This paper supplements and extends consideration of quantitative models with application to building costs and prices by examining human elements inherent in modelling. In considering the concepts of modelling, attention is focused on the recently developed sociology of science, which questions the traditional perspective of total separation of a reality from the observerthe objective basis of scientific positivism. It is argued that human activities are fundamental in, and inseparable from, reality and so, they are integral in modelling. The aim of modelling should be to enhance understanding and knowledge rather than to secure inert objectivity. Application to modelling of prices of building projects investigates how prices are formulated, which prices are commonly modelled and the impact of the decisionmakers involved. It is concluded that new models are required, perhaps developed through methodological pluralism, which identify peopleoriented variables and assumptions explicitly. Further, the models should be stochastic and with sound bases in theories of economics and human behaviour to ensure that users are aware of the major variabilities in the processes modelled and so, by realistically informing, promote better decision making.
Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management – Emerald Publishing
Published: Apr 1, 2000