Which Kind of Science Is Construction Management?

Lauri Koskela1

1Professor, Salford Centre for Research and Innovation (SCRI) in the built and human environment, University of Salford, Salford, UK,


It is argued that the mainstream views on the nature of construction management are insufficient, and as one consequence of this, the relevance of construction management has been questioned. As a solution to this situation, construction management is suggested to be repositioned as a design science, rather than as an explanatory science. A historical consideration reveals that design science equals to one of the sciences proposed by Aristotle, however, the suggestion of Aristotle has been forgotten. Thus, there has been a long-standing neglect of the design science, which explains the present fragmentation of this field. It is argued that this redefinition of construction management will solve several problems plaguing this discipline, including the problem of relevance.


construction management, natural science, social science, science of production, design science, constructive research



Koskela, L. 2008. Which Kind of Science Is Construction Management?, 16th Annual Conference of the International Group for Lean Construction , 51-60. doi.org/

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