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Spanning the multilevel boundaries of construction organisations: Towards the delivery of BIM-compliant projects

Enoch Sackey (Department of Commercial Management, MaitlandQS, Birmingham, UK and Faculty of Technology, Design and Environment, Oxford Brookes University, Oxford, UK)
Julius Akotia (Faculty of Science, Engineering and Computing, Kingston University, London, UK)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the interdependent boundary-spanning activities that characterise the level of permeability of knowledge, information flow and learning among construction supply chains involved in the delivery of building information modelling (BIM)-compliant construction projects. Construction projects are mobilised through a number of interdependent processes and multi-functional activities by different practitioners with myriad specialised skills. Many of the difficulties that manifest in construction projects can be attributed to the fragmented work activities and inter-disciplinary nature of project teams. This is nevertheless becoming ever more pertinent with the rise of technology deployment in construction organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

The study combined experts’ sampling interviews and a case study research method to help offer better insights into the kind of emerging multilevel boundary practices as influenced by the rapidly evolving construction technological solutions. The experts’ sampling helped inform better understanding by unravelling the key changes in contemporary boundary configurations and related boundary-spanning practices within technology-mediated construction project settings. The case study also helped to establish the manifestation of best practices for managing multilevel boundaries in BIM-enabled construction project organisations.

Findings

The study has revealed that different generic organisational BIM strategies as developed in specialised boundaries are reconfigured as appropriate at the project level to produce project-specific BIM execution plan (BXP). The outcome of project BXP is dependent on the project organisational teams that cooperate in creating new solutions and on conceding space for negotiations and compromises which conflicting interests at the project level can find to be both desirable and feasible. The implementation effort is therefore contingent on mutual translation in which different actors with different insights instigate their practice through negotiation and persuasion which eventually are reinforced by contractual agreements and obligations.

Originality/value

The paper has presented a novel and well-timed empirical insight into BIM-enabled project delivery and best practices that span multilevel boundaries of construction organisations.

Keywords

Citation

Sackey, E. and Akotia, J. (2017), "Spanning the multilevel boundaries of construction organisations: Towards the delivery of BIM-compliant projects", Construction Innovation, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 273-293. https://doi.org/10.1108/CI-09-2016-0047

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited