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Paper w78-2008-1-04:
UNDERSTANDING ADOPTION AND USE OF ICT IN CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS THROUGH THE LENS OF CONTEXT, ACTORS AND TECHNOLOGY

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Henrik CJ Linderoth, Mattias Jacobsson

UNDERSTANDING ADOPTION AND USE OF ICT IN CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS THROUGH THE LENS OF CONTEXT, ACTORS AND TECHNOLOGY

Abstract: In the literature on construction related ICT no distinction is usually made between ICT use in the permanent organization and the temporary organization forming the building and construction projects. By drawing on the rich body of literature on organizational and managerial aspects of ICT the aim of the paper is to investigate how the interplay between contextual elements, actors’ frames of reference, and the ICT influence the adoption and use of ICT in building and construction projects. This objective will be pursued by an analysis of an ongoing study of ICT use in the Swedish building and construction sector, including semi-structured interviews and an ethnographic inspired study of a partnering project worth 50 million €. It is concluded that project based mode of organizing, with the prime focus on time and costs, creates a conflict with the process of introduction and development of ICT use that is characterised by ambiguity and indefinite duration in time that goes beyond the termination of a project. Unless immediate benefits are perceived by the adoption and use of an ICT application, it will not be used. This conflict can probably not wholly be solved, instead the industry has to learn to live with it and create spaces for innovation of ICT-mediated changes.

Keywords: ICT, adoption, use, organizational change, building and construction industry, temporary organizations

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