Transnational adaptation model for facilitating technology and expertise mobilisation in Gulf AEC organisations

Pour Rahimian, Farzad and Goulding, Jack Steven and Salama, Ashraf M and Ruddock, Steven and Ibrahim, Hatem Galal; Wang, Xiangyu and Chi, Hung-Lin, eds. (2015) Transnational adaptation model for facilitating technology and expertise mobilisation in Gulf AEC organisations. In: Proceedings of the International Conference on Innovative Production and Construction (IPC 2015). UNSPECIFIED, AUS. ISBN 978-0-9874557-2-7

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The fragmented nature of the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry is well recognised, the main issues of which relate ostensibly to failures in communication, process, productivity and interoperability. These failures have contributed to an increased proliferation of adversarial relationships between the different parties involved in projects, the result of which has deleteriously affected the product [project]. Challenges include a wide range of issues, from the veracity of design information within the project lifecycle, through to supply chain communication. These are global issues. For example, in the Gulf States, the nature and complexity of AEC projects have changed significantly due to increased globalisation and the emergence of enmeshed transnational practices. This has created an overwhelming reliance on the mobilisation and transfer of technology and expertise of professional expatriates, which has influenced the approach taken to traditional design and construction business models, including staff roles and procedures. New knowledge and ways of working have been expressed as a means of supporting future projects in the Gulf States. Acknowledging this, there is a need to capture and codify domain-specific expertise. This paper discusses the need to purposefully enhance Qatar’s AEC industry by fostering a smooth transition from its current position, into a more sustainable state that is capable of being replicated. The philosophical underpinnings of this paper take into account disparate socio-cultural, environmental and economic impacts of change, in terms of business models, technology, innovation, labour market needs, local laws/bylaws, and legislation. A theoretical growth model is presented for discussion. This builds on the experience of the UK (in particular) in terms of facilitating the mobility and penetration of technology/expertise/change in the AEC sectors. This paper presents a series of recommendations needed to develop a Pervasive Transnational Adaptation model for Qatar and the Gulf States, covering such issues as: ICT adoption, agile project management, technology-transfer, innovation, offsite construction, Public Private Partnerships, capacity building, and international strategic alliances.