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Theory of Innovation

Discuss about the Use Of Business Information Modelling.

The literature review will provide an analysis of the theories that support the use of Business Information Modeling technology in the construction industry. It will also analyze empirical studies to gather information on the adoption of building information modeling with reference to its barriers, impact, and factors that facilitate its implementation. The aim is to identify areas that require further research.  

The theory describes the process of change driven by innovation. In the theory, the entrepreneur drives growth by using innovation to create opportunities (?ledzik 2015). Schumpeter argued that innovation resulted in creative destruction, which is an industrial change that revolutionizes the economy (?ledzik 2015).  The evolution of Business Information Modeling can be explained using this theory because it is an innovation aimed at changing the construction industry. According to Allen and Shakantu (2016), it can be argued that the use of BIM innovation could create a revolution in the construction industry by changing the information platform and business model. The use of BIM could lead to the more effective use of resources in the construction projects. Additionally, growth can be achieved by using the technology to focus on aspects such as quality and cost that create a competitive advantage, which increases the company's returns. The theory does not specify the process used to develop innovations.

The theory describes the process of survival of living organisms. In the theory, it is argued that living organisms reproduce at a high rate yet the population manages to stabilize (Singh 2013). According to Singh (2013), these organisms are in a continuous struggle for survival due to the competition for the scarce resources available. The organisms develop traits that make them unique and able to survive in the competitive environment due to a competitive advantage. Eventually, these traits are passed on to the new generations. Businesses can be understood using this theory. In 2016, companies in the construction industry still used traditional processes, which led to underutilization of resources, despite the disruption due to new technology (Allen & Shakantu 2016). Allen and Shakantu (2016) argue that the failure to use the latest technology would lead to the failure of the businesses due to competition. Based on this assessment, the use of technology such the IBM gives a company in the construction industry a competitive advantage that assists its survival. 

The theory is revolutionizing the business world. It is argued that the disruption witnessed nowadays is due to the shift from the industrial age to the information age and it is characterized by organizational forms (Grint 2007). From the theory, new methods of production are being employed and the customer is becoming a vital aspect of the manufacturing process due to the unacceptance of low-quality goods and services (Grint 2007). Presently, the focus has shifted to the customers and products are produced based on their preferences. The change is aimed at building systems that change businesses processes. According to Allen and Shakantu (2007), there is a shift in the construction industry to the implementation of modern practices adopted in the retail sectors. This theory affirms the theory of economic development mentioned earlier with regards to the adoption of new innovative practices to withstand competition and not be eliminated based on Darwin’s theory.

Theory of Economic Development

The theory defines the disruption attributed to innovations. In the theory, Christensen describes these innovations as chaotic because they change the accepted practices in business and create new products (Kanjanabootra 2017). In particular, it creates a new market and eliminates the leading organizations in the industry. According to Kanjanabootra (2017), those who criticize its claims argue that the disruption defined in the theory is uncommon and the theory does not explicitly describe what happens with the organization. Therefore, Sampere (2017) categorized disruption into three types. The first type is the one described by Christensen. The competitors accept the second type of disruptors. The third type of disruptors are the ones that competitors do not react to due to its competitive advantage. In the construction industry, the disruptors are BIM and Offsite manufacturing (Kanjanabootra 2017). Kanjanabootra (2017), notes that BIM adoption has been slow because the stakeholders resist change. This theory affirms Schumpeter’s theory of economic development.

Over the years, industries (such as aerospace) have adopted technological innovation to improve efficiency. In particular, Advanced Computer Aided Design (CAD) and automation systems are widely in use (Ding, Wei & Che 2014). The use of automation in the construction industry has been slow (Ding, Wei & Che 2014; Son et al 2010). According to Ding, Wei, and Che (2014), the slow adoption of automation is attributed to the unsuitability of automation in large construction projects and high expenses incurred in the process. Similarly, Son et al. (2010) state that the construction industry was reluctant to use automation and robotics due to the high initial cost. Ding, Wei, and Che (2014) proposed the use of additive manufacturing in the construction industry because it can be used in large scale. 

Additive manufacturing (AM) technology or 3D printing simplifies the design process. Zhai, Lados, and LaGoy (2014) argue that using this technology is advantageous because it saves on cost by reducing raw material usage by approximately 70%. Additionally, a study revealed that it could save on annual cost by minimizing the fuel costs by more than about $2 million (Zhai, Lados and LaGoy 2014). The benefits outlined may attract the use of AM, but these authors do not state the initial cost incurred when implementing this technology, which may be a barrier to its implementation. AM is applied in architectural printing through the use of Contour Crafting process, and it can be used in the automation of an entire building (Ding, Wei & Che 2014). The AM technology converts the 3D models into files that can be used by the Computer Numerical Control (CNC) system for automation (Ding, Wei & Che 2014). The BIM models are also converted into CNC codes and automated. The authors state that the main challenge associated with this automation process is the building material used (Ding, Wei & Che 2014). These authors do not address the cost of implementing the process described.

Theory of Organizational Forms

Business Information Modelling (BIM) as mentioned earlier is a disruptor in the construction industry. The BIM technology is used in the simulation of a project using accurate data to aid in decision making (Azhar et al. 2008). According to Azhar et al. (2008), 3D CAD differs from a BIM model in that the former provides independent views that are edited independently. On the other hand, the BIM model provides information for the whole construction cycle. Another difference between the two is that BIM allows integration, but 3D CAD does not (Ramilo, Embi & Datta 2016).  The lack of integration increases the risk of errors occurring, which interferes with the construction process. These differences in the techniques illustrate the significance of using BIM instead of the 3D CAD. The BIM model has various applications such as materials' ordering and delivery schedules, which assist in estimating the cost of construction.

One of the obstacles to the adoption of Building Information Modelling is data interoperability. Ramilo, Embi and Datta (2016) argue that the lack of data interoperability makes it difficult for the data to be accessible to all stakeholders in the building process. However, Yalcinkaya and Singh (2014) argue that BIM technology provides interoperability  among various devices. These differing opinions indicate the need for further research on the issue.

Another barrier to the implementation of Building Information Modelling is cost. According to Ramilo, Embi and Datta (2016), the introduction of new technology increases the differences in semantic data which increases the cost of using BIM. Kanjanabootra (2017) states that the initial value of an investment is usually high when adopting new technology but it may be a cost saving measure for large construction projects. Though, in most cases, such benefits are not considered. He further argues that innovations, such as the use of BIM, are sometimes difficult to quantify and past projects cannot provide accurate estimates (Kanjanabootra 2017). Research on the comparison between modern and traditional construction techniques revealed that modern techniques were expensive and it was difficult to look for sources of finance (Son et al. 2010). It was worth noting that the cost of using this technology is not widely studied.

Lack of knowledge of the implementation of Building Information Modelling is another barrier to its use. Ramilo, Embi and Datta (2016) argue that the introduction of new digital technology creates a range of design work based on drawing and models. The wide range makes it difficult for the organization using BIM to meet the needs of its clients. Research carried out in the Architectural Engineering, and Construction industry revealed that the lack of technical knowledge was one of the barriers to adoption of BIM (Singh, Gu & Wang 2016). These findings were affirmed by a comparison between the traditional and modern construction techniques that revealed the advanced techniques required a higher skill set than the conventional ones Son et al. 2010). The adoption process becomes challenging since the technology cannot be used together with the common business practices.

Disruptive Innovation Theory

Tools that support the use of BIM by different stakeholders would facilitate its adoption. Singh, Gu, and Wang (2016) recommend the use of tools that support designer capabilities while supporting non-design attributes of the project such as when used by project managers and designers. This integration would make it easier for all stakeholders to use the BIM. However, the study does not provide technical knowledge on how to achieve such functionality.  

Another factor that facilitates the adoption of BIM is the use of new processes. As mentioned earlier, the use of BIM is not compatible to the conventional business processes and practices. Therefore, it requires that construction firms redesign their business processes to enable the use of BIM. Singh, Gu, and Wang (2016) suggest the use of a centralized model to make easier for processes to integrate. The authors also urge the construction firms to develop their models based on their requirements. For example, Kanjanabootra (2017) suggests that using BIM may require the use of new procurement methods.  

The designing and creation of new roles and responsibilities can facilitate the adoption of BIM. Due to the redesigning of businesses process, new roles for managing construction projects may be required. For example, the firm may require a BIM Manager. The firm may need to train some of its employees if it does not hire new employees. Singh, Gu, and Wang (2016) recommend the organizations define such roles based on an internal analysis because requirements vary for each organization. 

One of the effects of adopting BIM is dissatisfaction. Singh, Gu, and Wang (2016) argue that some technologies of BIM are not yet mature and those who implement them may not get the desired results. However, the only way to improve the quality of BIM technologies is through feedback from clients (Singh, Gu & Wang 2016). Therefore, the authors urge the adoption of BIM and its utilization in construction projects despite the challenges.

Another impact of implementing BIM is the increased delivery time. Indeed a comparison between the modern and traditional construction techniques indicated that the advantages of the modern ones were mainly the reduced delivery time and increased productivity (Ajugiya, Pitroda, & Bhavsar 2017). The main disadvantages of adopting the advanced construction techniques were the higher cost and the difficulty in finding finance compared to the traditional techniques.  These authors reveal that challenges involved in the adoption of the new technologies in the engineering industry, especially the construction industry, may hinder their success. However, organizations are aware of the benefits witnessed and are willing to adopt them anyway.

Advanced Computer Aided Design and Automation Systems

From the research, it is evident that the adoption of BIM in the construction industry is slow. The slow pace is mainly attributed to the change in business practices required after the implementation of BIM. The studies conducted have primarily focused on the general barriers to adoption of BIM and studies on the individual barriers are lacking. These research aims to provide clarity on the impact of interoperability on the adoption of BIM since some authors argue that it lacks while others insist that it exists.  It will also provide more details on how cost impacts the adoption of BIM since it is not clear how much is the initial cost of investing in this technology currently. Further research on factors that facilitate the use of BIM can also be done.

The literature review aids in providing insights on the adoption of BIM technology in the construction industry. It has also been useful in determining what other researchers have studied concerning BIM. This knowledge has played a role in shaping the rest of the research since areas that require further research have been identified. This review has aided in narrowing the research scope to ensure the time allocated for the research is used wisely.


Business Information Modelling is a technological innovation that will change the construction and engineering industry. Although the adoption has been slow due to lack of knowledge, cost and the need for new business processes, the construction industry is aware of the competitive advantage it provides. Therefore, more research on the adoption of this technology is required to ease the adoption process.

Reference List

Ajugiya, P., Pitroda, J. & Bhavsar, J.J. 2017.  Comparison of modern construction techniques with conventional construction techniques. International Journal of Emerging Technology and Advanced Engineering. Vol.7, no. 6, pp.166-169

Allen, C. & Shakantu, W. 2016. The BIM Revolution: A literature review on rethinking the business of construction. WIT Transactions on Ecology and the Environment, 204, pp.919-930.

Azhar, S., Nadeem, A., Mok, J. & Leung, B. 2008. Building Information Modeling (BIM): A new paradigm for visual interactive modeling and simulation for construction projects. Advancing and Integrating Construction Education, Research & Practice, pp.435-445.

Ding, L., Wei, R. & Che, H., 2014. Development of a BIM-based automated construction system. Procedia Engineering, 85, pp.123-131.

Grint, K. 2007. Business Process Reengineering in theory and practice. New Technology Work and Employment, 10, 2, pp. 99 - 109 · DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-005X.1995.tb00009.x

Kanjanabootra, S. 2017. Improving innovation uptake speed and engineering and construction project management-is disruption theory applicable? 15th Engineering Project Organization Conference.

Ramilo, R., Embi, M. & Datta, S. 2016. Building Information Modelling: Challenges and barriers among architectural practices. Annual International Conference on Architecture and Civil Engineering.

Sampere, J. 2017. How high-end disruption completes the disruptive innovation model. The European Business Review, pp.49-52.

Singh, I. 2013. Organic Evolution. Available from: [Accessed 16 May 2018]. India Delhi: University of Delhi.

Singh, V., Gu, N. & Wang, X., 2011. A theoretical framework of a BIM-based multi-disciplinary collaboration platform. Automation in construction, 20(2), pp.134-144.

?ledzik, K. 2015. Schumpeter's theory of economic development: an evolutionary perspective. University of Gdansk. Available from:'s_theory_of_economic_development_an_evolutionary_perspective [Accessed 16 May 2018].

Son, H., Kim, C., Kim, H., Han, S.H. & Kim, M.K. 2010. Trend analysis of research and development on automation and robotics technology in the construction industry. KSCE Journal of Civil Engineering, vol. 11, no.2, pp.131-139.

Yalcinkaya, M. & Singh, V., 2014, July. Building information modeling (BIM) for facilities management–literature review and future needs. In IFIP International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management (pp. 1-10). Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Zhai, Y., Lados, D.A. & LaGoy, J.L., 2014. Additive manufacturing: making imagination the major limitation. Jom, 66(5), pp.808-816.

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