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The conundrum of professionalising building surveying in Malaysia

Abdul-Rashid Abdul-Aziz (School of Housing Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, George Town, Malaysia) (Faculty of Built Environment, Universiti Malaysia Sarawak, Kota Samarahan, Malaysia)
Subashini Suresh (Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)
Suresh Renukappa (Faculty of Science and Engineering, University of Wolverhampton, Wolverhampton, UK)

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation

ISSN: 2398-4708

Article publication date: 8 July 2020

Issue publication date: 12 October 2020

369

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to track the series of setbacks by a few like-minded persons since the early 1990s to entrench building surveying as a profession in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were sourced from elite interviews with authoritative individuals who have been championing building surveying as a profession and supplemented by secondary sources.

Findings

Established professional bodies became hostile to what they perceived as attempts to encroach on their professional jurisdictions. There was even a move to subjugate building surveyors to the auxiliary role. The ultimate aim to obtain statutory “ring fence” around the proposed building surveying profession did not find favour with lawmakers.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of small sample size was compensated by referral to past publications.

Practical implications

Latecomers face an uphill challenge in negotiating for legitimacy from established professions and lawmakers alike in a situation when no new work demand avails. Building surveyors in Malaysia have to either wait for external changes which would allow their traditional role to be formally recognised or take up new specialisations.

Originality/value

Additional empirical findings were uncovered to complement past studies. The main contribution lies in demonstrating the explanatory powers of the sociological lens for future studies on professions in the construction industry.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to express their thanks to Dr Nur Syaimasyaza Mansor for conducting several interviews in 2018.

Citation

Abdul-Aziz, A.-R., Suresh, S. and Renukappa, S. (2020), "The conundrum of professionalising building surveying in Malaysia", International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, Vol. 38 No. 5, pp. 621-634. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJBPA-10-2019-0086

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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