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Article
Publication date: 6 September 2021

Obuks A. Ejohwomu, Paul W. Chan and Yujie Lu

Abstract

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2021

David John Edwards, Jahangir Akhtar, Iain Rillie, Nicholas Chileshe, Joseph H.K. Lai, Chris J. Roberts and Obuks Ejohwomu

The advent of Industry 4.0 has engendered opportunities for a coalescence of digital technologies that collectively enable driverless vehicles to operate during the…

Abstract

Purpose

The advent of Industry 4.0 has engendered opportunities for a coalescence of digital technologies that collectively enable driverless vehicles to operate during the construction and use of a highway. Yet, hitherto scant research has been conducted to review these collective developments and/or sample construction practitioner opinion on them. This study aims to present a systematic review of extant literature on the application of driverless technologies in civil engineering and in particular, the highways infrastructure sector and offers insight into the limitations of associated barriers to full adoption, namely, current technological development processes, legal deficiencies and societal concerns. In so doing, this work presents a vignette of contemporary developments augmented by a critical analysis from practitioners’ perceptions.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed philosophical methodological approach is adopted for this inductive research study. Interpretivism is used to critically analyse the literature and post-positivism to perform content analysis of the literature and synthesis of the discourse with practitioners. A total of 44 related papers published between 1998 and 2019 have been included in this study. Emergent themes identified from literature are then discussed in some further detail, namely, 1) automation and robotics; 2) case studies and simulations; and 3) safety and ergonomics). A focus group is then held with leading industrialists to discuss their experiences of advanced driverless technology applications in practice. Based upon a culmination of emergent evidence, a conceptual model of prevailing barriers is then developed to further elucidate upon the challenges facing the highways infrastructure sector.

Findings

Research into driverless technologies within the highways infrastructure sector has received relatively scant academic attention. Hitherto, most advancements made have stemmed from multidisciplinary teams consisting of engineering, information technology and social scientist researchers. There is insufficient supporting evidence of civil engineering and construction academics input into developments made – suggesting that prototype products often fail to adequately consider practical applications in the highways infrastructure sector at the design and use case stage. This view is substantiated by feedback from leading industry experts who participated in unstructured telephone interviews. Their feedback suggests that practical applications of products have been beset with problems, thus creating a perception that advanced technologies are largely “unusable” within the highways infrastructure sector and so are unsuitable for large-scale (and particularly bespoke) industrial applications.

Originality/value

This research critically synthesises the prevailing scientific discourse within extant literature on driverless technologies implemented but also garners practitioner feedback from leading UK industrialists on their applications in practice. Hitherto, this combined analysis approach has been rarely used in spite of it having significant advantages of tacit knowledge reflection on technologies used, where such can be used as a basis for further informed discourse and/or development. Moreover, this work culminates in a conceptual model that acts as a catalyst for future research investigations.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

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Article
Publication date: 25 November 2020

David John Edwards, Igor Martek, Obuks Ejohwomu, Clinton Aigbavboa and M. Reza Hosseini

Human vibration exposure from hand-operated equipment emissions can lead to irreparable and debilitating hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). While work-place health and…

Abstract

Purpose

Human vibration exposure from hand-operated equipment emissions can lead to irreparable and debilitating hand-arm vibration syndrome (HAVS). While work-place health and well-being (H&WB) policies, strategies and procedures have been extensively researched and documented, little has been done to develop a specific strategic framework tailored to the management of hand-arm vibration (HAV). This study fills that gap.

Design/methodology/approach

A mixed philosophical approach of interpretivism and critical realism is adopted within a case study of a utilities contractor. Within this overarching epistemological design, action research approach is implemented via a three-stage investigation, namely, relevant company H&WB documents and procedures were examined, leading to the formulation of semi-structured interview questioning of the H&WB team. Their responses informed the next line of questions, delivered to middle-management responsible for overseeing H&S.

Findings

The findings are instructive in revealing that while substantial documentation management (augmented with protocols and checks) was in place, the system fell short of implementation within the workforce and thus failed to preserve worker H&WB. The investigation generated recommendations for shoring up H&WB deficiencies observed and developed a theoretical model to represent these. Though these recommendations were developed in response to a specific case, they form the core of a HAV operational H&WB strategy framework with applicability over a broader context.

Originality/value

This research provides unique insight into contemporary industry practices employed to manage HAV in the workplace and represents an invaluable opportunity to learn from prevailing practices and rectify deficiencies observed.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

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Article
Publication date: 17 July 2017

Obuks Augustine Ejohwomu, Olalekan Shamsideen Oshodi and Ka Chi Lam

Communication plays an important role in the quality of the relationship, trust and collaboration among construction project teams. Literature suggests that effective…

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Abstract

Purpose

Communication plays an important role in the quality of the relationship, trust and collaboration among construction project teams. Literature suggests that effective communication is vital for achieving improved project performance. The purpose of this paper is to identify and assess the barriers to effective communication in the Nigerian construction industry, using attribution theory paradigm.

Design/methodology/approach

Questionnaires detailing 15 barriers to effective communication were administered to consultants and contractors engaged in the Nigerian construction sector. In total, 100 valid responses were analysed using mean score, factor analysis and factor score.

Findings

Unclear project objectives, ineffective reporting systems and poor leadership were ranked as the most significant barriers to effective communication. Factor analysis uncovered that the principal reasons responsible for ineffective communication include: managerial and technical barriers and credibility and background barriers.

Practical implications

The results provide information on barriers which needs to be addressed in order to improve communication in construction projects in Nigeria. There is a need to conduct post-completion reviews of construction projects so that project team members can learn and share knowledge on past experiences. Although the present study was conducted in the Nigerian context, it is envisaged that the research outcome will be widely applicable to other developing countries.

Originality/value

The study provides insights on the perceived barriers to effective communication in Nigerian construction projects. The paper presents the direction for further research aimed at improving communication in construction projects in Nigeria.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 24 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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