Enhanced use of ICT by SMEs in construction: a scenario thinking approach

Anil Sawhney, Kamal K. Mukherjee, Farzad Pour Rahimian, Jack Goulding

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Information and Communication Technology (ICT) plays a number of significant strategic and operational roles in the construction sector. However, a number of studies have highlighted a series of challenges within this sector, from value- proposition aversion (regarding ICT expenditure), through to lack of awareness (capability), and inability to ‘measure’ tangible outcomes (benefits) associated with ICT deployment. Given these issues, and also acknowledging the levels of nested fragmentation that exists in sectoral disciplines – especially within small to medium enterprises (SMEs); this paper presents a chronology of interrelated factors peculiar to the sector which has directly/indirectly influenced this slow (low) technology adopter positioning of these organisations. This paper argues that there is a need to break the status quo use of ICT by SMEs, and a need to realise the benefits garnered in other sectors as a means of not only enhancing the existing business, but also creating new innovation opportunities (especially in the early adopter S curve). Using a scenario thinking approach, this research presents a framework which highlights the causal “deficits” associated with low ICT penetration in the sector. This framework also identifies the key forces that influence and impact upon ICT usage in the construction sector, especially the interplay of key pivotal forces (through the competing push-pull continuum). A series of different scenarios for ICT uptake, adoption and diffusion are envisioned. These were developed with the help of industry experts in order to embed relevance and establish priorities against tangible indicators. This framework presents a future state ICT vision for SME’s, one which places direct emphasis on SMEs’ perspectives (operational and strategic) and future business aspirations.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jun 2014
EventCreative Construction Conference 2014 - Prague, Czech Republic
Duration: 21 Jun 201424 Jun 2014


ConferenceCreative Construction Conference 2014
Abbreviated titleCCC 2014
Country/TerritoryCzech Republic
Internet address


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