Methodological Pluralism: Investigation into Construction Engineering and Management Research Methods

George Agyekum-Mensah, Andy Reid, Titiloye Ayodeji Temitope

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The quantitative methodological–based debate in the 1990s in construction engineering and management (CEM) research resulted in researchers considering alternative methodologies. However, a follow up study in 2007 established that CEM remained dominated by quantitative research, with only 8.4% of the studies surveyed exclusively using qualitative methods. A decade on, this remains a challenge, and an update is overdue. Hence, an investigation to establish the current position regarding methodological pluralism within CEM research was conducted. A total number of 4,166 articles spanning from 2000 to 2017 were examined from three reputable journals and a Tier 1conference. The articles were categorized by the research methods used. Overwhelmingly, it was found there are acceptable multiepiste-mologies within CEM research, and there is a shift from a dominance of quantitative to an increased utilization of qualitative methodologies, and the use of mixed methodologies has shown hopeful progression. The demography of the data was also analysed and discussed. It was concluded that there is an increasing acceptance of methodological pluralism, and CEM and its industry are on the verge of experiencing a competitive advantage, which could result in improved performances with utilization of balanced research methodologies (if applied appropriately).
Original languageEnglish
Article number04020006
Journal Journal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2020


  • Construction management
  • Methodology
  • Mixed methods
  • Quantitative
  • Qualitative
  • Research methods


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