Conceptualizing environmental expertise through the lens of institutional work
Journal article, 2016

Although a growing number of environmental experts have entered the scene within the Architecture Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry, studies of environmental experts’ role and agency remain limited. In order to gain more clarity regarding the agency of environmental experts in relation to construction project practice the theoretical lens of institutional work is applied. A multidimensional framework, linking agency with three forms of institutional work, is used in a conceptual discussion on how environmental experts adopt various types of agency to influence institutional change towards a sustainable development of the AEC industry. Due to the fragmented and distributed project-based environment, the application of institutional work in the AEC industry uncovers tensions between various forms of institutional work processes. A dynamic model is therefore suggested to capture these tensions. Besides illustrating tensions, the model envisions the locked-in maintaining of institutions performed by iterative and practical-evaluative agency.


institutional work


environmental experts




Pernilla Gluch

Chalmers, Technology Management and Economics, Service Management and Logistics

Petra Bosch-Sijtsema

Chalmers, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management

Construction Management and Economics

0144-6193 (ISSN) 1466-433X (eISSN)

Vol. 34 7-8 522-635

Subject Categories

Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics

Work Sciences

Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

Other Civil Engineering

Driving Forces

Sustainable development

Areas of Advance

Building Futures (2010-2018)



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