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Digitalization in the construction industry

PhD project My ph D studies focus on digitalisation in the Swedish constcruction industry and identification of challenges in information and communication exchange.

I am currently engaged in a research project in the construction industry, focusing on the dynamics of digital innovation. My main interest is currently how the construction industry have embraced digital technologies to streamline value creation at different organizational levels. At the moment digital service innovation have captured my interest, specifically what role digital service innovation has and what the associated value creation dynamics is; explicitly the relationship between internal and external value creation.

Head of project

Oscar Lundberg
Doctoral student
E-mail
Email

Project overview

Project period

2018-08-04 2022-08-04

Research subject

Informatics

Project description

Innovating with digital technologies is becoming increasingly necessary as firms seek to remain competitive. Digital technologies have started to intertwine with business, work processes, human beliefs , expanding internal platforms, infrastructures , and business strategies. This change has led to a trend of producing more digitalized products that generate external value creation intended for potential consumers. Digital technology has also proven to enable and increase the opportunities for innovation, provide more internal productivity, increased access for users and realize a creation of more exclusive service-based value creation. Hence, I want to investigate the digitalization of the construction industry in Northern Sweden and the associated generation of new digital innovations.

Several consultancy reports and forecasts indicate that the construction industry is expected to be the next industry to be affected by radical changes due to digitization. The construction industry has been slow in harnessing the benefits of digitalization compared with other industries, such as media, steel, and the automotive industry. Still, not all firms in Northern Sweden are lacking in their knowledge about, and utilization of, digitization. Digital technologies are used in responding to customer needs, improving marketing and sales. In this way, some firms in the region have begun to engage in IT-based value creation. Two prominent examples are Lundqvist Trävaru and Lövånger Bygg which both offer web-based 3D configurators, enabling their customer to create and modify their own new buildings according to their individual needs and budgets. Another example is A-Hus, which has an interactive website where customers can design their future house including additional services and products and see them manifested visually. Finally, OBOS has implemented BIM (building information modeling) in many links in their firm-level value chain in order to improve internal communication and productivity. OBOS has also began to develop AR/VR-solutions for different purposes.

Regarding these endeavors of digital innovation, I want to explore digital innovation in different construction industry contexts, and investigate questions such as: What is the purpose of using digital technologies in the construction domain? How does the intended IT-based external value creation affect internal work performance? What are the associated dynamics between internal and external IT-based value creation?
However, the construction industry is a traditional industry that bases its work in project form, which often is very complex. Therefore, another important question is: How can construction firms manage this complexity as they start to implement and utilize digital technologies throughout various stages of the value chain?