Over 90% of the firms within the UK Construction Industry are small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Whilst larger organisations have recognised the benefits and competitive advantages of information and communications technology, yet struggle to come to terms with adoption barriers, the situation for SMEs appears even more daunting. However, this does not prevent some of the more innovative construction SMEs from trying. The paper reports an action research study conducted over a period of 2 years with such an organisation. The firm had decided to go beyond its former, limited use of ICT (i.e. basic email, accounting, planning software) towards adopting an intranet for the communication of all its management information. Empirical data have been derived from observation, documentary evidence (including the rigorous recording of events in the project’s progress) and recorded conversations. Access was enhanced as the researcher occupied a key role in the project’s implementation. Data will be analysed and interpreted using a SCOT (Social Construction of Technology) theoretical framework, and this work is currently in progress. The conclusions presented here are, therefore, tentative, but suggest that IT adoption success is very dependent on understanding complex cultural issues associated with SME owner management, the lack of ICT management knowledge and the ad-hoc and inconsistent nature of ICT vendor support.
Douglas, A S.; Wainwright, D W.; and Grrenwood, D J., "Intranet Adoption In A Construction SME: So What Actually Happened?" (2009). UK Academy for Information Systems Conference Proceedings 2009. 24.