Giving an energy target sense: focus on an expert and discursive competences
Paper in proceeding, 2012

EU has launched a new directive on energy efficiency for buildings. This directive forces property owners/builders to reduce their energy use which in turn requires large investments. As a consequence there is a need for these organisations to change their investment strategies and practices. This paper aims to contribute to our understanding of how an EU directive on energy use in buildings diffuses into, and is managed by, a public construction client organisation. Drawing on a framework of Rouleau and Balogun, we have examined how discursive competences were deployed by an energy expert as means to influence the organisational sensemaking of the target initially. The paper is based on an explorative case study, namely in-depth interviews with seven respondents, a focus group meeting and extensive field notes. Using a narrative approach, we account for talk, action and interaction between mainly the energy expert, the management team and officials. Thus, we unfold how the sensemaking of the target progressed over time.

discursive competences

public construction client

expert role

energy target



Kjerstin Ludvig

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management

Ann-Charlotte Stenberg

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management

Pernilla Gluch

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management

Management of Construction: Research to Practice, 26 – 29 June 2012, Montreal, Canada


Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)


Subject Categories

Civil Engineering

Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Business Administration

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