Setting the scene

Jim Meikle*, Rick Best

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther chapter contributionResearchpeer-review


Peter Drucker, a prolific writer on various aspects of management, is often erroneously cited as the originator of the phrase, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. Exactly where the phrase came from is unknown, but the idea remains valid. Measuring construction in the sense of measuring quantities of building work is a well-established technical process carried out routinely by quantity surveyors and estimators, and in many places there are agreed-upon rules and procedures that are used for such work. Measuring construction industries or parts of those industries is another matter. While there must have been construction managers as far back as the Pyramid Project, the discrete discipline of construction management is relatively new, and serious scientific research in the area is still evolving. Measuring construction, in the sense of measuring things such as performance and productivity, is still the subject of some of that research, and methods for doing it are far from being fully developed and generally accepted by all interested parties.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMeasuring Construction: Prices, Output and Productivity
EditorsR Best, J Meikle
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781134687282
ISBN (Print)9780415659376
Publication statusPublished - 17 Apr 2015


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