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Bingunath Ingirige, Ghassan Aouad

Awareness and usage of information standards in the uk construction industry: a survey by the SIENE network

Abstract: Developments in information standards and interoperability in the construction industry are becoming increasingly popular. Much of this development is centred on the Internet for sharing of information and generic data exchange. However many industry participants are unaware of the benefits of information standards and reluctant to make long-term investment on them unless there is clear evidence of business benefits. The Network on Information Standardisation, Exchanges and Management in Construction (SIENE) was launched in March 2000 to streamline information standardisation and interoperability in the construction industry. It is an international network consisting of academics and industry practitioners in the UK and elsewhere whose work on the subject is of international reputation. The project is funded by The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under The Innovative manufacturing Initiative (IMI). The main source of knowledge gathering is through workshops conducted in the UK. The website of SIENE also provides opportunity for the members and other participants to enhance the knowledge base of the network. SIENE’s main objective is to explore current research being undertaken in the area of information standardisation and to benchmark UK performance with the rest of the world. It has also conducted workshops to investigate sources and types of barriers that prevent the adoption of information standards and to identify business benefits for construction firms. The findings of the project will be disseminated amongst industry and academia. The paper deals with the results of a questionnaire survey conducted by SIENE in the UK on awareness and usage of information standards among contractors, consultants, suppliers and clients in the construction industry. Forty members of the Construct IT, Centre of excellence in UK were selected as the initial target audience for the questionnaire survey. It is expected to broaden the scope of the survey to a wider audience in its second stage. The paper will discuss the information standards, which are widely being used in the UK construction industry and will highlight any organisational problems, which hinder the adoption of standards. It will also propose areas, which need to be improved for the firms in the industry to gain business benefits.

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Full text: content.pdf (385,336 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.strategies (0.031105) class.roadmaps (0.019768) class.commerce (0.017889)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by CSIR Building and Construction Technology. The assistance of the editors, Mr. Gustav Coetzee and Mr. Frances Boshoff, is gratefully appreciated.


Ingirige B, Sexton M, Betts M

The suitability of IT as a tool to facilitate knowledge sharing in construction alliances

Abstract: The impact of environmental pressures has led many organisations to combine their resources and form alliances to develop and sustain competitiveness, profitability and long term growth. A review of the literature suggests that construction firms are not significantly different from others in their behaviour in meeting up the challenges imposed by the environment. Trends of forming strategic alliances therefore have embraced majority of the sectors of the construction industry. Not only do alliances act as vehicles for efficient project management but also they provide the opportunity for the organizations to share participants' knowledge. In this paper, which is based on an ongoing study, we argue that IT could be used as a tool to leverage shared knowledge in alliances to improve organisational outcomes. Indeed the traditional belief among people that "knowledge is power", which inhibited intraorganisational knowledge sharing, continues to act as a major constraint in alliance knowledge sharing too irrespective of the degree of IT use. In this paper we demonstrate the use of IT to complement other socialisation mechanisms to create new knowledge. In the process we investigate the effectiveness and efficiency of knowledge transfer mechanisms and link organisational outcomes to new knowledge creation.

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Full text: content.pdf (414,979 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2002 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.bestPractise (0.078552) class.education (0.052662) class.environment (0.037527)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by the Aarhus School of Architecture, Denmark. The assistnace of the editor, Prof. Kristian Agger, is gratefully aprecciated.


Sexton M, Ingirige B, Betts M

Information technology-enabled knowledge sharing in multinational strategic alliances: media richness - task relevance fit

Abstract: Sharing knowledge in a strategic alliance is far from being a smooth and self-propelled process. An important determinant of successful knowledge sharing is the level of fit between the tasks being undertaken by alliance partners and the IT-enabled knowledge sharing mechanism being employed to carry out these tasks. This paper reports on ongoing research investigating IT-enabled knowledge sharing mechanisms in multinational strategic alliances within construction. First, the concept of media richness is introduced, which argues that the characteristic of a communication medium significantly determines how successfully that medium can share knowledge between participants. Second, the importance of task relevance is identified, emphasising that the success of a knowledge sharing mechanism is determined by how relevant the content of the message is to the receiver's work. These two themes are integrated to offer a media richness - task relevance fit model. This model is used as a framework to structure and evaluate interim research findings from a multinational alliance case study. The findings indicate that successful IT-enabled knowledge sharing mechanisms are closely linked to both media richness and the business logic and the social processes captured in the task relevance and task environment aspects of a virtual organisation. The results reinforce the need to adopt a social constructivist approach to IT-enabled knowledge sharing mechanisms, which challenges researchers and practitioners to understand different alliance stakeholder groups' interpretations of, and interactions with, the information technology.

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Full text: content.pdf (153,687 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2003 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the University of Auckland. The assistance of the editor who provided the full texts and the structured metadata, Dr. Robert Amor, is gratefully appreciated.


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