Destruction and Renewal of Lean Construction Theory: A Prediction From Boyd's Theory

Tariq S. Abdelhamid1

1Assistant Professor, 207 FarraH Hall, Construction Management Program, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824-1323. Email:


In 1992, Lauri Koskela used the ideal production system embodied in the Toyota Production System to develop a more overarching production management paradigm for project-based production systems where production is conceptualized in three complementary ways, namely, as a Transformation (T), as a Flow(F), and as Value generation(V). In 2002, Koskela and Howell have presented a new conceptualization of Project Management theory to address the shortcomings in existing planning, execution, and control paradigms as manifested in project-based production systems. This paper introduces and explores Boyd's theory of "Destruction and Creation", which is subsequently used to trace how the Lean Construction underlying theoretical foundation, as represented by the TFV theory of production and the new Project Management theory, was conceived. Boyd's theory also reveals that the more the two theories are used to explain, predict, and control observed reality, i.e., project-based production environments, the more they will fail to match-up with observed reality signaling the need for new theories. Hence, sooner or later the TFV and the new Project Management theories will self-destruct and the chaos created by the inability to match the theories' constructs with observations will result in yet another broader theory of project-based production systems. Evidence exists of this already taking place with the new representation of the construction industry as a complex and chaotic system.


Lean Construction Theory, TVF Production Theory



Abdelhamid, T.S. 2004, 'The Self-Destruction and Renewal of Lean Construction Theory: A Prediction From Boyd's Theory' In:, Bertelsen, S. & Formoso, C.T., 12th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction. Helsingør, Denmark, 3-5 Aug 2004.

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