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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2012

Nese Dikmen, Soofia Tahira Elias-Ozkan and Colin Davidson

Earthquakes strike without warning, even though they are known to recur. It is nonetheless difficult to mobilize resources to plan for them in advance, despite the high…

Abstract

Earthquakes strike without warning, even though they are known to recur. It is nonetheless difficult to mobilize resources to plan for them in advance, despite the high social and economic costs that can be anticipated, and despite the humanitarian obligation to provide quality and safe housing.

This research examines two post-earthquake housing reconstruction projects in rural areas of Turkey, where different procurement strategies were used. A top-down strategy was adopted in Dinar after the October 1995 earthquake; and a bottom-up strategy, was adopted in the Orta district in Cankiri after the June 2000 earthquake in the region.

Based on information obtained from government agencies, building contractors and the projects beneficiaries, a comparison has been made between the two procurement methods. While no generalized conclusions can be drawn – as the projects were conducted in the particular circumstances that prevail in rural areas of Turkey – it is possible to highlight key factors that can properly influence future housing procurement processes.

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Open House International, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1988

COLIN H. DAVIDSON, PHILIPPE L. DAVIDSON and KALEV RUBERG

The building industry, through its structure and its mandate, faces endemic information problems; expert systems are expected to impact positively. Expert systems are…

Abstract

The building industry, through its structure and its mandate, faces endemic information problems; expert systems are expected to impact positively. Expert systems are suited to situations of uncertainty; knowledge and reasoning are separated, allowing easier updating. Knowledge acquisition from human experts is difficult and problems of information reliability arise, suggesting the scope for cooperation between knowledge engineers and documentalists familiar with the domain. In building, prevailing conditions seem to indicate the appropriateness of expert systems, particularly during the design phase; however, written documentation and general research results are rarely consulted. This highlights the need for an information ‘refining’ stage between production and use. It is easier to set up expert systems for specialised sub‐domains; however, on‐going research is attempting to develop a comprehensive approach to project‐specific information that would be operational from initial design through to completed construction. Criteria for a comprehensive design information system can be listed.

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Journal of Documentation, vol. 44 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2006

Jean‐Marc Robert, Lucie Moulet, Gonzalo Lizarralde, Colin H. Davidson, Jian‐Yun Nie and Lyne da Sylva

The construction sector is notorious for the dichotomy between its intensive use of information in its decision‐making processes and its limited access to, and…

Abstract

The construction sector is notorious for the dichotomy between its intensive use of information in its decision‐making processes and its limited access to, and insufficient use of, the pertinent information that is potentially available, e.g. on the internet. This paper seeks to examine this issue. To solve this problem (the ‘problem of information aboutinformation’), a multidisciplinary team developed an online question‐answering (Q.‐A.)system that uses natural language for the query and the reply. The system provides a direct answer to questions posed by building industry participants, instead of providing a list of references (as is the case with most online information retrieval systems), much as if onewere asking a question of, and receiving a response from, an expert.It has the capabilitiesto process questions in natural language, to find appropriate fragments of answers indifferent web sites and to condense them into a paragraph, also written in natural language. The main features of the system are that it uses domain‐specific knowledge (in the form ofa hierarchical specialized thesaurus complemented by terms of fieldwork parlance),semantic categorization, a database of filtered and indexed web sites, and an online interface that is adapted to different profiles of actors in the construction sector. The testing process shows that the system goes beyond the lists of references and links provided by traditional search engines on the web.The Q.‐A.system already gives 70% of satisfactory answers. The Q.‐A.system can be applied to other business domains apart from information retrieval and decision‐making in the building sector. It is also possible to apply it to the exploitation of in‐house knowledge management database.

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Construction Innovation, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 7 October 2013

Colin Davidson

This paper aims to present an overview of innovation in the construction sector, its forms, its inherent pitfalls and difficulties, and some underlying reasons for them…

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Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an overview of innovation in the construction sector, its forms, its inherent pitfalls and difficulties, and some underlying reasons for them. The familiar distinction between technical and organisational innovation is inapplicable in the fragmented construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is based on systematic observation, accompanying many years' hands-on experience.

Findings

The processes of innovation in construction require that the innovator (possibly starting from a narrow idea or opportunity) broaden his/her view to take into account the impacts of the intended innovation on the priorities of other stakeholders, in an iterative process. In other words, orchestrated organisational changes must accompany – if not precede – technical innovation.

Research limitations/implications

This paper specifically describes the processes and constraints of innovation in the context of the construction sector.

Practical implications

Failure to take into account the dual obligation to innovate simultaneously on the organisational and technical fronts will lead to yet one more failed attempt. Such a failure represents a waste of time and effort, and a missed opportunity to contribute to improved construction.

Originality/value

This paper is based on a uniquely broad experience-based view of innovation, covering a period of more than five decades; this feedback from experience can help innovators directly and provide evidence for subsequent research.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 13 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2009

Colin H. Davidson

The purpose of this paper is to address an aspect of the innovation process leading to manufactured construction, which is often ignored, namely the organizational changes…

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1650

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address an aspect of the innovation process leading to manufactured construction, which is often ignored, namely the organizational changes that necessarily accompany major innovations such as manufactured construction, calling for systemic organizational design.

Design/methodology/approach

The information for the case histories was obtained over a number of years by embedded research, where the researcher played an essential role in the projects described, thus allowing access to unpublished information. This observation‐based information was compared to other cases reported in the literature or about which knowledge was obtained though other means, enabling analytical generalizations to be drawn.

Findings

Results confirm the initial expectations. In a context of minimum state intervention, e.g. through mechanisms of market aggregation (in UK and the USA for example), namely where the internal forces of the building sector act upon each participant (including manufactured construction innovators), the design of an appropriate organization with its accompanying novel relationships is essential.

Originality/value

This paper makes it possible to show that contemporary manufactured construction innovators should recognize the importance of up front organizational design as a co‐requisite for technical design. This phase is often overlooked, exposing the innovator to unnecessary risks.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 9 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2009

Colin H. Davidson

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452

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Amira Guirguis, John M. Corkery, Jacqueline L. Stair, Stewart Kirton, Mire Zloh, Christine M. Goodair, Fabrizio Schifano and Colin Davidson

– The purpose of this paper is to determine pharmacists’ knowledge of legal highs (novel psychoactive substances (NPS)).

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to determine pharmacists’ knowledge of legal highs (novel psychoactive substances (NPS)).

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was handed out at two London pharmacist continuing education events in mid-2014. These events update pharmacists about developments of interest/relevance to the profession and to improve their practice. A total of 54 forms were returned; a response rate of 26 percent.

Findings

Most pharmacists had poor knowledge of NPS and many considered that NPS were not important to their work, with few having had to advise customers in this area. Despite this, the majority thought that they had insufficient information about NPS. There was a negative correlation between the age of the pharmacist and knowledge of NPS.

Research limitations/implications

The sample is a self-selected one drawn from registered pharmacists working in community pharmacies in northwest London, and thus does not include hospital pharmacies. Self-selection means that respondents may only reflect those who are interested in the NPS phenomenon and not the wider pharmacy community. The geographical area covered may not be representative of London as a whole, or indeed other parts of the UK or other EU countries.

Practical implications

It is clear that pharmacists do not know much about NPS but would like to know more. This information might improve their practice.

Social implications

Pharmacists, easier to see than general practitioners, could be a useful source of information for NPS misusers.

Originality/value

There have been no previous attempts to gauge the level of knowledge by pharmacists of legal highs/NPS in the UK or elsewhere to our knowledge.

Details

Drugs and Alcohol Today, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1745-9265

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Content available
Article
Publication date: 19 June 2009

Derek H.T. Walker

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546

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 2 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1986

SUZANNE BERTRAND‐GASTALDY and COLIN H. DAVIDSON

Within the framework of a research project into alternative ways of representing documentation languages and into their flexibility, an attempt is made to draw up a list…

Abstract

Within the framework of a research project into alternative ways of representing documentation languages and into their flexibility, an attempt is made to draw up a list of performance criteria that an ‘ideal’ thesaurus graphic display should respect. However, a study of the main bibliographies listing thesauri, shows that less than 6 per cent of them contain graphic displays, even though a concurrent literature survey reveals that such displays offer many potential advantages. Up to now, use of displays was probably limited by technology and by the rarity of studies into the cognitive processes of the users of automated systems. Current research in several disciplines (computer graphics, ergonomic psychology and spatial representation) should contribute to the emergence of new types of documentation retrieval tools, well adapted to a broader and more diversified clientele.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 42 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2013

Lisa Bornstein, Gonzalo Lizarralde, Kevin A. Gould and Colin Davidson

The aim of this paper is to add a new dimension to urban resilience by exploring how representations of disasters, reconstruction and human settlements are made, and how…

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1052

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to add a new dimension to urban resilience by exploring how representations of disasters, reconstruction and human settlements are made, and how, by shaping plans and programs, they ultimately influence resilience.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on James Scott's notion of “legibility” to ask how different representations simplify complex realities and how they are transformed into plans and programs. The paper first outlines the various broad analytic lens used to examine legibility to portray post‐disaster reconstruction, drawing on international literature and policies. The paper then focuses on post‐earthquake Haiti and analyzes eight reconstruction plans and reviews design proposals submitted for the Building Back Better Communities program to explore how different stakeholders portrayed the disaster, identified the reconstruction challenges and proposed to address human settlements.

Findings

Representations of the disaster, the reconstruction challenge and the housing problem were quite varied. While the plans assumed a very broad view of the reconstruction challenge (one that goes beyond the representations found in the literature), the BBBC program adopted a very narrow view of it (one that the literature condemns for failing to achieve sustainable resilience).

Research limitations/implications

The empirical research is exploratory, suggesting an approach that throws a new light on the analysis of plans and programs for improved resilience.

Practical implications

The study suggests that the representations that decision makers, institutions and organizations make of the world ultimately establish the framework in which resilience is constructed.

Originality/value

The lens of legibility confirms that the expression of different representations makes the world legible in different ways and therefore transforms the way in which resilience can be improved.

Details

International Journal of Disaster Resilience in the Built Environment, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1759-5908

Keywords

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