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Paper w78-2005-p4-1-lofgren:
Socio-technical management of collaborative mobile computing in construction

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Socio-technical management of collaborative mobile computing in construction

Abstract: The constant changes of plan and unanticipated events in the production process at construction sites result in communication patterns that are dynamic, spontaneous and informal. Most of the existing ICT tools do not sufficiently support informal communication for powerful collaborative problem-solving, management of site resources, handling of parallel process activities and do not correspond to the basic needs and work patterns at the construction sites. Mobile computing technologies have the potential to provide an inclusive wireless mobile ICT platform (voice and data) that can enable improved support for informal communication and on-demand data at construction sites, which can result in improved project collaboration leading to increased efficiency and productivity in the construction process. Still, an implementation strategy for collaborative mobile computing at construction sites is complex and must consider numerous issues regarding system capabilities, mobility, applications, services, integration of existing ICT systems, user interface and user devices to meet the requirements and behaviors of site workers in the mobile distributed heterogeneous construction environment. A mobile computing platform needs to be designed, implemented and managed with a socio-technical bottom-up approach realizing end user and group needs, understanding the separate issues of adoption on different organizational levels, and recognizing mobile computing as a process integrated enabling technology for improving collaboration and project communication throughout the whole construction process.

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