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Professionalism in built environment research: beyond integrity and good practice

George Ofori (School of the Built Environment and Architecture, London South Bank University, London, UK)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 6 September 2021

Issue publication date: 24 November 2022




Professionalism indicates a devotion to and demonstration of exceptional performance and achievement in any activity. The built environment comprises the physical items required for economic activity, long-term national development and social well-being. Studies show a need to improve many aspects of the built environment and the sector which creates it. Researchers should contribute to this improvement effort. It is suggested that researchers should demonstrate professionalism, but there is no agreement on how professionalism in research is determined. It is necessary to consider what constitutes professionalism in built environment research and how it can be developed.


An exploratory study is presented. It considers major works on the nature of the built environment and its sector, and factors influencing research on them; and draws on works on research ethics, integrity and good practice to propose a framework for professionalism in built environment research.


More work is needed to improve the built environment and its sector. Professionalism in built environment research will make the contribution of such research to this effort effective. This professionalism should be conceptualised, developed and continuously enhanced.

Research limitations/implications

This first attempt to formulate a framework for professionalism in built environment research is based on a review of the major relevant literature. Subsequent works can test this framework empirically.

Social implications

The professional built environment researcher will be committed to contributing to society.


This is the first work on professionalism in research on the built environment. The framework provides the basis for further studies on the subject.



The author grateful to Akosua Ofori for co-designing and drawing the figures in this paper.


Ofori, G. (2022), "Professionalism in built environment research: beyond integrity and good practice", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 29 No. 9, pp. 3617-3646.



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