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Article

Enoch Sackey, Martin Tuuli and Andrew Dainty

The evolving roles of BIM and smart building technologies in the design and management of construction projects often present unexpected events and variabilities, which…

Abstract

Purpose

The evolving roles of BIM and smart building technologies in the design and management of construction projects often present unexpected events and variabilities, which tend to erode professionals’ prior knowledge authority. The purpose of this paper is to explore how construction organisations can deploy knowledge and adapt to the requisite skills in order to make fitting responses to the ever-evolving technological and organisational transformations to address the prevailing construction challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper opted for an abductive research approach that ensures back-and-forth iterative dialogue between the empirical data and an amalgam of the theoretical proposition towards new understanding of the phenomenon under investigation. A multiple case study method was adopted to collate the empirical data from three separate construction organisations as they transitioned into BIM compliant work processes.

Findings

The study has described new processes that not only mediate existing practices but focus on consistently resolving known tensions and contradictions between prior knowledge and the requirement of the changing work situation. The study also illustrates the cognitive synchronisation of the learning approaches within contemporary work organisations that align well with the merits and utilities entrenched within their niche technological choices.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the chosen research methodology, it is acknowledged that future comparative studies using a much larger quantitative data sample to further elucidate the findings of this paper would be an interesting further step.

Originality/value

The study contributes to construction management literature by providing new insights into expansive learning environments capable of addressing cognitive contradictions and ambiguities inherent in the changing contemporary work patterns in the construction context as a consequence of BIM deployment.

Details

Built Environment Project and Asset Management, vol. 9 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2044-124X

Keywords

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Article

Enoch Sackey and Julius Akotia

The purpose of this paper is to study the interdependent boundary-spanning activities that characterise the level of permeability of knowledge, information flow and…

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.

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