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Construction Innovation

Implementing innovation: a stakeholder competency-based approach for BIM


M.E. Murphy
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M.E. Murphy , (2014),"Implementing innovation: a stakeholder competency-based approach for BIM",
Construction Innovation, Vol. 14 Iss 4 pp. 433 - 452
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Y. Arayici, P. Coates, L. Koskela, M. Kagioglou, C. Usher, K. O'Reilly, (2011),"BIM adoption
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Implementing innovation: a Implementing


innovation
stakeholder competency-based
approach for BIM
M.E. Murphy 433
University of Ulster, Newtownabbey,
Northern Ireland
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Abstract
Purpose The purpose of the paper was twofold: to review established literature to define and classify
BIM; and to identify gaps in current BIM literature with respect to stakeholder competency.
Construction projects adopt innovation to address client requirements. Building information modelling
(BIM) has been cited as one such innovation. However there is concern that the industry lacks the
mechanisms to effectively implement BIM. It is proposed that the problem lies in that BIM is currently
being delivered as a project rather than an innovation; and the failure to address stakeholder
competency as the key delivery agent of BIM.
Design/methodology/approach A qualitative study using literature and gap analysis techniques
was undertaken to establish the state of the art. Using an established Competency Framework 31,
studies on BIM were assessed. A matrix was developed aligning the BIM studies with the Competency
Framework and the findings systematically evaluated to identify gaps in the current literature.
Findings BIM was defined as a technical innovation and classified as a System of multiple
innovations. Aligning the literature identified that BIM literature has largely focussed on strategic
competence with some evidence of technical competence. However, there was scant investigation of
information and communication competence which ranks as the most critical competency for BIM
implementation. The study identified that whilst the competency-related literature on BIM was not yet
rich enough to provide a sound conceptual foundation for investigation, it was evident that BIM
implementation aligns closely with the innovation process.
Practical implications The findings highlighted the imperative of developing a
competency-based approach for BIM implementation.
Social implications It was anticipated that a competency-based approach will provide insights to
benefit construction industry clients and inform the targeted training of project stakeholders.
Originality/value BIM must be implemented as an innovation using a competency-based
management approach as the key delivery mechanism.
Keywords Innovation management, Construction, Implementation, BIM, Gap analysis,
Stakeholder competency
Paper type Conceptual paper

Introduction
The construction industry lags behind the manufacturing industry in terms of efficiency
and productivity growth (Latham, 1994; Egan, 1998). It is proposed that this lag is a
result of the fragmented nature of the industry and its resistance to adopting innovative Construction Innovation
Vol. 14 No. 4, 2014
technologies and processes that facilitate collaboration and efficiency (Hartmann, 2006; pp. 433-452
Ling, 2003). Building information modelling (BIM) is often cited as one such innovation. Emerald Group Publishing Limited
1471-4175
It has been proposed that BIM is one of the most critical innovations to represent a DOI 10.1108/CI-01-2014-0011
CI technological and procedural shift within the architecture, engineering and construction
(AEC) industry (Panuwatwanich and Peansupap, 2013). Literature points to various
14,4 approaches as the Holy Grail to delivering BIM such as technology adoption (Arayici
et al., 2011), collaborative working (Sebastian, 2011) interoperability (Steel et al., 2012),
framework policies (Howard and Bjork, 2008; Succar, 2009) and documentation
management (Goedert and Meadati, 2008). However, whilst these approaches have the
434 potential to implement BIM, they lack the mechanism to do so.
Currently, the accepted means of implementing innovation into construction projects
relies largely on project management techniques (Bresnen and Marshall, 2001).
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Hartmann et al. (2012) proposed that it is possible to align the functionality of BIM with
established project management working methods, assuming that BIM is a
technology-pull innovation. It was proposed that this approach to implement BIM is
flawed. An over-reliance on strict project controls and evaluation methods around which
project management operates often stifles innovation (Koskela and Vrijhoef, 2001) and
does not account for stakeholder competency.
It was suggested that this approach has led to difficulties in aligning BIM with
collaborative working practices. Sebastian (2011) considered that because BIM is not a
readymade solution, collaboration processes cannot be standardised and need to be
tailored for each new project. Any implementation approach has to be formulated in
accordance with the project complexity and the stakeholder competence involved. It was
proposed that the challenge of implementing BIM lies not just in a flawed delivery
mechanism but in the failure of stakeholder competency to adequately implement BIM
(Thompson and McHugh, 1995; Arayici and Mihindu, 2008; Linderoth, 2010; et al., 2011).
The aim of the paper was twofold:
(1) to review established literature to define and classify BIM as an innovation; and
(2) to identify gaps in current BIM literature with respect to stakeholder
competency.

It was anticipated that the findings of the study would develop the discussion around a
competency-based approach to inform BIM literature.

Research methodology
Acknowledging that the literature on competency in BIM implementation is not yet rich
enough to provide a sound conceptual foundation for quantitative evaluation, a qualitative
study was undertaken using a review of literature and gap analysis techniques to establish
the state-of-the-art perceptions. Gap analysis addresses gaps between actual performance
and best practice, which typically evolves through some form of benchmarking. This
methodological approach is consistent with the recommendations of several scholars
(Winch et al., 1998; Parasuraman et al., 1985; Wix and Katranuschkov, 2002). In this study,
established innovation literature was applied as the benchmark against current BIM
literature to test the assumptions of recent studies that advocate a move towards a more
competency-based approach for successful BIM implementation (Panuwatwanich and
Peansupap, 2013; Nahod et al., 2013).
A Competency Framework derived from literature using 31 studies on BIM spanning
the period from 2006 to 2013 was established. The studies were selected based on three
key criteria and subject to evaluation and assessment by five experts in the field of BIM
implementation. From an original baseline of 105 BIM studies proposed, a statistically
significant consensus on the selection of 31 BIM studies was obtained. A matrix was Implementing
then developed which aligned the BIM studies with the Competency Framework to
allow the findings to be systematically assessed. A detailed description of the
innovation
methodology is set out later in the paper.

Review of literature
It was primarily economists who undertook early studies on innovation such as 435
Schumpeter (1930-1940s), Schmookler (1950s) and Bowley (1960s). The innovation
theorist Jacob Schumpeter described innovation as, a historic and irreversible change
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in the way of doing things and also as, creative destruction, the development of
something new which renders previous solutions redundant (Schumpeter, 1947). Later
studies compared definitions of innovation and invention. Whilst invention was
considered the source of an idea (Altshuller, 1994), innovation was deemed to be that
idea commercially developed and implemented into an institution, i.e. industry,
business, etc. (Freeman, 1974; Rogers, 1995). The broad range of innovation definitions
put forward since the 1940s has agreed, in part, about the following key five
characteristics which can be applied to any innovation:
(1) The notion of something new and transformational (Freeman, 1974;
Schumpeter, 1947).
(2) Implementation that has the ability to effect change (Abernathy and Clark,
1985; Dosi, 1982).
(3) The first use of a new technology (Tatum, 1987) or one that is new to the user
(Harkola and Greve, 1995).
(4) Provides derived benefits to other parties (Ling, 2003).
(5) Implementation involves an element of associated risk (Slaughter, 2000;
Dodgson, 2000).

The Oslo Manual defined innovation as either technical or organisational (OECD, 2005).
Technical innovations are largely product innovations requiring operational
competency such as communication, technical knowledge and personnel management
(Egbu, 1999; Gann and Salter 2000; Lampel, 2001; Dainty et al., 2005; Edum-Fotwe and
McCaffer, 2000; Gu and London, 2010). Organisational innovation involves changes to
an organisational structure, introduction of advanced management techniques or
implementation of new corporate strategies. Organisational innovation requires
strategic competency such as value, strategy and culture (Prahalad and Hamel, 1990;
Javidan, 1998; Egbu, 1999; Edum-Fotwe and McCaffer, 2000; Gu and London, 2010;
Lloyd-walker et al., 2014).
Slaughter, 1998 revisited the innovation theories from the general literature
(Schumpeter, 1947; Marquis, 1968; Tushman and Anderson, 1986; Henderson and Clark,
1990; Nelson and Winter, 1977). The research transposed them via a structured
methodology into a model for construction innovation types. Slaughter classified
construction innovations as incremental, architectural, modular, system and radical
ordered by their degree of required change from the current state-of-the-art or practice
(Slaughter, 1998). The aforementioned five types were defined by:
the extent to which an innovation deviates in function from standard technology;
and
CI the extent of integration of the innovation with the other components and systems
within the building.
14,4
Incremental innovation introduces relatively minor changes to the existing product,
exploits the potential of the established design and often reinforces the dominance of
established firms (Nelson and Winter, 1977; Dewar and Dutton, 1986; Tushman and
436 Anderson, 1986). Radical innovation, on the other hand, is a transformational breakthrough
in science or technology which often creates great difficulties for established firms (Rothwell,
1976; Tushman and Anderson, 1986) and can be the basis for the redefinition of an entire
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industry (Henderson and Clark, 1990).

Defining and classifying BIM


The primary objective of this paper was to review innovation literature and to define
and classify BIM against existing theory. To understand how BIM aligns with the
established characteristics of an innovation from literature, it was necessary, first, to
define its function. BIM is a technical innovation as defined by the Oslo Manual (OECD,
2005). BIM is unique in that it is considered both a product and process. Succar (2009)
described BIM as an integrated innovation model in which both process and product
information are combined, stored, elaborated and interactively distributed to all
relevant building actors. BIM is aligned with the established criteria of an innovation
(see above section) as follows:
The notion of something new and transformational It has been argued that BIM
is a catalyst for significant transformation poised to reduce industrys
fragmentation, improve its efficiency/effectiveness (Hampson and Brandon, 2004)
and lower the high costs of inadequate interoperability (Steel et al., 2012). Unlike its
predecessor, computer-aided design (CAD), there is a view that BIM will address
some of the problems inherent in the construction sector such as stakeholder
collaboration, as well as the need for dramatic changes in the current business
practices (Arayici and Mihindu, 2008).
Ability to effect change to standard practice Slaughter (1998) identified that an
innovation has the ability to make substantive changes to standard practice. The
construction industry is currently migrating from using CAD tools to BIM
software. BIM is not the same as CAD. BIM goes further than an application to
generate digital two-dimensional (2D) or three-dimensional (3D) drawings
(Sebastian, 2011). BIM is an integrated model in which information is collated,
processed and, ultimately, disseminated to key stakeholders. This offers
considerable advantages as a means to efficiently producing fully coordinated
production information (Hampson and Brandon, 2004).
Derived benefits for all stakeholders Innovation generates derived benefits to
those involved in its implementation such as the contribution it can make to
participating firms (Afuah and Bahram, 1995). Gilligan and Kunz (2007)
conducted a survey to determine the value of BIM to project stakeholders. They
found that the use of BIM lowers overall risk for stakeholders distributed across
the project and leads to better engagement of project staff and reduced
contingencies. Studies have outlined the benefits of BIM such as 3D coordination
of different fields (Staub French, 2007), dynamic cost estimation (Smith, 2013),
four-dimensional planning (Heesom and Mahdjoubi, 2004) and construction safety
analysis (Zhang, and Hu, 2011). Other related benefits include more effective Implementing
processes, whole-life costs, increased production quality and sustainability
analysis, as well as improved customer service (Azhar et al., 2008)
innovation
Associated risk Rosenberg (1982) proposed that because most innovations turn
out as failures, more attention needs to be paid to the evaluation of risk. A key risk
for BIM is determining the ownership of the BIM data and how to protect it
through copyright (Aranda-Mena et al., 2009). An implicit consideration for any 437
project manager will be who controls the entry of data into the BIM model and be
responsible for any inaccuracies in it. Before BIM technology can be fully utilised,
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the risks of its use must be identified and allocated, as well as the cost of
implementation (Azhar et al., 2008). BIM has been challenged with issues
regarding stakeholder collaboration and the way information is managed and
controlled (Sebastian, 2011). As in most paradigm shifts, there will undoubtedly be
risks associated with this challenge.

Classification of BIM
It has been argued that BIM is a catalyst for significant change or the new CAD
paradigm (Ibrahim et al., 2004). This potential for radical change aligns with
Schumpeters concept of creative destruction; the development of something new
which renders previous solutions redundant (Schumpeter, 1947). CAD was originally
considered a significant move away from the drawing board, suggesting a radical
innovation; however, it was ultimately proved to be a largely incremental technology
(Watson, 2010). It delivered a useful degree of coordination over an extended period;
however, it did not address the way in which firms collaborated. Whilst CAD changed
how the AEC industry executed drawings, its introduction did not change how the
drawing information was then communicated. Information was still printed out for
meetings and re-drawn for changes. CAD existed for an extended time as a tool used by
one organisation, i.e. the architect or design firm and there was little incentive for other
organisations that use CAD technology.
BIM, on the other hand, has delivered more pronounced change than a drawing tool
used by a single organisation. BIM requires information technology (IT) changes to
multiple organisations which produce complex interoperability issues. Furthermore, the
effective operation of this interoperability depends on linkages of stakeholder
collaboration and culture change. Whilst these linkages have operated in construction
for years in isolation, the proliferation of BIM has forced the imperative for these
multiple linkages which complement each other to combine as a System to achieve
new functions and levels of performance. Using Slaughters classification model, BIM is
aligned with Slaughters findings and classified as a system innovation (Table I).
With indications that the deployment of BIM is now accelerating, the probability is
that BIM will prove to be a significantly more disruptive technology than CAD
(Schumpeter, 1947). This view is confirmed by the implicit rapid switch from 2D to 3D
working and the emphasis on collaborative practices required for BIM implementation
(Arayici and Mihindu, 2008). Furthermore, Succar (2009) defined a series of increasingly
integrated stages in the deployment of BIM and noted that the associated changes at an
organisational and project level will be transformational rather than incremental.
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CI
14,4

438

Table I.

after Slaughter (1998)


Slaughters innovation
Alignment of BIM with

models for construction;


Innovation models for construction (Slaughter, 1998)
Innovation Alignment of BIM as a construction
classification Definition Frequency Examples innovation

Incremental A small improvement to standard Occurring Adoption of material from Incorporation of personal computers
practice based on existing constantly mountain climbing sector for use in AEC offices
experience and knowledge for use in a construction
full-body safety harness
Modular A significant change in concept A new machine which CAD
within a component but leaves automatically ties the
the links to other components and wires for reinforcing bars
systems unchanged in cast in-situ concrete
Architectural A small change within a Self-compacting concrete Digital printing
component but a major change in
the links to other components and
systems
System Multiple integrated innovations Pre-fabricated module BIM
which complement each other to construction
achieve new functions or levels of
performance
Radical A breakthrough in science or Rare and Introduction of structural Introduction of the Internet (Web-
technology unpredictable steel based documentation transfer)
Implementing BIM literature Implementing
A secondary objective of the paper was to review existing innovation implementation theory
to identify gaps in current BIM literature with respect to the adoption of a competency-based
innovation
approach. Several studies on BIM have suggested that the key to successful implementation
is a single consensus document that instructs on its application or usage based on sound
project management principles (Arayici et al., 2011). Succar (2009) explored some of the
publicly available international guidelines and introduced a comprehensive scene-setting 439
framework for industry stakeholders. However, Succar (2009) sought to define the BIM
components and delineate its expanding boundaries. Whilst this was a reasonable
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approach, it failed to appreciate that, in terms of innovation, the implementation of BIM does
not easily fit within a project management framework and requires a more flexible, informal,
team-based collaborative approach (Thompson and McHugh, 1995). Historically, the
accepted means to implement innovation into construction projects still relies on project
management techniques (Bresnen and Marshall, 2001). The interface at which innovation
and the project come together is still dominated by ideas on how to correctly manage the
project rather than how to effectively manage the innovation (Keegan and Turner, 2002).
Government reports, in the late 1990s, called for the adoption of process management
techniques to deliver innovation rather than traditional project management techniques.
This thinking was supported by Keegan and Turner and other academics when they
suggested that a fresh management approach to innovation is required which combines
current management theory with the process of innovation (Dulaimi and
Kumaraswamy, 2000; Keegan and Turner, 2002; Cooper et al., 2005).
In a process-driven model, the innovation is progressed based on the right conditions
being delivered in a sequential fashion. This is at variance to a project-driven approach
where the critical paths and rigid milestones dictate a locked system, with little or no
flexibility for an innovation to be accommodated. By adopting a process approach, the
implementation of an innovation will run in tandem with project management activities.
This would facilitate a degree of flexibility to allow reiterations in the project process to
facilitate the innovation. It was proposed that it is this failure to address the
implementation of BIM as a parallel but distinct process with the project management
process, which has led to the current industry challenges associated with the successful
implementation of BIM.
Panuwatwanich and Peansupap (2013) highlighted three critical issues impacting
the current diffusion of BIM:
(1) the difficulty for companies to adjust their existing workflows and culture to
accommodate the adoption of BIM;
(2) the misconceptions that have led to stakeholder abandonment of the technology;
and
(3) flawed approach of implementing BIM quickly and for short-term gains rather
than long-term investment.

A survey by Tse et al. (2005) revealed reasons for not implementing BIM included the
complex and time-consuming modelling process and inadequate BIM skills and training
of project stakeholders. This confirmed a more recent survey by Arayici et al. (2009) in
which the primary barriers to BIM adoption included stakeholder unfamiliarity with
BIM use and reluctance to initiate new workflows. This also confirms Linderoths (2010)
CI view that the future adoption and use of BIM will be shaped by the interplay between the
technology and the social context in which it is adopted and used. Such studies indicate
14,4 that a significant reason for the poor adoption and implementation of BIM is the failure
to recognise the stakeholder competency required to manage BIM.
Any characteristic required for performing a given task, activity or role successfully
can be considered as competence (Wadalkar and Pimplikar, 2012). It has been argued
440 that innovation requires a great deal of flexibility within projects and that the effective
management of such flexibility depends on the acquisition and development of
competency in the personnel (Lampel, 2001). The right competence exhibited by key
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stakeholders will support the core processes within the project (Edum-Fotwe and
McCaffer, 2000).
From the literature, Murphy et al. (2013) developed a tool to mitigate innovation failure
caused by poor stakeholder competency. Whilst the study did not address the specific
complexities encountered in the management of BIM implementation, it did present a
framework within which the discussion on BIM implementation could be advanced. The
resultant outputs also addressed studies into innovation implementation by Wix and
Katranuschkov (2002), which proposed that modelling project processes should be defined
within a process matrix supported by a generic project process which can be reused or
expanded within new models and the actors or stakeholders in the process.

Gap analysis
In this study, established innovation literature on competency was applied as the
benchmark against current BIM literature to test the assumptions of recent studies that
advocate a move towards a more competency-based approach for successful BIM
implementation (Panuwatwanich and Peansupap, 2013; Nahod et al., 2013). An
established Competency Framework was adopted from the literature (Murphy et al.,
2011), the formulation of which is described below.

Identifying competency
The methodology used to identify stakeholder competency was based on the established
McBer competency assessment model (McClelland, 1973; Dainty et al., 2005). The
methodology comprised:
identification from case studies of the evidence of competency failure from case
studies;
identification of the project stakeholders implicit in the competency failure;
data collection through interviews; and
identification of management response activities used to mitigate the competency
failure.

Using statistical techniques, the management response activity data collected was used
to develop a systematic sequence of activities. The sequence established the optimum
process for implementing an innovation using the appropriate stakeholder competence.
The findings were subject to validation and refinement using a panel of industry experts
to produce a list of critical competence required for the implementation of an innovation.
The methodology procedure is described below.
The initial stage was to identify poor stakeholder competency in projects seeking to Implementing
implement an innovation. Using interviews and assessment of project documentation,
131 innovation constraints were extracted from 30 construction projects (Murphy et al.,
innovation
2011). Extraction of the constraints also involved identification of the competency
failure which brought about the constraint and the project stakeholder implicit.
Project stakeholders are the key participants whose competence can adversely
impact the implementation of a construction innovation (Anderson and Manseau, 1999; 441
Blayse and Manley, 2004; Dubois and Gadde, 2002; Miozzo and Dewick, 2002). Adverse
impact is usually largely non-intentional. In many cases, the role of the stakeholder may
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form part of a series of passive events, but their impact is often the key trigger that
causes a constraint to occur (Miozzo and Dewick, 2002). The project stakeholders
identified as implicit in the management of an innovation are: client, project manager,
designer and supplier (Murphy et al., 2011).
Each stakeholder was asked to describe a range of critical situations they had
encountered in the project, what events led up to them (cause), who was involved
(stakeholders) and what did they consider the outcome might be if the situation
continued unaddressed (effect). Furthermore, the stakeholders were asked what they did
to address the situation to mitigate the impending failure (management response
activity). The interviews were transcribed and coded in accordance with the McBer
Competency Dictionary using the NVivo qualitative data analysis package. The data
were then subject to Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA). FMEA is a design risk
assessment tool used to evaluate the criticality of potential risks. The extracted
constraint data were subject to FMEA which identified the different risk rankings of the
innovation constraints. The findings were subject to validation and refinement using
expert consensus. It was found that eight key competencies were critically used by
stakeholders to manage innovation. They comprised six operational competencies
(Egbu, 1999; Gann and Salter, 2000; Lampel, 2001; Dainty et al., 2005; Edum-Fotwe
and McCaffer, 2000; Gu and London, 2010) and two strategic competencies
(Prahalad and Hamel, 1990; Javidan, 1998; Egbu, 1999; Edum-Fotwe and McCaffer,
2000; Gu and London, 2010; Lloyd-walker et al., 2014) (see Table II).
Following identification of critical competency, 31 literature studies on BIM
spanning the period from 2006 to 2013 were reviewed. The studies were selected using
expert evaluation and assessment. Five experts in the field of BIM implementation were
invited to critically examine BIM-related studies which addressed the following three
criteria:
(1) the study was carried out between 2006 and 2013;
(2) the study addressed, directly or indirectly, the relationship between BIM and
relevant stakeholder competency identified; and
(3) the study was subject to peer-review and published in a reputable journal or
presented at conference proceedings.

The criteria of studies between 2006 and 2013 were based on 2006 being the year in which
the British Standards Institution (BSI) introduced the first standards on collaborative BIM
implementation, notably, BS 1192:2006, the Collaborative production of architectural,
engineering and construction information code of practice. This was supported by
Building Information Management a Standard Framework and Guide to BS 1192; a
CI Description
14,4
Operational competency
Information and Concerned with ensuring timely and appropriate generation,
communication collection, dissemination, storage and ultimate disposal of
information (explicit or tacit), as well as communicate
effectively, listens sensitively and adapts communication to
442 foster effective communication with other stakeholders
Personnel management Involves the abilities required to make the most effective use
(human resources) of the people involved in the project to facilitate the
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successful implementation of the innovation


Technical knowledge Involves the abilities required to make effective analysis of
technical problems arising from the integration of the
innovation
Planning and administration Involves the abilities to identify relevant tasks to implement
the innovation; how they can be done, allocating resources
and monitoring progress
Cost management Involves the abilities required to ensure that the innovation
is implemented within the approved budget; includes
resource planning, cost estimating, cost budgeting and cost
control
Programme management Involves the abilities required to achieve timely completion
of the project and successful integration of the innovation;
includes activity definition, sequencing, duration estimating,
schedule development and schedule control
Organisational competency
Strategy and policy Concerned with understanding the overall mission and
values of the organisation/client adopting the innovation
and ensuring stakeholder actions are aligned
Culture and values Involves the abilities to identify and propagate shared
beliefs, values and norms throughout the adopting
Table II. organisation/project
Stakeholder competency
framework Source: Murphy et al. (2011)

jointly published guide with the Centre for Process Innovation and supported by the
Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.
The resultant studies comprised a spread across the defined period in which 21 of the
31 studies were produced after 2010. The studies were published in a range of journals
across a range of context comprising, project management (four studies), construction
and engineering management (nine studies) and technology implementation (nine
studies) as well as one software-related journal. Additionally, there were eight cited
conference papers and one government report.
It is acknowledged that gap analysis technique is susceptible to the bias and
subjective opinion of field experts and researchers and is a constraint in this study
(Bunse et al., 2011). The rigour of such an approach is dependent on the triangulation of
a number of validating mechanisms to secure consensus. In this study, the use of expert
interviews and evaluations was applied to 105 BIM studies which produced a
statistically significant consensus of 31 BIM studies. A wider investigation may have
extended these mechanisms to include an online survey and academic and industrial Implementing
discussion forums and is proposed for future research on a larger study sample. A
matrix was developed aligning the identified studies with the Competency Framework
innovation
(Table III).

Identifying relevant gaps


It was identified that BIM literature largely addressed issues of strategic competence 443
with a growing application of practical project-based studies to inform these
investigations (Howard and Bjork, 2008; Aranda-mena et al., 2009; Azhar et al., 2008;
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Sebastian, 2011; Davies and Harty, 2013). This literature addressed recent calls for
practical studies to complement theoretical insights (Howard and Bjork, 2008). A
number of studies were largely theoretical explorations of context and proposed
trajectories (Succar, 2009; Sacks et al., 2010; Hartmann et al., 2012; Gu and London, 2010);
however, they establish new contexts for the discussion of stakeholder competency.
There was strong evidence of a constancy of studies addressing technical knowledge
competence (Migilinskas et al., 2013; Lee et al., 2006; Steel et al., 2012; Ibrahim and
Moselhi, 2013). The findings on each specific competency are discussed below:
Information and communication competence Considering information and
communication competence as the highest ranking critical success factor for BIM
implementation (Sebastian, 2011), the literature on this competence is scant and
largely indirectly related. The communication and data transfer activities between
different stakeholders become critical as each stakeholder possesses different
competencies. It is well documented that issues of stakeholder collaboration and
integration are crucial to the long-term success of BIM (Kiviniemi et al., 2008;
Sacks et al., 2010; Zuppa et al., 2009; Ho and Feng, 2013; Dossick and Neff, 2011).
Technical knowledge competence In the early years of BIM development, the
focus was largely based on developing the technology, and this produced a
proliferation of technically based studies. However, despite still existing technical
complexities and limitations in data exchange, the focus shifted in the early 1990s
to issues of collaborative working and adversarial practices (Kiviniemi et al., 2008)
and failed to maintain insights into technical knowledge competence. However,
more recent studies would appear to be redressing this balance, and since 2006,
there is strong evidence of studies addressing technical knowledge competence.
Cost management competence Whilst the occurrence in literature addressing cost
management competence has remained steady over the past ten years, there is a
noticeable shift in emphasis from indirectly applicable literature to directly
applicable application. Recent studies in cost planning have highlighted that
there are considerable implementation issues still unaddressed. Smith (2013)
proposes expansion of BIM into five-dimensional modelling to improve the quality
and efficiency of cost management services at the front end of projects. This
supports Sebastians (2011) theory that collaborative processes using BIM will
lead to the shifting of activities to the early design phase of projects. This confirms
innovation management flowchart (IMF) findings that early management is a key
constituent of the process and requires well-developed cost management
competence.
Gap analysis matrix
Review

Table III.
Personnel
Literature

Programme
O Indirectly
applicable x

management

Planning and
competency
Stakeholder

administration
communication
Information and

Cost management

management (HR)
Directly applicable

Technical knowledge

Organisational culture
Organisational strategy
O

Lee et al. (2006)


O

Taylor (2007)
O

Howard and Bjork (2008)


x
O

Succar (2009)
O

Aranda-Mena et al. (2009)


x
x
x

Azhar et al. (2008)


x
O

Yan and Damian (2008)


O

Goedert and Meadati (2008)


x
x

Zuppa et al. (2009)


x
O

Sacks et al. (2010)


O
O

Taylor and Bernstein (2009)


O
Watson (2010)
x

O
Jung and Joo (2011)

x
x
O
Arayici et al. (2011)

x
O
Singh et al. (2011)

O
Gu and London (2010)

x
O
Dossick and Neff (2011)

x
O
Sebastian (2011)

x
x

O
Davies and Harty (2013)

x
x
x

O
Hartmann et al. (2012)

O
O
Barlish and Sullivan (2012)

O
Steel et al. (2012)

O
Migilinskas et al. (2013)

x
O
Ho and Feng (2013)
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x
O
Panuwatwanich and Peansupap (2013)

O
Shafiq et al. (2013) 444

O
Ibrahim and Moselhi (2013)

O
O
El Asmar and Francom (2013)

O
Smith (2013)

O
14,4
Maghrebi et al. (2013)

O
CI
Kovacic et al. (2013)
Programme management competence Similar to cost management, literature in Implementing
programme management competence is becoming more mainstream, as the
importance of site-based implementation strategies increases (Kunz and Fischer,
innovation
2012). Much of the recent research into programme management competence is
focussed on documenting the impact of BIM using benchmarking tools such as
key performance indicators to assess the impact on site-based processes (El Asmar
and Francom, 2013; Azhar et al., 2008). 445
Organisational culture competence Literature into organisational culture
competence is scant, relative to its ranking and considering the widely agreed
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importance for it in BIM implementation (Sebastian, 2011; Panuwatwanich and


Peansupap, 2013). It has been proposed that the failure to manage organisational
culture competence in firms and projects will delay complete adoption of BIM for
a few more years (Yan and Damian, 2008).
Organisational strategy competence Literature on the competence to deliver
organisational strategy have been the most prolific of all the literature
investigated. The review identified a constant flow of studies since 2006.
According to Soderlund (2005) project, competency must underpin strategic
competitive project operations that are continually adaptive to technological and
market dynamics. However, it is suggested that the over-emphasis on competence
of organisational strategy may be due largely to the lack of empirical project-based
research being carried out.
Personnel management competence A significant gap is evidenced in the
investigations into personnel management competence. Personnel management is
the ability to make the most effective use of the people involved in the project to
facilitate successful implementation of the innovation. This competence goes to
the core of BIM. BIM requires a high level of people collaboration and interaction
and addresses an area which has historically proved challenging for the
construction industry (Latham, 1994; Egan, 1998).
Planning and administration competence Planning and administration has been
scantily addressed in the literature. The competency required is closely related to
that of personnel management competence and requires a strong team-centred
approach (Sebastian, 2011).

Discussion
The primary objective of the paper was to review innovation literature and seek to
define and classify BIM against existing theory. The study identified that BIM is a
technical innovation due to its largely technology-based origins. Technical
innovations are largely product technologies; however, it was identified that BIM is
unique in that it is considered both a product and process by various BIM academics.
Succar (2009) described BIM as an integrated innovation model in which both process
and product information is combined, stored, elaborated and interactively distributed to
all relevant building actors. This duality of definition is a significant finding, as it
confirms early studies into construction innovation by pioneers in the field, such as
Utterback and Abernathy (1975). In the seminal paper, A dynamic model of product
and process innovation, it was evidenced how product innovations often lead to process
innovations. However, process innovations are required to produce a product
CI innovation. Furthermore, it is often the resulting process innovation which sustains the
initial product innovation. Schmookler (1966) and later Altshuller (1999) confirmed that
14,4 patterns of technical innovation are often repeated trans-industry and often used to
address problems outside the field in which they were originally developed.
BIM is classified as a system innovation as defined by Slaughter (1998), as it uses
multiple innovations to achieve new levels of industry performance. Whilst BIM is often
446 referred to in terms of a radical innovation, its progress, since its inception in the 1970s,
has been largely incremental. The expected radical breakthrough in terms of practice
and culture did not occur. However, the growing use of BIM has highlighted the
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importance of collaboration and culture change within the industry and across its
stakeholders. Whilst these are significant challenges, highlighted through government
reports (Latham, 1994; Egan, 1998), it is considered likely they would have been
addressed in due course, and BIM has merely been the precipitator of the solution.
The secondary objective of the paper was to review existing innovation management
theory to identify gaps in current BIM implementation literature with respect to the
understanding of stakeholder competency in the management process.
Existing innovation literature has evidenced that for a new technology to be
successfully implemented, it must be managed using innovation-driven techniques as
opposed to traditional process-driven techniques (Hartmann et al., 2012). An
over-reliance on strict project controls around which project management typically
operates often stifles innovation (Koskela and Vrijhoef, 2001). This disparity has led to
difficulties in aligning BIM implementation with traditional working practices. There
was a growing opinion across BIM literature that there has been scant regard given to
the importance of stakeholder competency in implementing BIM and how further
exploration of this area may produce some valuable insights (Tse et al., 2005; Arayici
et al., 2009; Linderoth, 2010).
BIM literature since 2006 has largely focussed on the strategic competence of
stakeholders. The literature addressed recent calls for practical studies to complement
the disproportionate weighting of literature towards theoretical insights rather than
practical application. Many studies were largely theoretical explorations of context and
proposed trajectories. This is typical behaviour in the development of a new field of
investigation (Nelson and Winter, 1977). The emphasis on theoretical exploration
establishes new paradigms for wider discussion. A notable area for growing
investigation is stakeholder competency in construction projects.
From the gap analysis, there was strong evidence of a constancy of studies addressing
technical knowledge competence. This was unsurprising, as many academics, as well as
industry practitioners, still view BIM as primarily a piece of software and investigate
likewise. The most significant insight from the analysis was the scant number of studies on
information and communication competence. Information and communication is the most
critical competence identified in the innovation literature. It is well documented that issues of
stakeholder collaboration and integration are crucial to the long-term success of BIM. BIM
academics argue that BIM is a catalyst for significant transformation poised to reduce
industrys fragmentation and enhance stakeholder collaboration. It is proposed that the use
of BIM will reduce risk and lead to better engagement of project stakeholders. However, it
remains evident from literature and, in practice, that BIM is still greatly challenged by issues
of stakeholder integration, particularly in the way information is managed and controlled.
To this end, a greater focus on information and communication competence is an imperative.
There is an urgent need for competency mapping in projects and firms. Participating firms Implementing
need to facilitate targeted skills training and continuing professional development (CPD) of
key stakeholders. This was particularly evident in the BIM literature addressing personnel
innovation
management competence. This competence is significantly aligned with the information
and communication competence in that it requires a high level of people collaboration and
addresses an area which has historically proven challenging for the construction industry.
In correlating innovation literature with current BIM literature, there were three 447
principal gaps identified:
Gap 1 The mainstay of recent studies into BIM implementation has been based
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on a project management approach rather than innovation management


strategies. This has led to difficulties in aligning BIM with collaborative working
practices and issues of cultural change. BIM must be implemented as an
innovation using stakeholder competency as the delivery agent rather than
formulaic project management techniques which stifle innovation.
Gap 2 Whilst strategic insights into BIM implementation are on-going, inputs
from case-based studies are urgently required to close the gap between theory and
practice. Literature on the competency to deliver organisational strategy has been
the most prolific of the literature investigated; however, it is suggested that the
over-emphasis on competency of organisational strategy may be due largely to the
lack of empirical project-based research.
Gap 3 There is an urgent need for competency mapping in AEC projects and
firms to facilitate targeted skills training and CPD of stakeholders. This is
particularly evident in the investigations into personnel management competency.
This competency goes to the core of BIM in that it requires a high level of people
collaboration and interaction and addresses an area which has historically proved
challenging for the construction industry.

Conclusion
The study identified that whilst the competency-related literature on BIM is not yet rich
enough to provide a sound conceptual foundation for investigation, what is clear is how the
BIM implementation process aligns closely with the innovation management process which
requires skilful management of stakeholder competency. To close the gap between theory
and practice, it is proposed that future BIM research should focus on developing efficient and
effective stakeholder competency in the participating firms of construction projects.
Through this, decision-makers in companies may become aware of the efficiencies in
real-time, facilitating more effective BIM implementation based on accurate and timely
activities being displayed by the project stakeholders. This might include the development
of conceptual frameworks by academics in conjunction with industry practitioners. Specific
and measurable key performance indicators (KPIs) for stakeholders involved with the
implementation of BIM could be defined and developed. Collaboration between different
projects and companies may benefit from facilitation using standardised KPIs and
benchmarking tools. It is also necessary to develop practical but comprehensive tools and
algorithms for control and improvement of competency management in BIM projects. To
this end, the current body of BIM literature needs to develop a stakeholder
competency-based approach at a measured pace to provide insights to benefit the long-term
goals of the construction industry.
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Further reading
Azhar, S., Carlton, W.A., Olsen, D. and Ahmad, I. (2011), Building information modeling for sustainable
design and LEED rating analysis, Automation in Construction, Vol. 20 No. 2, pp. 217-224.

Corresponding author
M.E. Murphy can be contacted at: m.murphy@ulster.ac.uk

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