Evolving History of Sustainable Project: Exploring Existential Meaning at the Agency Level

Mehrdad Sarhadi, Sogand Hasanzadeh, Saied Yousefi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Under the influence of a philosophical paradigm shift from modernism to late modernism, stakeholder participation in construction projects rose as a structural reformation of the distribution of power and to inhibit the unbridled power of project key stakeholders, which has resulted in more sustainable project governance. However, recurring conflicts of interest and same level of power have led to complicated consensus building among stakeholders. This problem and many other challenges at the agency level confront construction project sustainability with serious difficulties. Here a qualitative critical review, including philosophical and psychological analysis, was adopted to shed new light on the evolving history of project sustainability. Research findings within the framework of structuration theory reveal that sustainable projects not only should be "participatory"at the structural level but also need to be "meaningful"from the stakeholder viewpoint at the agency level. According to existential psychology, the sustainable project's goals have a great potential to improve construction sustainability at the agency level by motivating stakeholders to go beyond the constraints of profit-based objectives and to take more flexible and consensus-oriented stances.

Original languageEnglish
Article number04521003
JournalJournal of Legal Affairs and Dispute Resolution in Engineering and Construction
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2021
Externally publishedYes

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© 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers.


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