Stephen E. Roulac*
This special issue of The Journal of Real Estate Research celebrates innovation and community by honoring the winners of manuscript prizes for the outstanding papers presented at the 1996 meeting of the American Real Estate Society, held March 27-30, 1996, at Lake Tahoe, California. This issue celebrates innovation in that the research presented here materially advances the thought leadership of the real estate discipline. This issue celebrates community in that this issue is the result of the combined contributions of many who share the common commitment of selfless devotion of resources to advance the quality of real estate decisions and thereby society and its environments.
This celebration of innovation and community is strong testimony to the status of the real estate discipline. No longer does comedian Rodney Dangerfield's plaintive lament, "I just can't get no respect"-once such an apt summation of the status of the real estate discipline within the academy-apply. Until relatively recently, real estate as a discipline was undernourished in three ways: publishing opportunities were minimal, recognition for outstanding scholarship was unavailable and research funding was nonexistent. But all of that is in the past. For the real estate discipline, the past is past and the future is now in terms of publication opportunities, scholarly recognition and research funding.
The American Real Estate Society has been in the vanguard of promoting publication opportunities and scholarly recognition. Since its founding in 1985, the organization has sponsored the publication of some forty-seven issues of three journals: The Journal of Real Estate Research, the Journal of Real Estate Literature, and The Journal of Real Estate Portfolio Management, as well as three volumes of the Real Estate Research Issues Monograph Series. In total, these scholarly volumes have made available some 451 articles authored by 793 scholars.
Those individuals who created, built and lead the American Real Estate Society have chosen to make their contribution to society by advancing the thought leadership of the real estate discipline. Advancing the thought leadership of the real estate discipline ranks high in society's needs, for real estate is the stage upon which the drama of life is played. Real estate represents the prison of constraint, the platform of the possible. The multidisciplinary designs, the intellectual, emotional, physical, artistic, spiritual, strategic dimensions of structures and their environments are so important to individual life experience, to family, to community, to commerce, to society and its institutions. As Winston Churchill so aptly observed, "We first design our structures, then they design our lives"
It has been said by Christopher Day (1994) that every building started with what were first the thoughts of an architect. If the architect is influenced by the culture, concerns and constraints of society, as well as by client insight, what thought influences the architect's thought? Who identifies the issues? Who frames the problems? Who provides the strategic concepts? Who provides the analytic tools? Who suggests the financial discipline? Who advances the solutions? Ultimately, the answers to these questions are found in the thoughts of the leaders of the real estate discipline.
The role of the American Real Estate Society (ARES) to advance thought leadership is integrally linked to much if not all of what is most important in life, relationships, community, and business. Today, with a renaissance of place and space underway, the thought leadership of the real estate discipline provides a foundation for the application of thought to decisions that result in environments that enhance the experience of life.
The American Real Estate Society's contribution to advancing thought leadership is manifested through a forum that promotes innovation and creates community. …