An application of IT to strategy formulation in construction firms

Brightman, Jenny and Eden, Colin and Van Der Heijden, Cornelius and Langford, David; Langford, D and Retik, A, eds. (1997) An application of IT to strategy formulation in construction firms. In: Computer integrated planning and design for construction. ICE Publishing, pp. 145-156. ISBN 9780727730077 (

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This chapter looks at the application of IT to the exploration of the multiple faceted business environment that may be faced by construction firms. Often IT has been seen as a tool to assist project management, in terms of time control, monitoring of construction progress, etc. Frequently it is used to support design through computer-aided design (CAD) and more recently visualisation of the product of construction and the process of how it may be built. Early applications for using IT was as support for administration, such as record keeping, wages and salary calculations. However, it has not been until recently that IT has been able to be applied to an environment that combines quantitative data that needs qualitative judgements to be made about the data. This chapter records an experiment in which choices and preferences are modelled by the use of sophisticated IT. The setting of these choices was one whereby strategic decision makers in construction need to explore the alternative business environments for the construction industry. These convey multiple possibilities and by modelling them the strategic planner may lay plans for the firm with greater confidence. It discusses a product produced by a research project undertaken at Strathclyde University that produced a piece of software call The Construction Alternative Futures Explorer (CAFE).