This paper analyzes the use of information systems with mobile computing elements in small contractors. Statistical material on ICT-developments in construction reveals a quite scattered and patterned picture of coexistence of generic and dedicated systems and considerable lagging behind other sectors. A literature review understands mobility in three parts, micro, local and remote mobility underpinning a theoretical fit between construction processes and mobile technology. The construction information systems with a mobile element encompasses a communication technology and the mobile element spanning between various location and mobilities on site, the site management office, one or more headquarters of construction firms and the mobile space of in between these multiple locations. The qualitative empirical study cover three constellations of small general and craft contractors, their mobile technology use and their IT-suppliers. The cases demonstrate a fit with the dedicated mobile technology, spanning all the types of mobility. The work rhythm and placement of the mobile technology with the craftsmen‟s work procedures seems to be a proper fit. Moreover, designing a system to the craftsmen not only expands the system potential from local mobility to micro mobility, but also creates a more adequate coverage of the non space in between. The case companies studies covered all three types of mobility. Barriers for diffusion of mobile computing include: Management strategy, which in the SMEs was crucial in both directions, adoption or non adoption. Employees were in all case less of a barrier than expected. Performance linked incentive wage system proves to be problematic in one case. Finally there seems to be little demand from large contractors in projects for small contractor to adopt mobile computing. Collaboration between the small contractors and the IT-suppliers had less emphasis on the development than expected. The ITsuppliers seem predominantly to play a relatively passive role in the case enterprises.The contractors seems never the less to be largely satisfied with a slow tempo of innovation. In that sense the case constellations are dual and symbiotic.
Cib Proceedings Workgroup 65, 2010, p. 95-107
Mobile technology; mobility; contractors; Denmark
Main Research Area:
International Council for Research and Innovation in Building and Construction - CIB World Congress 2010