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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2005

Charles O. Egbu, Subashini Hari and Suresh H. Renukappa

An investigation of the importance of the knowledge of the key individuals in organisations, knowledge within organisations as well as customer capital and knowledge; and…

Abstract

Purpose

An investigation of the importance of the knowledge of the key individuals in organisations, knowledge within organisations as well as customer capital and knowledge; and how these might impact on sustainable competitive advantage of small and medium sized enterprises. The key challenges for knowledge‐intensive SMEs are the identification, capture, storing, mapping, dissemination and creation of knowledge from different perspectives and for different purposes.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a thorough review of literature and field study, this paper presents and discusses the benefits of knowledge management (KM) for sustainable competitiveness in SMEs in surveying practices. A field study was conducted, involving 12 professionals from eleven organisations, of which 2 of the 11 organisations were surveying practices.

Findings

The paper highlights the role of strategies, tools and techniques which might be of assistance. The paper concludes that managing knowledge assets in SME is not easy. It is an integrated and complex social process, which has culture, people, finance, technology and organisational structures at its core. The paper also notes that SMEs can benefit from effective KM practices for sustainable competitiveness.

Research limitations/implications

Recommendations are offered to surveying practices that are already involved with formal KM initiatives and those SMEs that aspire to do so.

Originality/value

An innovative study applying knowledge management principles to small and medium sized surveying practices.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 23 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 January 2021

Dahiru Abdullahi, Suresh Renukappa, Subashini Suresh and David Oloke

Despite the abundant renewable energy potential in the Nigeria, the power-sector stakeholder has not paid attention to the prospect of the natural resources that can be…

Abstract

Purpose

Despite the abundant renewable energy potential in the Nigeria, the power-sector stakeholder has not paid attention to the prospect of the natural resources that can be accrued when it is properly harnessed. Although a very negligible fraction of the population has invested in solar photovoltaics (PVs) for home solution, the initiative was only made public commercialised under the public-private partnership (PPP) and the objectives of the Power Sector Reform Act. 2005. It is, therefore, aimed to investigate the causes and insight of the barriers that are responsible for the slow implementation of the solar energy initiative in the Nigeria.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical study was performed in the Nigeria. The study was conducted qualitatively, through semi-structured face-to-face interviews of 25 participants. The interviews were recorded, transcribed, interpreted, coded, categorised into themes and analysed by content analysis.

Findings

The study reveals technological, financial, political and social barriers have been the reason for slowing down solar energy development in Nigeria. While the technical barrier is a challenge to the solar energy implementation, socio-cultural issues have also been an obstacle to the implementation process. It is suggested that, the stakeholders of the initiative endeavour to proffer sustainable policies to enable public and private promoters to be able to generate and distribute electricity through solar PV and to complement the inadequate conventional electricity sources from the grids.

Originality/value

The paper provides a richer insight into the understanding and awareness of barriers for implementing solar energy strategies in Nigeria.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2019

Manuel Alexander Silverio-Fernandez, Suresh Renukappa and Subashini Suresh

The decentralisation of information and high rate of mobile content access in the construction industry provides an ideal scenario for improvement of processes via the…

Abstract

Purpose

The decentralisation of information and high rate of mobile content access in the construction industry provides an ideal scenario for improvement of processes via the implementation of the paradigm of the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart devices are considered as the objects interconnected in the IoT; therefore, they play a fundamental role in the implementation of digital solutions during the execution of construction projects. The purpose of this paper is to assess the critical factors for a successful implementation of smart devices in the construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical study was performed in the Dominican Republic. This country, located at the heart of the Caribbean, presents an economy that strongly relies on the construction industry. Following a systematic approach, a qualitative data collection and analysis was performed based on semi-structured interviews and content analysis to professionals of construction companies in the Dominican Republic, enquiring the concept of smart devices and critical success factors for implementing the devices in the industry.

Findings

The key success factors obtained from the contestants were leadership, technology awareness, company size, usability of proposed solution, cost of implementation and interoperability.

Originality/value

This paper provides information to clients of the construction sector regarding the benefits of embedding smart devices into their business activities. Furthermore, this study provides a better understanding of the key factors to be considered by construction organisations when embedding smart devices into their projects. This study also provides recommendations for distinct stakeholders of the construction sector, such as policy makers, clients and technology consultants. Policy makers should especially consider factors such as technology awareness and leadership to develop the right policies for the integration of the IoT in construction projects. Technology consultants should be aware of the latest case studies of successful implementation of smart devices and IoT systems in the world in order to adapt and implement smart devices and IoT in their projects.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 26 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2020

Abdul-Rashid Abdul-Aziz, Subashini Suresh and Suresh Renukappa

The purpose of this study is to track the series of setbacks by a few like-minded persons since the early 1990s to entrench building surveying as a profession in Malaysia.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to track the series of setbacks by a few like-minded persons since the early 1990s to entrench building surveying as a profession in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were sourced from elite interviews with authoritative individuals who have been championing building surveying as a profession and supplemented by secondary sources.

Findings

Established professional bodies became hostile to what they perceived as attempts to encroach on their professional jurisdictions. There was even a move to subjugate building surveyors to the auxiliary role. The ultimate aim to obtain statutory “ring fence” around the proposed building surveying profession did not find favour with lawmakers.

Research limitations/implications

The limitation of small sample size was compensated by referral to past publications.

Practical implications

Latecomers face an uphill challenge in negotiating for legitimacy from established professions and lawmakers alike in a situation when no new work demand avails. Building surveyors in Malaysia have to either wait for external changes which would allow their traditional role to be formally recognised or take up new specialisations.

Originality/value

Additional empirical findings were uncovered to complement past studies. The main contribution lies in demonstrating the explanatory powers of the sociological lens for future studies on professions in the construction industry.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 38 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 25 June 2020

Haddy Jallow, Suresh Renukappa and Subashini Suresh

In December 2019, news broke out from the World Health Organisation (WHO), with the first outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China. On 11 March…

Abstract

Purpose

In December 2019, news broke out from the World Health Organisation (WHO), with the first outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Wuhan, China. On 11 March 2020, the WHO declared COVID-19 to officially be a pandemic. The UK was put under lockdown on the 23 March 2020 by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the lockdown introduced strict measures put into place including the restriction for unnecessary working from offices, and only leaving houses if it is deemed essential. Therefore, this paper focusses on the changes that the infrastructure sector has had to undertake in order to adhere to the COVID-19 lockdown rules while being productive.

Design/methodology/approach

Given the new and unexplored nature of the research problem, a qualitative research methodology was adopted. In total, five semi-structured interviews from three infrastructure sector organisations were conducted to collect data, which was then analysed using thematic analysis for inference and conclusion.

Findings

The results indicate that the lockdown is proving to be difficult to manage projects as staff members are working from home. This leads to delays on a project activities as many staff members cannot physically go on site and conduct works. The managers are finding difficult to manage their teams. However, technological tools such as video chat and meetings via online platforms have proven to be most effective in communications with project teams. The Building Information Modelling Design has been useful as the 3D design models helps to visualise the project within team meetings in order to comply with the COVID-19 rules and follow social distancing guidelines while still carrying on works. However, induction to any new starter is proving to be difficult to manage with the pandemic and lockdown as it involves a drugs and alcohol test prior to commencing work of that project.

Originality/value

This paper provides a rich insight into the understanding and awareness of the impact of COVID-19 and the changes that the infrastructure sector has had to undertake in order to adhere to the lockdown rules while being productive. This study contributes towards informing policymakers on some lessons learnt from the management of the COVID-19 from an infrastructure sector perspective. Furthermore, 12 key implications are drawn for decision-makers within the infrastructure sector business to rethink and act to deal with the pandemic crisis.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 18 June 2021

Angelines Daihana Donastorg, Suresh Renukappa and Subashini Suresh

Currently, renewable energy (RE) sources represent a crucial pillar in obtaining sustainable development, one of the global goals for all countries. However, this presents…

Abstract

Purpose

Currently, renewable energy (RE) sources represent a crucial pillar in obtaining sustainable development, one of the global goals for all countries. However, this presents a unique challenge for emerging and developing countries. As the technical and financial issues remain a significant barrier in implementing RE projects, several mechanisms are available to aid the financial aspect of investing and implementing clean energy projects. This paper aims to discuss new and traditional trends in the financial area of renewable investment, focusing on the Dominican Republic (DR), identifying the gaps in the financial area regarding RE.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical study was conducted in the DR. This country is located at the heart of the Caribbean. Given the complexity of RE and developing countries issues and the scarcity of comparable research in the area, an interpretivist research paradigm along with the qualitative methodology was adopted. Primary data was collected through semi-structured interviews. The study sample includes: directors, chief executive officers and managers responsible for the implementation of RE strategies in their respective departments/organisations. NVivo software was used for data management and the collected data was analysed using content analysis.

Findings

The research highlighted several severe financial handicaps regarding RE in the DR: The lack of RE assets recognition; lack of RE investment loans; perceived RE risk; and lack of financial guarantor. After extensive interviews with critical actors in the RE sector in the DR, the possible solutions and recommendations for avoiding locking the energy and economic sector in fossil fuel debt are: (a) diversification of RE technology assets recognition, (b) implementation of government RE fund, (c) RE education on all actors and (d) introduction and adoption of new financial trends such as green bonds, bank pooling, cooperatives and more.

Originality/value

This paper provides information and knowledge related to financial tools and policies that are available for the RE projects in the DR. The results have a socio-economic impact. This research provides a better understanding of the key financial tools to be explored by RE project developers in the developing countries. This study shows the gaps that exist between the knowledge that the stakeholders should possess and the actual knowledge that exists in the country regarding the financial aspect of an RE project.

Details

International Journal of Energy Sector Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1750-6220

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 July 2020

Subashini Suresh, Suresh Renukappa, Abdul-Rashid Abdul-Aziz, Yogeswary Paloo and Haddy Jallow

A smart city is a city that functions in a sustainable and intelligent way, by integrating all of its infrastructures and services in a cohesive way using intelligent…

Abstract

Purpose

A smart city is a city that functions in a sustainable and intelligent way, by integrating all of its infrastructures and services in a cohesive way using intelligent devices for monitoring and control, to ensure efficiency and better quality of life for its citizens. As other countries globally, the UK is keen on economic development and investment in smart-city missions to create interest in monetary environment and inward investment. This paper aims to explore the driving forces of smart road transport transformation and implementation in the UK.

Design/methodology/approach

The study involved interviews with 16 professionals from the UK road transport sector. A semi-structured interview technique was used to collect experts' perception, which was then examined using content analysis.

Findings

The results of the study revealed that the technological advancement is a key driver. The main challenges faced during the implementation of smart-city elements in the UK road network are lack of investment, maintenance, state of readiness and the awareness of the smart road transport concept. The study concludes that an understanding of the concept of smart cities from a road transport perspective is very important to create awareness of the benefits and the way it works. A wider collaboration between every sector is crucial to create a successful smart city.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the field of digitalisation of road transport sector. This paper reveals the key driving forces of smart road transport transformation, the current status of smart road transport implementation in the UK and challenges of the smart road transport development in the UK.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 July 2020

Andrew Kamunda, Suresh Renukappa, Subashini Suresh and Haddy Jallow

The UK water industry is a private sector that has no government mandate to implement building information modelling (BIM) but would benefit from its use. Research has…

Abstract

Purpose

The UK water industry is a private sector that has no government mandate to implement building information modelling (BIM) but would benefit from its use. Research has identified that fragmentation and inefficiency still existed in the water industry project delivery processes. These issues can be addressed by harnessing the collaboration that BIM brings by using emerging information technology. The UK water industry has had little research in the use of BIM in the project delivery processes over the years.

Design/methodology/approach

The aim of the research is to explore and examine BIM elements currently used in the water industry, as well as understand the organisational cultural support for BIM. It also investigated the adoption of BIM which will enable to improve water industry project delivery processes. An empirical study was performed in the UK given the relatively new and unexplored nature of the research problem, a qualitative research methodology was adopted. In total, 14 semi-structured interviews from six water sector organisations were conducted to collect data, which was then analysed using thematic analysis for inference and conclusion.

Findings

The study identified that BIM has already changed how projects are delivered by the water companies and their supply chain. Use of emerging technology such as Autodesk Revit, Civil 3D and virtual reality has gained traction and is leading organisations to continue investing in these areas to remain relevant. Although staff training was offered by all organisations within the study cohort, some interviews still thought that more can be done by their organisations as BIM is still maturing. Those interviewed regarded BIM models as data and information rich with the ability to enable the supply chain to obtain quicker approvals.

Originality/value

The paper provides a richer insight into the understanding and awareness of BIM elements used in the water industry to improve project delivery processes. This study suggests that the water industry supply chain has taken positive steps and started to benefit from BIM use. It also recommends that there is a need for cross-sector collaboration to capture and share best and worst practices relating to BIM adoption in the water sector.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 23 February 2021

Manuel Alexander Silverio-Fernández, Suresh Renukappa and Subashini Suresh

The decentralisation of information and high rate of mobile content access in the construction industry provide an ideal scenario for improvement of processes via the…

Abstract

Purpose

The decentralisation of information and high rate of mobile content access in the construction industry provide an ideal scenario for improvement of processes via the implementation of the paradigm of the Internet of Things (IoT). Smart devices are considered as the objects interconnected in the IoT; therefore, they play a fundamental role in the digital transformation of the construction industry. Currently, there is a lack of guidelines regarding the implementation of smart devices for digitalisation in the construction industry. Consequently, this paper aims to provide a set of guidelines for implementing smart devices in the construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

An empirical study was performed in the UK and the Dominican Republic (DR). Following a systematic approach, qualitative data collection and analysis was performed based on semi-structured interviews involving professionals from construction companies in the UK and the DR. Interviews were recorded and subsequently transcribed using Microsoft Word and exported to the software NVivo, where the software was used to find common thematic nodes across all interviews.

Findings

The findings encompass drivers, challenges and critical success factors (CSFs) for implementing smart devices in construction project. For both countries, the top five CSFs were leadership, staff training, culture, technology awareness and cost of implementation. These findings were used to develop a strategic framework for implementing smart devices in construction companies. The framework establishes the actors, elements and actions to be considered by construction companies when implementing smart devices.

Originality/value

This paper provides a richer insight into the understanding and awareness of implementing smart devices. A strategic framework for implementing smart devices in the construction industry and providing guidelines for adopting smart devices in construction projects was developed and validated. This study provides a better understanding of the key factors to be considered by construction companies when embedding smart devices into their projects.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 21 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 24 September 2021

Paola Reyes Veras, Suresh Renukappa and Subashini Suresh

The construction industry, being one of the main activities in the ever-demanding need for technology developments, sometimes falls short of other industries in terms of…

Abstract

Purpose

The construction industry, being one of the main activities in the ever-demanding need for technology developments, sometimes falls short of other industries in terms of implementation. The adoption of Big Data (BD) in industries such as health and retail has had positive impacts in aspects such as decision-making processes and forecasting trends that allow planning some future business movements. Hence, the question of whether these results can be imitated in the construction industry. Therefore, this paper aims to address the level of awareness identified as a first step towards implementation of the BD concept within the construction industry in the Dominican Republic (DR).

Design/methodology/approach

As little to no information exist on the subject; the selected approach to perform this research was qualitative methodology; 21 semi-structured interviews were studied using situational awareness. Four levels of awareness were developed based on the Endsley’s Situation Awareness model.

Findings

The results showed that nearly 95% of the interviewees had either no knowledge or very basic awareness of the BD requirements or intermediate awareness, but only 5% had applied BD concepts in the construction industry.

Originality/value

This study shows the gaps that exist in the understanding and implementation of BD concepts in the DR construction industry. This paper establishes the need to develop continuous professional development programmes for construction professionals and a need to update curriculum in construction-related education.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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