Mobile Computing and Project Communication : - mixing oil and water?
The use of mobile and wireless Information and Communication Technology (ICT) tools in geographically distributed project organizations appears to be an appropriate application of new technical capabilities in an existing business environment. But to successfully introduce and adopt a suitable mobile ICT-based project communication platform in an existing operational setting involves a complex framework of socio-technical issues that have to be considered.This Licentiate thesis presents the results of an ongoing doctoral research project. The study explores the implementation process of mobile computing tools at Sweden’s largest construction company, with the aim of improving information management and project communication of production site operations in construction projects. The research project highlights the interdependencies between the creation of usefulness and its resulting benefits. It emphasizes user-oriented implementation as the enabling process for realizing technology fit and user acceptance of the mobile computing tools, as well as achieving long-term benefit and business value of the ICT investment.The studied case specifically addresses the neglected mobile and flexible information needs and communication demands of management staff at construction sites. The fundamental issue is to identify what the usefulness perspective of mobile computing for construction operations consists of relating to both technology and the different groups of people who are supposed to use it. Generic access, mobility of project data and individual adaptation of information and communication resources are technological aspects that are emphasized and discussed in the context of creating usefulness and benefit of mobile computing in construction projects. The often present political dimension of ICT implementation within an organization is also highlighted. The socio-technical introduction and adoption process of mobile computing involves balancing various perspectives and agendas inherent on different organizational levels in order to achieve an acceptable outcome for all the actors involved.Topics for further research are discussed and refined relating to the ongoing case study and the conceptual framework presented.
School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:TECHNOLOGY; Industrial engineering and economy; Industrial organisation, administration and economics; Mobile computing; Project communication; Construction; Implementation; Usefulness
Date of Publication:01/01/2006