||Survey of information technology and the structure of the Saudi Arabian construction industry
||Brien M J O', Al-Biqami N M
||While technical advances are the main drivers in the adoption ofInformation Technology (IT) in the construction industry, such advancescan only be incorporated through a due appreciation of the structures of theindustry. Earlier work has shown how the organisational structure of theindustry is in large part determined by the nature of the economic andfinancial exchanges which takes place. New IT initiatives succeed to thedegree to which they are congruent with those financial exchanges. In short,economic benefits must accrue. This in turn begs the questions: whobenefits, and how are the benefits to be distributed amongst the variousparties? The answers to these questions provide the basis for establishing asuccessful implementation. This short-term 'economic benefits' argumentdoes not, however, preclude a more substantial organisational shift at somelater point. In this paper we provide an analysis of the economic structure ofthe construction industry in Saudi Arabia, and in particular the degree towhich IT has established itself in that industrial sector. The Saudi ArabianConstruction industry is one of the largest in the world, being devoted to theprovision of a large-scale infrastructure. However, in many of itscharacteristics it is unique. It is these elements of uniqueness which makethis particular industry interesting: the uniqueness poses new problems forthe developers of novel and innovative IT construction systems. Yet despitethese aggregate figures and anecdotal facts the small-scale nature of theconstruction industry has been poorly researched and documented. Theanalysis of the economic and organisational structure of the Saudi ArabianIT construction industry provided in this paper provides the fine-grainedmatrix within which new IT systems can be built. The paper describes anongoing study of the Saudi Arabian construction industry. It draws togetherexisting facts on the industry and new ones which are being elicited thougha large survey of the industry. Finally, it is envisioned that tentativeconclusions will be provided on the economic and organisational structureof the industry.
|Year of publication:
Brien M J O', Al-Biqami N M (1999).
Survey of information technology and the structure of the Saudi Arabian construction industry. Lacasse M A, Vanier D J (ed.); Information technology in construction, volume 4, ISBN 0-660-17743-9; Vancouver, May 30 - June 3, Canada (ISSN: 2706-6568),