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Understanding structural and cultural impediments to ICT system integration: A GIS‐based case study

Claire E.H. Anumba (Centre for Innovative Construction Engineering Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Andrew Dainty (Centre for Innovative Construction Engineering Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Stephen Ison (Centre for Innovative Construction Engineering Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)
Amanda Sergeant (Construction Industry Training Board ConstructionSkills, Loughborough, UK)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 1 November 2006

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1261

Abstract

Purpose

Despite a substantial investment in construction information and communications technology (ICT) in recent years, the structure, culture and ingrained working practices of the sector are such that the industry's organisations represent problematic arenas for their successful implementation. In order to better understand the factors affecting the integration of a new ICT within the industry, this paper seeks to examine the implementation of a geographic information system (GIS) aimed at facilitating an aspect of the labour market planning process within the construction sector. The paper explores the interplay of structural, social and technical factors which, when combined, can complicate the implementation of ICT systems.

Design/methodology/approach

In the case study presented, the considerable potential of the system to facilitate the implementation of a labour market initiative was affected by a range of internal and external factors. An analysis of the implementation process and the socio‐technical systems that surround it shows how these factors combined to delimit the abilities of the system to meet the needs of the organisation.

Findings

The findings of this work have clear resonances for an industry renowned for its conservative culture and slow uptake of new technologies. They also underscore the importance of developing flexible implementation approaches which are able to cope with an organisation's external environment and changing requirements.

Originality/value

The lessons learned are used as the basis for a set of recommendations for enabling construction organisations to better prepare themselves for ICT implementation in the future through proactive planning and end‐user engagement.

Keywords

Citation

Anumba, C.E.H., Dainty, A., Ison, S. and Sergeant, A. (2006), "Understanding structural and cultural impediments to ICT system integration: A GIS‐based case study", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 13 No. 6, pp. 616-633. https://doi.org/10.1108/09699980610712409

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited