Gloomy, but friendly Glasgow was the location for this 14th annual research symposium now combined with practitioner sessions also. The first day was devoted to research and held at the new University of Strathclyde Technology and Innovation Center (pictured here). The theme was borrowed from the tag line for the City of Glasgow, “People Make Glasgow” and turned into “People Make FM”. The first thing announced was the initiation of the EuroFM Research Portal which is planned to make available the full text of all published research papers and conference proceedings from EuroFM sponsored work for all involved in the Research Network Group.
One of the next presentations was on a research topic which has much interest I believe in the practitioner community, ‘Added Value of FM’. This topic was first addressed in this group in 2009, a book was published in 2012 and research published in 2013-15. It was felt that the “cumulative knowledge” however, was “rather weak” as there has not been a “common understanding or practical management tools” or documentation of implementations produced to date. We need to watch the latest research on this important topic.
Chris Moriarty who now works for Leesman was at the time representing BIFM on a panel which was asked the question, “Why don’t practitioners read academic research?”. Chris explained that current academic papers look too complicated, are too long and would be read if summarized in a 3 page report or did not exceed 10 pages. This is exactly why the IFMA Foundation published the latest report on Evidenced-based Design by Dr. Sally Augustin which lists relevant academic research but only has a brief abstract of the research with link to the publication if a reader wants to go into more depth (http://www.ifma.org/news/what's-new-at-ifma/what's-new-at-ifma-details/2015/01/27/workplace-research-applying-what-scientists-know-about-where-and-how-people-work-best-).
All of the 35 research papers that were accepted were available in a EuroFM publication (ISBN 978-94-90694-07-04). Two of these had the greatest interest for me; one on IT in FM in Europe by Poul Effesen and one on a comparison of FM competencies comparing IFMA, RICS and BIFM lists by Matthew Tucker and Kathy Roper, but will save those topics for subsequent blogs.