Introducing site sense: comparing situated knowledge in construction to coalmining

Aboagye-Nimo, E. ORCID: 0000-0002-7651-744X and Raidén, A. ORCID: 0000-0001-7176-1139, 2016. Introducing site sense: comparing situated knowledge in construction to coalmining. In: P.W. Chan and C.J. Neilson, eds., Proceedings 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference, Manchester, 5-7 September 2016. Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM), pp. 467-476. ISBN 9780995546301

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The acknowledgment of the use of tacit knowledge as a safety praxis in the mining industry has been in existence for over half a century. This is referred to as pit sense.
On the contrary, the use of tacit knowledge for site safety is only gathering steam in the construction industry. Research on common sense in construction suggests that
the conflicts with official practices and policies, and resistance from individuals in managerial roles, hold back advancements in employing tacit knowledge. Common sense in construction and pit sense in coalmining substantial similarities including their heavy dependence on self-preservation and the use of a bottom-up approach i.e.
both focusing on the discretion of the workers. We
introduce the concept of 'site sense' as an approach to site safety which is based on tacit knowledge and reflects
situatedness of knowledge. Non-participant observations and semi-structured interviews were used to collect data on the practices of workers of micro construction firms in relation to site safety. The research findings indicate that unlike site sense, pit sense has evolved from first being regarded as a mere informal practice to then
being acknowledged by managers as a way of workers
taking responsibility and accountability for their own safety. Site sense and pit sense are both recognised as
safety practices that are not formally taught but acquired through continuous practice. They are both situational knowledge gained through informal techniques and close
interactions among team members. In both schools of thought, it is widely known that experienced workers are proud to possess and demonstrate pit sense and site
sense respectively whereas newcomers do not yet possess this tacit and situated knowledge.

Item Type: Chapter in book
Creators: Aboagye-Nimo, E. and Raidén, A.
Publisher: Association of Researchers in Construction Management (ARCOM)
Date: 2016
ISBN: 9780995546301
Divisions: Schools > Nottingham Business School
Record created by: Linda Sullivan
Date Added: 13 Oct 2016 10:59
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2019 10:02

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