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Alaboud, N S M (2016) Development of a framework to enhance communication practice for site-based construction workers in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Unpublished PhD Thesis, School of the Built Environment, University of Salford.

  • Type: Thesis
  • Keywords: collaboration; communication; construction site; coordination; government; infrastructure project; personnel; productivity; Saudi Arabia
  • URL: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/39116/
  • Abstract:
    Construction projects are information intensive. A typical project generates tens of thousands of documents in the form of drawings, change orders, requests for information, specifications, etc. To ensure effective construction communication and coordination, it is essential to manage this information flow efficiently. Recent improvements to IT technologies have enabled construction companies to overcome some of the communication and co-ordination challenges they face. For example, the increased acceptance and widespread use of mobile computing and wireless technologies creates an opportunity to improve productivity and lower costs, by improving information flows to allow greater collaboration and information sharing between on-site personnel. The Construction industry in Saudi Arabia is experiencing rapid growth, with many huge infrastructure projects that are government financed. These projects are subject to delays and poor productivity and faces the challenge of remaining competitive or risk being overtaken by multinational companies who are reaping the benefits of up to date technologies. However, the construction industry in Saudi Arabia has peculiar characteristics, such as its multi-cultural workforce, high level of fragmentation, low level of employee education, extreme natural environment, and the transient nature of the construction workforce. These factors complicate the implementation of new technologies and other improvements to construction processes and practices. The literature is in broad agreement that digital communication technologies will have a positive impact on reducing costs and raising productivity; however, there is less understanding of why these technologies have not been more widely adopted. This study examined the general context and condition of mobile computing, and then explored the circumstances peculiar to Saudi construction projects. It then analysed the characteristic patterns, relationships, work processes and communication tools at Saudi construction sites, and discussed this information in reference to the literature to enable the researcher to develop and validate an implementation framework strategy for mobile computing by using Interpretive Structural Modelling (ISM) methodology. This framework strategy would enable any Saudi construction company to implement a mobile computing solution that meets its needs.