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Amor R, Betts M, Coetzee G, Sexton M

Information Technology for Construction: Recent Work and Future Directions

Abstract: Advancing the application of information technology in construction is a major international research and innovation endeavour of concern to scientific establishments and industry. A significant focal point for this research, in terms of its dissemination and the derivation of a shared research agenda, has been the working commission concerned with IT for construction within the International Council for Innovation and Research in Construction (CIB). Working commission 78 of CIB has been active for about 20 years in holding annual meetings of leading scholars in the field. These annual meetings have allowed the principal research activities from around the world to be presented to expert fora and documented in a series of annual proceedings. More recently, some of the more complete research projects have been reported in an on-line electronic journal published in association with the working commission. The meetings have typically allowed debates and discussion to take place regarding the state of progress with key research themes, the emergence of new research themes, and a vision of construction activities in the future to which ongoing research could relate. This paper seeks to capture some of the overall experiences from the activities of this working commission by reviewing the key research issues that have been addressed in recently reported work and seeking to elicit a vision of future IT-enabled construction projects that might inform future research. It reports on an overview of the scope, current approaches and future research agenda that has arisen from consideration of the papers presented, and discussion that took place, at its most recent meetings in South Africa in 2001 and Denmark in 2002.

Keywords: Information Technology, Construction, Research Agenda, Vision.

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Full text: http://www.itcon.org/2002/16 (available to registered users only)

Series: itcon:2002 (browse)
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Aouad G, Cooper R, Kagioglou M, Hinks J, Sexton M

A synchronised process/IT model to support the co- maturation of processes and IT in the construction sector

Abstract: In recent years many efforts had taken place in order to develop process and IT maps within the construction sector. However, the subject of co-maturation between IT and the process has not been given enough attention. This has resulted in the development of impractical solutions because of an apparent lack of balance between the IT and process capabilities. For instance, some organisations in the construction sector have adopted the rapid prototyping concept which is widely used within the manufacturing sector without even investing in 3D modelling and VR technologies which are the most appropriate for this task. Paradoxically, some organisations have invested in these technologies, but rapid prototyping is non existent. This paper addresses the issue of co-maturation between the process and IT in order to establish a balanced profile. The work is based on the CMM (Capability Maturity Model) model which was developed by the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University in order to develop software for the US government, particularly to be used by the Department of Defence. The CMM is a five-level model which include ad-hoc, repeatable, defined, managed and optimised stages. The model is designed so that capabilities at lower stages provide progressively stronger foundations for higher stages, reducing the change management risks. Each development stage - or "maturity level" distinguishes an organisation’s process or IT capability. This paper builds on the work achieved within the generic design and construction process protocol (GDCPP) which is being undertaken at the university of Salford. The main contribution of this paper is a conceptual model of co-maturation between IT and process. A synchorised IT/process model will be presented and discussed. This model is being developed through knowledge obtained form the industrial collaborators of the GDCPP project.

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Full text: content.pdf (120,604 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1998 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.communication (0.029904) class.processing (0.022049) class.impact (0.010457)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. The assistance of the editors, Prof. Bo-Christer Björk and Dr. Adina Jägbeck, 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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