Explanatory defect causation model linking digital innovation, human error and quality improvement in residential construction

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper examines the role of mobile digital technology in improving quality in housing construction, specifically by reducing defects at handover. Many construction technology impact studies are limited: confined to studying the effects of new technologies in controlled prototype-testing settings, framed around overly broad claims, or built on deterministic propositions assuming that technology unproblematically leads to better quality. Current studies also ignore insights from defect causation models that systematically identify sources of errors and defects. This study's aim was to develop an explanatory defect causation model addressing all four limitations. The proposed model, developed though a qualitative case study involving 10 semi-structured interviews and two phases of analysis, comprises 16 conditions linked in non-deterministic relationships of influence. The model contributes to theory in housing construction management by proposing alternative complex pathways which link defects, technology and quality and can be translated into actionable, flexible strategies for addressing defects in practice.

Original languageEnglish
Article number103505
JournalAutomation in Construction
Volume123
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021

Keywords

  • Defect causation modelling
  • Human error
  • Interpretive research
  • Mobile technology
  • Qualitative case study
  • Quality improvement

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