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Institutional isomorphism and adoption of building information modelling (BIM) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the Nigerian Construction Industry

Abdullahi B. Saka (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)
Daniel W.M. Chan (Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong, China)
Saheed O. Ajayi (School of Built Environment, Engineering and Computing, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds, UK)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 6 September 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2024

494

Abstract

Purpose

Although there has been a surge in the adoption of building information modelling (BIM) in the construction industry, the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are still struggling and perceive its adoption as risky. The SMEs in developing economies are especially on the disadvantaged side of the digital divide. Extant studies have focused on large firms and there are scanty studies on the influence of the external environments on BIM adoption in SMEs. Thus, this study espouses institutional theory (INT) to examine the influence of coercive, mimetic, and normative pressures on BIM awareness and adoption in SMEs.

Design/methodology/approach

A quantitative approach was employed, and data were collected from the Nigerian construction SMEs via an empirical questionnaire survey using a sequential stratified and convenient sampling method. Hypothesized relationships between the coercive, mimetic, and normative pressure and BIM in SMEs were empirically tested using the partial least squares structural equation modelling (PLS-SEM) technique and the model was validated with the “PLSpredict” procedure.

Findings

The results revealed that coercive and mimetic pressures significantly influence BIM adoption in SMEs while normative pressures have the strongest influence on BIM in SMEs. Also, BIM awareness is an important predictor of BIM adoption. The findings also shed light on the influence of firmographics on BIM awareness and adoption in Nigerian SMEs.

Originality/value

The study empirically validates the applicability of INT and highlights that BIM adoption is not only influenced by internal responses to the need for efficiency but also by external pressures. It implies a clear need for intentional isomorphic pressures in driving BIM adoption in SMEs. The study employs the INT to explain a phenomenon that has not been theoretically explored in the context of SMEs in developing economies. Lastly, the study provided valuable insights into driving BIM adoption, together with the effective practical implications for implementation and potential research areas for further studies.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors acknowledge the BIM experts and SMEs that have participated in the study. Also, the authors are grateful to the editor and the anonymous reviewers, whose constructive comments and suggestions have significantly helped in improving the quality and presentation of this paper.

This research work was fully supported through the funding of the full-time PhD research studentship under the auspice of the Department of Building and Real Estate, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hong Kong.

Citation

Saka, A.B., Chan, D.W.M. and Ajayi, S.O. (2024), "Institutional isomorphism and adoption of building information modelling (BIM) in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) of the Nigerian Construction Industry", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 31 No. 1, pp. 179-199. https://doi.org/10.1108/ECAM-02-2022-0188

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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