Is technology a new challenge for the field of construction management?


Dorée, André and Miller, Seirgei (2008) Is technology a new challenge for the field of construction management? In: 24th ARCOM conference, 1-3 September 2008, Cardiff, UK, 1-3 September 2008, Cardiff, UK.

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Abstract:The central theme in Construction Management (CM) and CM research is improving
the performance of construction industry. Much effort and thought is given to improving
project performance. Within CM there is a natural inclination to focus on projects
and project management (PM). Companies in the construction industry also see project
management as their key competence. Both have little appreciation for technologies
other than those that support project management tasks. Technology – other than
PM support – is often seen as an outside resource that is "contracted in". By taking
such a neutral position regarding technology, CM and construction companies not
only disregard the potential of these technologies, but also fail to notice the adverse
effects when new technologies are "contracted in". This paper argues that CM as well
as companies in construction can gain by reconsidering their stance towards technology.
This argument is built on the case of road construction – in particular the asphalt
paving process. The case shows that development of the new technologies and the development
of the skills and operational practice of the people that are expected to use
the technologies are not in harmony. Projections for the upcoming decade indicate a
sharp rise and proliferation of SMART technologies – this too for the construction industry.
Construction companies need to take a more proactive and involved stance
towards these technologies to be able to reap the benefits. If not, then the gap between
technologies and construction will grow and the risks for the companies increase with
it. CM and CM research needs to address this gap, support the introduction of new
technologies and the synchronisation of new technology development and the development
of skills and working. If it fails to do so CM and CM research will struggle to
maintain its meaningful contribution in the improvement of the construction industry.
Item Type:Conference or Workshop Item
Engineering Technology (CTW)
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