ADOPTING NEW TECHNOLOGIES IN THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY: BEST PRACTICES FOR ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGE MANAGEMENT
MAALI, OMAR N
University of Kansas
Civil, Environmental & Architectural Engineering
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The application of new technologies continues to grow in the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry. Adopting a new technology can require substantial effort for the company’s staff to learn new skills and adapt operational norms, and therefore should be treated as an organizational change initiative. Organizational change is challenging, and many organizational change initiatives fail to achieve their intended outcomes. Companies who are better equipped to manage organizational change have a competitive advantage because they have a greater chance of successful change adoption, which then allows them to reap the benefits of the new technology in their operations. The current literature in the field of AEC technology adoption has primarily investigated the technological functionality and benefits of the adoption, with limited focus on the organizational change management context. Research designs in the literature are often limited to an individual type of adopted technology and capture a limited number of organizational change cases in their data samples. To address these gaps, this study aimed to identify the organizational change management practices most associated with successful change adoption for a variety of technology-based organizational change cases collected across the AEC industry. A survey questionnaire was used to collect a data sample of 167 cases of technology adoption. The questionnaire’s unit of measure was designed such that each data point represented an entire organizational change case that occurred within a separate organization. Results found seven organizational change management practices that have statistically significant positive relationships with successful change adoption. The study also found differences in reported levels of change adoption between different groups of organization types and hierarchical positions of respondents; whereas other parameters did not, such as technology function, new vs. upgrade situations, organizational sector, employee years of experience, and generational affiliation. This study contributes to the body of knowledge by identifying seven organizational change management practices associated with successful technology adoption across the AEC industry. These organizational change management practices may assist practitioners better understand and manage the technology adoption process in their companies.
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