To read this content please select one of the options below:

Actionable strategy framework for digital transformation in AECO industry

Sanjay Bhattacharya (University School of Architecture and Planning, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi, India)
K.S. Momaya (Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay, Mumbai, India)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 29 April 2021

Issue publication date: 10 June 2021




The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) holds the potential to improve capabilities- and technology-based innovation, which will enable breakout for architectural, engineering, construction and operation and maintenance (AECO) companies, for international competitiveness. Though the top management of such companies is convinced on the utility of the applications, they are unsure on the strategy of implementing the same. The objective of this research is to suggest a strategy framework for digital transformation of the AECO value chain.


The nascent level of research on 4IR in construction necessitated the adoption of the integrative review methodology for the study. Extensive literature review of research on strategy and 4IR has been utilized to establish the validity of the first two pillars, namely “a strategy of simple rules in a complex environment; and deployment of dynamic capabilities.” The validation of a construct for the third pillar of “confluence of change and continuity forces” has been achieved via hypothesis testing of data obtained through a questionnaire survey.


The present study has integrated three diverse ideas of strategy, named as the pillars, to facilitate sustainable digital transformation. Within the third pillar, top three continuity forces which offer resistance to change are organization culture, existing delivery processes and networks, and existing standard operating procedures. On the other hand, the leading drivers of change are needs of competitiveness; global industry trends and the advent of new technologies/innovations.

Research limitations/implications

This provides a practical approach to operationalize digital transformation of the AECO at an organization level. The validation relied on opinion and perspectives of a sample frame in the Indian context, which was its limitation.


This paper suggests a strategy framework of three pillars to help address specific strategy dilemmas during implementation of digital transformation of particular organizations in AECO. The study contributes to both theory and practice by helping leaders of AECO companies, associations, policymakers and the academia to strategize transformations successfully.



Bhattacharya, S. and Momaya, K.S. (2021), "Actionable strategy framework for digital transformation in AECO industry", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 28 No. 5, pp. 1397-1422.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles