Innovation and attitude: Mapping the profile of ICT decision-makers in architectural, engineering and construction firms

Publication Type:
Journal Article
International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, 2009, 2 (4), pp. 599 - 610
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
© 2009, © Emerald Group Publishing Limited. PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to report upon a doctoral thesis within the context of temporary project organisations that was driven by the question: “what really influences decision makers when considering whether or not to adopt an innovation?” This paper describes the philosophy, methodology and findings of the study, and illustrates the usefulness of the findings for application in construction and other project-driven industries. Design/methodology/approachThe attitude of decision makers is discernible in their behaviour, which is an observable phenomenon. It has been observed from outside using a Delphi study of “experts”, providing an etic perspective, and reported upon first-hand through multiple in-depth interviews with “experienced practitioners”, thereby providing an emic counterpoint. Both perspectives have been further abstracted to develop a synthesised model of the attitudinal profile of information and communication technology (ICT) decision makers in the construction industry. FindingsThe adoption of innovative ICT-driven business practices by a firm is determined in large part by the attitude of the decision maker, which changes over time, in response to technological push and cultural pull. Moreover, attitudes can be mapped against three exogenous issues: human, business process and technological. At the heart of these lies a domain of endogenous issues that are personal and, therefore, unique to the individual decision maker. All of these issues have an intra-firm and inter-organisational dimension, and these vary in response to the context within which they are considered. Practical implicationsSuccessful use of ICT in a temporary project organisation context requires consideration and accommodation of the attitudes of the various project team members. This may entail preparatory auditing of trading partners using an appropriate diagnostic tool. Originality/valueThe attitude of decision makers has not previously been mapped in relation to ICT innovation adoption. Moreover, it is likely that with innovation-specific modification the model will be applicable to other innovations deployed in a similar context.
Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: