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Brochner J

Construction process improvements in market networks

Abstract: Most construction projects are carried out in market networks with several design and production firms involved. It is unlikely that the use of information technology (IT) will proceed at an even pace in firms. A vital task in coordinating the construction process is therefore to bridge technology gaps between firms. The analytical framework for this investigation is derived from the theory of transaction costs, with focus on how network participants perceive incentives for sharing and preserving project information. Issues such as information feedback from later to earlier stages of the process and professional liability for information provided are dealt with in this context. The main points are illustrated by results from recent and ongoing Swedish R&D projects within the field. Emphasis on IT use at the client/designer interface and at the construction site interface is expected to grow. Improved digital telecommunications for rapid transmission of graphics with attached databases are seen as a development with far-reaching consequences for efficiency in the construction process.

Keywords: construction process; networks; transaction costs; design feedback; Swedish construction

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Series: w78:1993 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the National University of Singapore. The assistance of the editors, particularly Prof. Martin Betts, is gratefully appreciated.


Christer Finne

Perceived customer value in construction information services

Abstract: The information needed to design, construct and manage a building is nowadays mainly produced, stored and made available in digital form. Information is produced partly in the design process itself. Design and procurement documents refer only to information produced elsewhere as external printed matter or databases (for example, describ-ing building products). An important channel for such external information is provided by specialized information service providers. In order to meet competition from companies’ homepages, search machines, internet start-up companies etc, established info-mediaries need to rethink their services as well as their business processes. A key issue is achieving a deep understand-ing of how customers perceive the value of these services and products compared to those of new competition enabled by the internet. A study of new business patterns and networks provides the empirical support for the concepts exam-ined in this paper. Traditionally, value is regarded as something inherent in the product; and which is handed over to the customer. More recently, research argues that value cannot be pre-produced. Value is co-produced by the customer, partly as a result of interactions between the customer and the supplier or the service provider. For services, value is, according to this view, produced and consumed simultaneously. Using this theoretical framework as a basis, the conclusions of the study are that it is not enough for construction infomediaries to produce just digitised versions of their traditional products, e.g. printed standards, and product sheets. They also need to gain a thorough understanding of their customers' busi-ness processes and, instead of producing products (or services), become facilitators of value creation for customers.

Keywords: construction infomediaries, customer value, information service providers, product information

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Series: w78:2007 (browse)
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Clarke P, Clarke J

Analysis of phenomenological perceptions of effectiveness of information technology in computerised maintenance management

Abstract: The general aim of this empirical research was to examine the phenomenological perceptions of both asset managers and support or ancillary staff using qualitative and quantitative analysis for the purpose of assessing efficiency of information technology in a public sector building construction maintenance management environment, particularly to develop a framework technique that will be useful to investigate such fundamental phenomenological facets as efficiency of training and information technology, the effect of information technology on human relations within the workplace, the perceived impact of information technology on the efficiency of occupational performance, and a summative evaluation of information technology in the asset management environment. Empirical investigation by structured interview with both management and support staff within a public sector asset management organisation was undertaken. The data was analysed through unpaired t-tests between asset managers and support staff, and dichotomous questions for experienced versus inexperienced employees and employees as differentiated by age. The results of the analysis revealed that both asset managers and support staff perceive information technology as beneficial in terms of both qualitative and quantitative outcomes. Further it would appear that individually at all levels within the maintenance management sphere exhibited phenomenological perceptions of information technology that were particularly favourable and overall were consistent with the conclusions of researchers who had observed information technology's benefits in terms of other quantitative and qualitative outcomes, in industry. Further research is suggested in the areas of customer satisfaction both prior to and subsequent to the implementation of more sophisticated information technology systems in addition to investigating the interaction between actual productivity levels and phenomenological perceptions of beneficial outcomes as a function of information technology.

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Full text: content.pdf (63,348 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:1999 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.environment (0.043979) class.impact (0.034129) class.economic (0.021698)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Research Press of the National Research Council of Canada. The support of the editors, particularly Dr. Dana Vanier, is gratefully appreciated.


Clarke P

Effectiveness of I.T. in computerised maintenance management: a longitudinal study of the analysis of phenomenological perceptions.

Abstract: The longitudinal study was conducted in a public sector building construction maintenance management environment where a new computerised maintenance management system is in use in New South Wales, Australia. The aims of this longitudinal, empirical research are to examine the phenomenological perceptions of both asset managers and support or ancillary staff using qualitative and quantitative analysis for the purpose of assessing efficiency of information technology in a public sector building construction maintenance management environment and to develop a framework technique that will be useful to investigate such fundamental facets as efficiency of training and information technology, the effect of information technology on human relations within the workplace, the perceived impact of information technology on the efficiency of occupational performance, and a summative evaluation of information technology in the asset management environment. Empirical investigation was carried out through structured interview with both management and support staff within a public sector asset management organisation, subsequent to the introduction of a new computerised maintenance management system in the environment being studied. The data was analysed through unpaired t-tests between asset managers and support staff, and dichotomous questions for experienced versus inexperienced employees and employees as differentiated by age. The tentative results of the analysis revealed that both asset managers and support staff perceive information technology as beneficial in terms of both qualitative and quantitative outcomes. Individuals from both levels of the environment being studied exhibited phenomenological perceptions of information technology that were particularly favourable and overall were consistent with the conclusions of researchers who had observed information technology’s benefits in terms of other quantitative and qualitative outcomes together with a comparable study of this environment carried out previously. Differences between the two studies indicate a reduction in the significance of the differences between the two groups regarding satisfaction with information technology as a whole. Further research is suggested in customer satisfaction, productivity levels and the interaction between perceptions and outcomes.

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Full text: content.pdf (184,921 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2000 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.environment (0.050079) class.impact (0.031689) class.economic (0.020147)
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Permission to reproduce these documents have been graciously provided by Icelandic Building Research Institute. The assistance of the editor, Mr. Gudni Gudnason, is gratefully appreciated


S Alda, A B Cremers, J Bilek & D Hartmann

Integrated Multiagent and Peer-to-Peer based Workflow-Control of Dynamic Networked Co-operations in Structural Design

Abstract: Modern engineering projects in the application domain of structural design are organized in networked co-operations due to permanently enlarged competition pressure and a high degree of complexity while performing concurrent design activities. One of the major challenges of these networked co-operations constitutes the coordination of the activities of all involved participants. In the course of our common research activities, we have developed two different directions for coordinating these projects: i) a workflow-based concept regulating the activities explicitly by a global workflow model (University of Bochum) and ii) an awareness model that allows to perceive activities of other protagonists and to derive new activities mentally. This paper describes a novel integration approach of these two models: according to the global workflow model, users can be connected through awareness channels that enable them to detect potential inconsistencies during their concurrent modeling activities. Inconsistencies that would otherwise remain in the project progress can thus be discovered at a very early stage.

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Full text: content.pdf (793,714 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2005 (browse)
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Permission to reproduce these papers has been graciously provided by the Technische Universität Dresden.


Tah J H M, Carr V

How do small and medium-sized consultancy practices perceive information technology in the new economy?

Abstract: Information Technology (IT) is very much an enabler, and there are many perceived benefits from its successful implementation within an organisation, including time savings, reduced waste, better information exchange, and even cost savings. However, the rapid changes taking place in this area are potentially problematic for the many small businesses involved in what is essentially a very fragmented construction industry. A series of five recent workshops, held at South Bank University in collaboration with the Construction Industry Council, the Department of the Environment, Transport and Regions, and the Information Technology Construction Best Practice programme, aimed to deal with this issue, and to solicit the opinions of those most closely involved. Attendees were invited from a number of professions, including engineers, architects, building surveyors, and quantity surveyors, all of whom were from consultancy practices which can be considered to be small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) within the construction industry. The IT knowledge of the attendees varied from novices who realised their computing skills were lacking, to IT managers and directors whose knowledge of systems and support issues was considerable. Presentations were made on the future of IT within the construction industry, and by professionals with considerable experience of implementing IT strategies in construction organisations. The ensuing discussions covered many areas of concern, including: the problems and difficulties associated with implementing a successful IT strategy within a construction SME; the merits and flaws of moving away from document-driven models to a data-repository-driven central project model; the potential for E-commerce and the use of the Internet within construction; the rise of construction web portals, and the use of web-based collaboration; problems and concerns associated with interoperability and standards within the construction software domain; and the role of other technologies, such as virtual reality, within the industry. There were many concerns from the attendees regarding the current use of IT in construction. It was generally seen as something which was necessary – even vital – to the success of organisations, but many felt that, as a consequence, they were being forced to deal with issues which shouldn’t exist ideally (such as the lack of computer-aided drawing (CAD) standards, and the multiple vendors in the CAD software market.) Also, some felt that they were being pushed down IT routes they wouldn’t have previously considered due to the requirements of clients. Indeed, a number of attendees felt that something which was sold as being greatly beneficial to many organisations seemed to consume vast quantities of resources in some cases, yet there was still very much a feeling of a need to ‘be in there.’ Details of the demographics of the attendees are presented, and the subjects of greatest concern during the discussions are detailed thoroughly. The paper aims to provide a snapshot of the IT concerns of SMEs in the construction industry as it enters the 21st century.

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Full text: content.pdf (174,541 bytes) (available to registered users only)

Series: w78:2001 (browse)
Cluster: papers of the same cluster (result of machine made clusters)
Class: class.collaboration (0.069301) class.economic (0.044484) class.communication (0.037222)
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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.


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