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Ahmed, A L (2019) Development of conceptual constructs for organisational BIM adoption and their systematic application within the UK architecture sector, Unpublished PhD Thesis, School of Architecture, University of Sheffield.

  • Type: Thesis
  • Keywords: architect; building information modelling; communication; diffusion; forecasting; government; innovation; investment; markets; motivation; organisational culture; policy; UK
  • URL: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/24187/
  • Abstract:
    Building Information Modelling (BIM) is an innovation that is transforming practices within the Architectural, Engineering, Construction and Operation (AECO) sectors. The investigation of the process of BIM adoption and diffusion has attracted significant interest from industry and academia. Drivers and factors influencing BIM adoption were examined at different levels, ranging from individual and group through organisations and supply chains to whole market level. However, there is still a dearth of studies that extensively integrate drivers and factors affecting the decision to adopt BIM by organisations. Existing studies often seek to develop approaches for forecasting BIM diffusion, and are generally focused on the diffusion phase, after BIM has been adopted. Therefore, this study aims to improve the understanding of the BIM adoption process within organisations and across markets by developing the necessary conceptual constructs (e.g., BIM adoption taxonomy, adoption process model, adoption two-dimensional characterisation model, and systems thinking models) and providing the supporting empirical evidence. This study provided an in-depth analysis of the BIM adoption process within organisations. It developed a unified BIM adoption taxonomy that contains an extensive array of adoption factors. Following the validation of the taxonomy, its factors were used within a proposed conceptual model, which combined the Innovation Diffusion Theory with the Institutional Theory, to perform a multifaceted analysis of the BIM adoption process. A set of 11 most influencing factors on BIM adoption process was identified and included: Willingness to adopt BIM, Communication behaviour of an organisation, Observability of BIM benefits, Compatibility of BIM, Social motivations among organisation's members, Relative advantage of BIM, Organisational culture, Top management support, Organisational readiness, Coercive pressures (Governmental mandate, informal mandate), and Organisation size. Focussing on these 11 most influencing factors, several analyses were performed to understand the interplays between these factors - while considering specific instances of certain factors (i.e. organisation size, and external isomorphic pressure) over time (i.e., Pre-2011, 2011-2016, and Post-2016 exemplifying three key time periods in the UK national BIM strategy). The results showed that the Relative advantage of BIM is the most important and influencing factor across all the three stages of the adoption process (i.e., Awareness stage, Intention stage, and Decision stage) of the BIM adoption process. Coercive pressures (e.g. Governmental mandate, informal mandate) had a direct influence on both formulating the intention and the decision to adopt BIM across the three-time horizons (i.e., Pre-2011, 2011-2016, and Post-2016). For the Pre-2011 period, the coercive pressures were mostly informal mandate/pressures by the parent companies and partners, while during 2011-2016 and Post-2016 periods, it is predominantly the UK Government mandate which was announced in 2011 and entered into effect in 2016. Several Systems Thinking models were developed to show the interdependencies among the factors that affect the BIM adoption process at different time periods and stages of the BIM adoption process. Such models infer patterns of behaviour of BIM adoption as complex systems and can be used to guide the development and implementation of BIM strategies. For example, by relating each factor within the system thinking model to the player group(s) who can exert influence upon it, the complementary role of the player groups can be planned to facilitate the BIM adoption process according to the patterns identified in the corresponding systems thinking model. The different patterns developed through the specialised systems thinking models can be used to develop tailored BIM adoption strategies for the different scenarios involved. At a global level (overall aim), this study provided an understanding of how intra-organisational BIM adoption and inter-organisational BIM diffusion occurs. At a local level (individual objectives), the key knowledge deliverables in this study (i.e., the taxonomy, conceptual model for BIM adoption process, two-dimensional characterisation model of BIM adoption, and systems thinking models) and the empirical investigation represent a new contribution to knowledge with each contributing from a specific standpoint. The Unified BIM Adoption Taxonomy is the first - if not the sole - statistically validated BIM adoption taxonomy that includes an extensive array of adoption drivers and factors and combines constructs from both the Institutional and the Innovation Diffusion theories. The conceptual model for analysing BIM adoption and its use for the empirical investigation of BIM adoption within the UK Architecture sector explored and identified relationships that were not known before (i.e., triggering the BIM Awareness and formulating an Intention about BIM adoption is not limited to Internal Environment Characteristics and the Innovation Characteristics respectively - as suggested by Rogers' theory, but occurs by a combination of both characteristics). The two-dimensional characterisation model of BIM adoption clarified new interplays between adoption factors, the organisation size, and time (i.e., pairs of positively and negatively correlated factors vary based on time horizon). The classification of factors into cause and effect groups using the F-DEMATEL provided a new understanding of the independencies between factors which can be used to tailor and prioritise implementation actions and investments. The developed Systems Thinking Models enabled an attentive analysis of mutual interactions between adoption factors as part of a causal relationship networks. The developed instances of such models for different temporal scenarios and stages of the BIM adoption stage can be exploited by the industry player groups (i.e., Policy-makers, decision-makers, change agents, etc.) to promote BIM adoption process within the organisations and BIM diffusion across a market. The key knowledgeable deliverables can be used to perform various analyses of the BIM adoption process, providing evidence and insights for decision-makers within organisations and across a whole market when formulating BIM adoption and diffusion strategies. In particular, they can assist researchers, decision-makers, and policy-makers with a better understanding of the BIM adoption process and can guide the development of BIM strategies and plan for BIM adoption and diffusion. Ultimately, they contribute to promote BIM adoption within the architectural sector through the suggested adoption patterns.