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Paper w78-2011-Paper-34:
Adoption processes for EDM, EDI and BIM in the construction industry

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O Samuelson

Adoption processes for EDM, EDI and BIM in the construction industry

Abstract: Three strategically important uses of IT in the construction industry are the storage and management of project documents on webservers (EDM), the electronic handling of orders and invoices between companies (EDI) and the use of 3-D models including non-geometrical attributes for integrated design and construction (BIM). In a broad longitudinal survey study of IT use in the Swedish Construction Industry the extent of use of these techniques was measured in 1998, 2000 and 2007 (Samuelson, 2008). The results showed that EDM and EDI are currently already well-established techniques whereas BIM, although it promises the biggest potential benefits to the industry, only seems to be at the beginning of adoption. In a follow-up to the quantitative studies, the factors affecting the decisions to implement EDM, EDI and BIM as well as the actual adoption processes, were studied using semi-structured interviews with practitioners, in autumn 2009. The theoretical basis for the interview studies was informed by theoretical frameworks from IT-adoption theory (e.g Cooper and Zmud, 1990; Davis et. al., 1989; Gallivan, 2001) where in particular the UTAUT model (Venkatesh, et. al., 2003) has provided the main basis for the analyses presented here. The contribution of this paper is to use general IT adoption theory in the IT construction context to explain, and increase the understanding of, how different types of IT innovations can be implemented in the sector.The results showed that the decisions to take the above technologies into use are made on three different levels: the individual level, the organisational level in the form of a company, and the organisational level in the form of a project. The different patterns in adoption can to some part be explained by where the decisions are mainly taken. EDM is driven from the organisation/project level, EDI mainly from the organisation/company level, and BIM is driven by individuals pioneering the technique.

Keywords: IT, innovations, construction, adoption, implementation, Sweden

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