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Program overview | Projects

eBusiness Adoption [London, University of Newcastle] 2003-003-A

Project participants and team members


Kerry London

John Holland

Brad Marriott, Gerry Shutt

Building Commission

Paul Crapper

Qld Dept of Main Roads

Ross Guppy, John Spathonis

Qld Dept of Public Works

Don Allan, Dayv Carter, Rob Williams


Guillermo Aranda-Mena, Professor Peter Stewart

University of Newcastle

Nic Croce, Anton Kriz, Kerry London- Project Leader, Loong Wong

Project description

The aim of the project is to develop a greater awareness in the construction industry of the value of eBusiness to organisations and to increase participation in various eBusiness technologies. To enable this, the objectives of this project are to:

  • confirm and investigate the nature of the constraints to eBusiness adoption through theory and practice and then to
  • identify strategies and techniques to raise awareness and increase adoption and diffusion in the industry based upon a literature review and four case studies of various levels of eBusiness adoption environments and then to
  • propose a technology adoption profile based upon the results of the four case studies Internet technology has facilitated eBusiness applications that have in turn facilitated industry-specific web portals that engender integrated supply chain management.

The Australian construction industry, reflecting the transaction rich nature of its procurement processes, is highly dependent on information flows between diverse and numerous sources within a project-specific environment. Construction industry web portals can provide productivity gains for all stakeholders, through the efficient facilitation of information flows in an appropriate electronic format, utilising purpose-built eBusiness applications and efficient data networks. In other industries the efficiency gains have been in the purchasing and procurement as a result of a reduction in time for various processes. Knowledge sharing and communities-of-practice would also be enhanced through the widespread use of these facilities.

Although portals engender integrated supply chain management the full potential of eBusiness has not been realised as the role that eBusiness can play has been impeded. The adoption of this technology by the Australian construction industry lags that of other Australian industries, and industries in the USA and Europe. The slow adoption rate does not reflect the maturity of the technology generally but is due to adoption barriers peculiar to the Australian construction industry. Many elements of a technical solution have been solved and are available; therefore the research must address the significant changes in working practices and consider strategies that will address social, economic and cultural issues at an industry and organisational level for further industry and business development. This project will determine the barriers to the adoption of eBusiness by the building sector SME cohort of the Australian construction industry as well as large suppliers and contractors in the civil sector.

General speculation on the reasons for slow adoption of innovative technology, such as those afforded by Information and Communication Technology (ICT), has occurred in other industries and has been attributed to such factors as; the need for a regulatory and legal framework; the lack of security and the perception of an insecure environment; lack of awareness and adequate information; informed resistance to innovation based on values and attitudes; perception and/or lack of interoperability; real and/or perceived economic market structural barriers and industry organisation; market incentive, pressures and rewards and uncertainty regarding technical/economic benefits.

There has not been an investigation that has focussed specifically on construction industry eBusiness using concepts from innovation and diffusion theory; which specifically addresses the issues of how new technology is diffused through markets and the role that supply chain networks can play. The determination of all impediments to eBusiness technology adoption barriers of organisations will provide the framework for the future development of an effective eBusiness technology development model for the Australian construction industry.

The aim of this project is to improve eBusiness use that will in turn provide commercial gains for users, network providers, application developers,
eFacility managers and the construction industry in general through more efficient and effective procurement processes. The more widespread diffusion of eBusiness technology will provide the platform for future information and communication technology industry innovations.
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