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Exploring behavioural factors for information sharing in BIM projects in the Malaysian construction industry

Che Khairil Izam Che Ibrahim (Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
Norsabrina Aine Mohamad Sabri (Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
Sheila Belayutham (Faculty of Civil Engineering, Universiti Teknologi MARA, Shah Alam, Malaysia)
Abdul Mahamadu (Department of Architecture and the Built Environment, University of the West of England, Bristol, UK)

Built Environment Project and Asset Management

ISSN: 2044-124X

Article publication date: 5 December 2018

Issue publication date: 5 March 2019

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Abstract

Purpose

Despite the wave of enthusiasm for building information modelling (BIM) as a platform for information sharing, issues from the context of information-sharing behaviours still exist. The purpose of this paper is to explore the behavioural factors for successful information sharing in BIM projects in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a literature review, a questionnaire was designed containing seven identified behavioural factors and their sub-elements. Data were collected through a questionnaire survey with 42 experienced BIM practitioners. In addition to that qualitative semi-structured interviews were conducted with nine construction practitioners in the Malaysian construction industry. Initially, a descriptive statistical analysis was adopted, followed by multivariate analysis that was employed to examine the possible effect of demographic attributes (i.e. nature of organisation and work experience in BIM) on the behavioural factors.

Findings

The analytical results indicated that communication, accountability and trust were the top three behavioural factors influencing successful information sharing. Additionally, the majority of the behavioural factors on information sharing were found to be not significantly dependent on both, the nature of organisations and the level of BIM experiences. Overall, the success of information sharing in the digital environment (i.e. BIM) depends on organisational behaviour supported by the collaborative constructs.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the fact that BIM implementation in Malaysia is still in its infancy, this study was limited to local context with small-scale BIM practitioners. Therefore, their views may not represent all BIM-related stakeholders in the industry.

Practical implications

The success of information sharing in BIM projects is a result of a combination of various factors, and this study provides construction practitioners with information on the behavioural factors, which could assist them in creating collective and collaborative information sharing in a digital environment.

Originality/value

Despite the fact that this study is country specific, the paper presents a new perspective on the behavioural context of information sharing in BIM projects. The findings further extend the current BIM literature by providing an insight into what it takes for project teams to reinforce their information sharing in the Malaysian digital environment through improvements in behaviours.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors gratefully acknowledge the support of BuildingSMART Malaysia and those who participated in the survey and interview. The authors would also like to thank Associate Professor Zulkiflee Yusof for his input, time and effort which was invaluable to fine-tuning the paper.

Citation

Che Ibrahim, C.K.I., Mohamad Sabri, N.A., Belayutham, S. and Mahamadu, A. (2019), "Exploring behavioural factors for information sharing in BIM projects in the Malaysian construction industry", Built Environment Project and Asset Management, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 15-28. https://doi.org/10.1108/BEPAM-02-2018-0042

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited

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