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This content is taken from the Coventry University's online course, Research for Construction Management. Join the course to learn more.

Skip to 0 minutes and 11 seconds Sometimes I like living in a country where it rains a lot, but other times, I just miss the sun. Last year, I wanted to book a holiday somewhere hot and sunny. My friend recommended Mexico as her experience of the country sounded just fab, exactly what I was looking for, but I didn’t know much about the country or where to visit. I decided to conduct an internet search for places to go to in Mexico. Cancun sounded ideal but I still wanted to know more about the place, so I consulted a holiday review site to get some first-hand information.

Skip to 0 minutes and 56 seconds The comments were positive, so it was looking like a great place for me, but I still wanted to know more about culture and history. Then I asked my social media network to see if anyone had experience of the destination. Sure enough, my good friend offered loads of useful information and gave me a copy of his travel guide. Looking through this guide gave me everything I needed to know

Skip to 1 minute and 38 seconds and allowed me to finally book my holiday in the sun. By revisiting my research, I built a picture and came to a conclusion using facts and materials. Similarly, in this course, you will do the same. Our focus is on how research influences the contemporary issues faced by the construction industry. But to really understand what research means we need to unpack the word re-search. The prefix re, has its origin in Latin and means to do again, or to repeat. The word search relates to examination, exploration or investigation. So, research literally means to repeat a search, examination, exploration or investigation, just like the steps I took to choose my ideal holiday destination in the sun.

Skip to 2 minutes and 28 seconds You will take similar steps in undertaking a research project.

What is research?

Research is key in challenging contemporary issues in the construction industry. It involves asking questions and finding the answers. In this video, Dr Daisy Nwaozuzu explains why research is important and looks at the origins of the word.

Research involves a search into something, a search for something, the gathering of more information about something, finding out other people’s opinions and making enquiries about what has been previously done.

Through observation, skilled questioning and analysis, we can assess the effects that activities, events or phenomena have on society.

The following steps will provide you with an overview of conducting research in construction project cost management.

Your task

Have you had an opportunity to investigate, repeat a search or explore for information recently? Answer the following questions about how you undertook the task:

  • What made you carry out such an investigation?

  • How did you go about the search?

  • What did you find out from your search?

Share your thoughts with your fellow learners in the comments area. The answers to these questions will guide your thoughts on a few considerations before embarking on a research activity.

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This video is from the free online course:

Research for Construction Management

Coventry University