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36th Annual Conference – Glasgow, UK
7-9 September 2020

Track 2: Social Value

Lead: Ani Raiden, Nottingham Trent University, UK (ani.raiden@ntu.ac.uk); Martin Loosemore, UNSW, Australia; Chris Gorse, Leeds Beckett University, UK; Andrew King, Soul Value, UK

Social value is concerned with how we contribute positively to the communities in which we work. In this track we wish to explore this emerging concept in the context of the built environment. By this we mean looking at social value from the perspective of different professionals and organisations involved with the entire life-cycle of construction from planning through design, construction, operations and facilities management. We also call for contributions that give voice to those who may have benefitted form social value initiatives, for example workers, trainees or apprentices, social enterprises working within wider construction supply chains, clients, etc. We want to show that there are many different motives, rationales and methods for creating social value and build on the dialogue from past ARCOM conferences (e.g. Jemma Bridgeman’s Langford Lecture in Lincoln, 2015; Social Value spotlight in Manchester, 2016) and key literature (e.g. Barraket and Loosemore, 2018; Burke and King, 2015; Denny-Smith and Loosemore, 2017, 2018; Doloi, 2018; Loosemore and Reid, 2019; Macmillan, 2006; Troje, 2018; Watson and Whitley, 2017).

There are many untapped opportunities to grasp and challenges to overcome in creating social value and we recognise that we are at the beginning of an ongoing and interesting journey which will draw knowledge from many disciplines and fields of knowledge. No one organisation, government department, or research project can alone solve the complex social challenges we face, and it is clear that solutions will need to be co-created through cross-sector collaboration between a wide range of stakeholders. We are optimistic since health and safety is a parallel journey which illustrates how the built environment can change its culture. Whilst construction sites are still unacceptably dangerous workplaces, the advances in the industry’s safety record in recent years are the result of sustained effort combining legislative measures; research, education and training; and leadership. We believe that the same shifts can be achieved in the field of social value.

We define social value, simply, as the ‘social impact’ any construction organisation, project or programme makes to the lives of internal and external stakeholders affected by its activities, including those working in the industry and in the communities in which it operates (Raiden et al, 2019). In this track, we call for a critical review of current academic knowledge and industry practice on social value. Some indicative themes for this track include:


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