1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
Extensive advances in information and communication technology in recent decades have affected all industries. Construction industry also has been influenced by the information technology. ICT plays important roles in design, management and execution of construction projects. It has provided easy storage and fast access to accurate and updated information for construction organizations and made heavy calculations possible. Modern communication tools enable construction practitioners to have widespread connections between construction site and head office. In order to stay competitive, construction organizations use ICT in all processes related to construction. Information Technology in Construction (ITC) can be defined as the application of decision support tools, which uses electronic machines and programs for processing, storage, analysis, control, transfer and presentation of construction information data during the whole life cycle of a construction project (El-Ghandour and Al-Hussein 2010). Harris F. (2009) believes that besides acting as a mean for general management and processing of project and company information, there are other ways in which ICT has been taken on by construction. These developments affect the construction process itself and can be categorised into four main areas. They are standardisation (examples include the use of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) and bar coding), visualisation (comprising Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality), communication (including video/data conferencing and Intranets), integration (employing infobases and project specific data bases). Electronic communication is a system used as means of sending or retrieving messages through computer or Internet connections. Today this includes a multitude of communication tools, ranging from simple forms such as e-mails to more complex forms, e. g. electronic document management (edm) systems, enterprise resource planning (erp) systems and project planning systems. The introduction of different e-communication tools may alter the firm operations, providing firms with innovate venues for impacting their management processes. Davies and Hobday (2005) use the term ‘project business’ to refer to ‘organizations – which may be entire firms or units within firms – that deploy projects to achieve major business objectives, including all firms which design and produce complex products and systems (Cops)’. For the purpose of this study, project business is defined broadly to encompass all business functions in which many stakeholders are involved in the process. Past research on improving communication has mainly focused on internal organizational communication, and most of this attention has been on the availability of communication for intraorganizational communication of traditional business organizations (Amaratunga, Sarshar and Baldry 2008; Greasley 2015). However, the distinctive characteristics (uniqueness, uncertainty and complexity) of project business with its distinctive communication needs mean that any attempt to improve communication on the basis of traditional organizations is unlikely to fulfil the special requirements of project business. In particular, a focus on the company’s internal communication fails to recognize the importance of communication with external networks, partners, and other stakeholders, in the conduct of project business.
1.2 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
Very little attention has been paid to the integration of organizational perspectives of modern communication in project-based organizations, especially in the context of e-communication availability and its actual usages in engineering, procurement, and construction (epc) projects. This represents a significant gap in the literature: project-based organizations (pbos) must be able to conduct efficient business operations by utilizing new technology. Therefore, the driving force for this study is to reveal the gap in research on firms engaged in e-communication covering project based organization, and to show how traditional organization e-communication differs from these organizations. The effort is to elaborate some thoughts and views on e-communication which interrelate the firms’ inter- and intra-organizational communication usage. In line with the integrated communication and available technologies, we discuss its usages in project based organization. Therefore the need of the study is to examine the impacts of this modern communication tools on project-based organizations using e-communication in the form of available technologies, and how does this differ from traditional organizations?
1.3. AIMS OF THE STUDY
The major purpose of this study is to examine impact of modern communication tools/software on project implementation. Other general objectives of the study are:
1. To examine the types of modern communication tools and software used in project implementation.
2. To examine the barriers and problems of modern communication tools/software utilization in project sites.
3. To examine the impact of modern communication tools/software in a construction project implementation.
4. To examine the uses of modern communication tools/ software in project implementation.
5. To examine the relationship between modern communication tools/software and project implementation.
6. To examine the factors influencing effective use of the tools in project implementation.
1.4 RESEARCH QUESTIONS
1. What are the types of modern communication tools and software used in project implementation?
2. What are the barriers and problems of modern communication tools/software utilization in project sites?
3. What are the impacts of modern communication tools/software in construction project implementation?
4. What are the uses of modern communication tools/ software in project implementation?
5. What is the relationship between modern communication tools/software and project implementation?
6. What are the factors influencing effective use of the tools in project implementation?
1.5 RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
H0: There is no significant impact of modern communication tools/software on project implementation.
H1: There is a significant impact of modern communication tools/software on project implementation
1.6 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
This research would be of immense benefit to project contractors as it would unveil the need for modern communication on project implementation and success.
The study would also benefit students, researchers and scholars who are interested in developing a further study on the subject matter.
1.7 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The study is based on impact of modern communication tools/software on project implementation using selected construction projects in Lagos state as a case study.
1.8 LIMITATION OF STUDY
Financial constraint- Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Time constraint- The researcher will simultaneously engage in this study with other academic work. This consequently will cut down on the time devoted for the research work.
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