Student: Reynor Breetzke
Affiliation: University of South Australia
Thesis written in English
Within the construction industry, Construction Management (CM) efforts are continually aiming at improving project performance and a key factor in these efforts comes in the form of technological innovation. Innovation dissemination within the field of CM is currently common business practice. However, with the ever-increasing power of computing and rate of technology advancements, adopted levels of these available sophisticated technology resources within the South Australian construction industry requires clarification. Furthermore, investigation into the willingness of CM professionals to adopt these technologies in future construction projects is vital. Initial exploration of the literature suggests that there are a wide variety of technological innovations in use, however, previous research did not elaborate on the South Australian construction industry context in enough detail. This research study aims to provide clarity into the current use of and willingness to adopt sophisticated technologies by CM professionals within the South Australian construction industry.
To properly gather the necessary data and to allow meaningful data analysis, this research project, with part statistical and part interpretive information, was most suited to a mixed methodology approach utilising literature review, quantitative online questionnaire survey and qualitative semi-structured interview methods. The quantitative data was analysed through descriptive statistics and comparison analysis. The qualitative data gained through the interviews was analysed by looking at trends between the various interviewees in relation to the questions which were designed to understand the findings from the online questionnaire survey.
Results show that sophisticated technologies that are currently readily available and cost effective are used more frequently that those which are newer, potentially untested in CM or costly without adding enough efficiency or cost saving to make them viable. Furthermore, the levels of perceived usefulness of adoption of these technologies appears to be significantly higher than the levels of current use. All the highly experienced construction industry experts that were interviewed agree that the major barrier to the adoption of these infrequently used technologies is a function of cost, with only a minor obstacle related to a lack of skill levels. Respondents perceived South Australia’s frequency of use levels and willingness to adopt the technologies as marginally below average versus the rest of Australia and internationally. Most interviewees highlight that the construction industry in South Australia is a highly relationship driven industry with less focus on driving innovation in management, however, it was thought that technologies will start becoming more ubiquitous once adopted by public sector clients, which will then filter through to private sector projects over time.