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Key influences factors for the load-bearing masonry (LBM) system adoption in Malaysia construction industry.

INTRODUCTION

Over the last years, the construction faces in the problem of shortage materials, labour and delay in construction [2]. In the same time, the escalation of land prices influenced by speculative activities in the land industry and it indicated the price of land will continue to increase in the future especially in urban areas. As a result, alternative construction method such as a load-bearing masonry (LBM) system is suggested for overcome the problems.

The use of technology in the construction industry has made the construction industry to be a dynamic market and necessary for a healthy Malaysian economic [15]. A construction industry is involved from variety of stake holders and implementation of technology, technology adopted by a construction firm must be deployed in construction projects. The effective technology is essential to enable the construction industry to compete with foreign the firm [19] and face more competitive in global construction demands. Consequently, the adoption of technology in construction industry encourages the growth of nation and industry economic.

Masonry structure is a simple technique for the construction and it made from collective units of stones, bricks, blocks and concrete in making a wall [15] (Figure 1). Load bearing masonry is a concept where the floors and walls work together as a system and each giving support to others [3].

This system has been used in early civilization from the smallest to huge of building, monument and infrastructure. The structure of the building was built based on graphical method or simple calculation. One example of masonry structure was the Monadnock Building in Chicago with sixteen storeys, built in the year 1891 [17]. The used of load bearing structures more widely implement, especially in developed countries. For example, in Europe, the used of unreinforced masonry represent about 15 percent to more than 50 percent for new housing construction in low the seismic zone, [9]. In additional, studied by [13] Luxembourg was presented the highest adopted in masonry structural with nearest to 90 percent compared to other materials. In Malaysia, studies by [1] showed the adoption of this system is still low, although the awareness of this technology is high. To address the long term probability, the construction companies and researchers need to carry out comprehensive research to investigate the factors for successful the adoption of this system in Malaysia's construction industry.

Methodology:

This paper is part of an on-going research on the factors influence the adoption of a load baring masonry system in the construction industry. The information presented in it is primarily based on the review of available relevant literature materials on construction technology. A literature review, considered by many as part of the research methodology, is essential in organizing theoretical framework, developing a pertinent problem statement and research questions, and forming conjectures before formulating hypotheses to be tested [14]. In this regard, [22] has aptly opined that a thorough literature review is a "critical analysis of a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison of prior research studies, reviews of literature, and theoretical articles." This is precisely what this paper intends to present.

Through the literature review, the definition, potential factors and related issues of construction technology and load bearing masonry system in the construction industry is examined and highlighted. All the data and information gathered directly from libraries, books, articles and other printed materials searched in the international and national journals and proceeding. This literature review is very important and helpful in the process of developing for the theoretical sections of the actual research.

The Adoption of Technology in Construction Industry:

The adoption and utilization technology in construction firms are major sources of improvement in of competitive position, effectiveness of design and efficiency of construction operation of the firms and industries as determined by practitioners at the level of the firms [12]. The potential factors could be influenced by decision making process of the practitioners and may be seen from a number of different perspectives. However, there are a number of accepted theoretical frameworks that have been used by researchers to investigate the adoption and diffusion of the technologies by the business community. These frameworks provide reliable arguments for the practitioners, as well as the academics, to gain a better understanding of the applications and potential of the technologies so they can be used in a more effective way [8].

Moreover, recent research into technology adoption and use has been motivated by the desire to predict factors, which can lead to successful applications in a construction context [19]. Masonry structure is the oldest technology in the construction industry and implementation of the load bearing masonry (LBM) system brings a several advantage such as reduce the construction cost, enhance the speed of construction, reduce the workers. Construction firms have limited resources and can be ill afford to make unconsidered investments. Therefore, there is a need to have a much clearer understanding of load bearing masonry system opportunities for the construction industry, and how this technology can be used to carry out the construction processes in a more effective way rather than depending on traditional practices.

Although there are many theories related to technology adoption, the most frequently applied theories by the research community are: the Davis (1989) Technology Acceptance Model (TAM), and the Innovation Diffusion Theory (IDT). Technology Acceptance Model (TAM) was established more than twenty years (20) and has been introduced by [5] in he studied to explain the acceptance, usage and adoption of the information technology. The IDT model has been led to understand the influence of people's perception or other units to attributes of innovation.

Consequently, this study will suggest these two theories and their potential for predicting the adoption of a load-bearing masonry (LBM) system in the construction industry. Because each theory has a different perspective of technology, a combination of elements from each may provide a more robust model that may be of use for the analysis of masonry structure in construction firm's context.

The Factors Influencing the Adoption of Construction Technology:

A comprehensive review was conducted of the literature related to construction technology and load bearing masonry (LBM) system adoption. It was noticed that the innovation of construction technologies has a slow growth compared to other areas, such as in civil engineering and other industries in such information and communication technology [21]. As a result, the literature in the period from the years 1986 to 2010 have been found on the adoption and usage of the technology in the construction industry, but it very limited studies.

By review of the literature, the Table 1, show the potential factors influencing the adoption of technology in organization.

The TAM was used to investigate the adoption of Industrialized Building System (IBS) by [10], they found the main factors: perceived ease of use and perceive usefulness contributed to the adoption among the contractor in Malaysia. Meanwhile [1] proposed the relative advantage as a potential factor for the adoption of the load bearing masonry (LBM) system.

The other factors that potentially influence adoption are technology itself [17]. Past studies also identified that construction firms can serve as driving factors for the new technology adoption. A Study by [6] showed the organization factors that influence the adoption of technology. The organization resources such as financial, technology and experience and knowledge workers [4] also influence the new technology.

The firms where the staffs have a good attitude, a persistent pursuit of improving productivity and competitiveness, find ways to improve and promote culture in their organization [7]. A study by [6] found that organizational culture is one of the factors that drive the adoption of technology in the construction industry. Individual factors such as innovativeness and champion who are energetic and eager about the potential of the technology influence the organization to take risks in adopting of technology [6; 12]. From the past studies by [6] the innovations in the construction industry usually emerge from the external factor such as consultants, suppliers and clients.

The success of technology usage in the construction industry may also require convincing several outside factors to allow use of the technology and including regulation standard [4]. Policies and regulations that require the new technology will not increase the risk and to the construction workers or to the public and the material use achieve the standard of strength. Another factors influence is a product characteristic [19]. The nature of the product such as the durability of the building tends to create the conditions for technology adoption [4].

Discussion:

From the comprehensive literature review, the studies of construction technology depend not only on TAM and IDT, but on a number of other factors. For TAM the studies focus on IBS and for IDT, relative advantage is suggested as a potential factor for LMB system. In addition, the other factors influencing the adoption of construction technology are: technology, organization factors, organization culture, product characteristics and the organization's readiness. The external factors are: external resources and regulation standards that influence the adoption of construction technology. Therefore, based on the literatures and as summarized in the Table 1, it is possible to use them as potential factors influencing the adoption of a load-bearing masonry (LBM) system in Malaysia's construction industry. Further, due to adoption of the technology in construction projects it may become good performance and added to the traditional dimensions in cost, quality and time.

Conclusion:

Implementation of the load bearing masonry (LBM) system in developing countries widely spread. Motivated by this, the factors influencing this system among industry players will lead to successful applications in a construction industry. Here we are provides a specific contribution along this line. Through the literature review, the two theories which are; TAM and IDT considered as suitable for the adoption of technology, especially for load bearing masonry (LBM) system in construction. Additionally, we believe through investigation and extended of TAM and IDT in this context will further our understanding of the technology system adoption for the real environment and theories. The suggestion for the future, the statistical support for the factors influences the adoption of the load bearing masonry (LBM) system between the construction industry players need to deeply investigate for more comprehensive contribution to the practitioners and researchers.

Received: 25 June 2014; Received: 8 July 2014; Accepted: 10 August May 2014; Available online: 30 August 2014

References

[1.] Abdullah, C.S., 2009. Load bearing masonry: its matarial, construction and time-dependent properties. Malaysia College of Businness, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Sintok, Kedah.

[2.] Abdullah, M.R., I. Abdul Rahman and A.A. Abdul Azis, 2010. Causes of delay in MARA management procurement constructions projects, Journal of Surveying, Construction & Properties, 1(1).

[3.] Brick Industry Association, 1997. Reinforced brick masonry- Material and construction, Technical Notes on Brick Construction.

[4.] Blayse, A., and K. Menley, 2004. Key influences on construction innovation. Construction Innovation, 4(3): 143-154.

[5.] Davis, F.D., 1989. Perceived usefulness, perceived ease of use and user acceptance of information technology. MIS Quarterly, 13(3): 319-340.

[6.] Dikmen, I., M.T. Birgonul and S.U. Artuk, 2005. Integrated Framework to Investigate Value Innovations. Journal of Management in Engineering, pp: 81-90.

[7.] Goodrum, P.M., and C.T. Haas, 2000. Variables Affecting Innovations in the U.S. Construction Industry. In Construction Congress VI (pp. 525-533). American Society of Civil Engineers. doi: 10.1061/40475(278)57

[8.] Karahanna, E., W. Detmar, Straub and N.L. Chervany, 1999. Information technology adoption across time: A cross-section comparison of pre-adoption and post-adoption beliefs. MIS Quarterly, 23(2): 183-213.

[9.] Lourenco, P.B., G. Vasconcelos, J.P. Gouveia, 2008. Innovation solutions for masonry structures: Conception, testing and application, 5th International Conference (AMCM' 2008), Poland.

[10.] Majid et al., 2008. The Industrialized Building System (IBS) survey report 2008-educating the Malaysia construction industry. In Second International Conference on Computer Research and Development. doi: 10.1109/ICCRD.2010.132

[11.] Miller, A., D. Radcliffe and E. Isokangas, 2009. A perception-influence model for the management of technology implementation in construction. Construction Innovation: Information, Process, Management, 9(2): 168-183. doi: 10.1108/14714170910950812

[12.] Mitropoulos, P. and C.B. Tatum, 1999. Technology adoption decisions in construction organizations. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 125: 330-338.

[13.] Mosele, F., F. da Porto, C. Modena, A. Di Fusco, G. Di Cesare, G. Vasconcelos, V. Haach, P.B. Lourenco, I. Beer, U. Schmidt, W. Brameshuber, W. Scheufler, D.C. Shermer and K. Zilch, 2006. Developing innovative systems for reinforced masonry walls, Proceeding 7th International Masonry Conference, London, pp: 530-541.

[14.] Nawi, M.N.M., A. Lee, M.N.A. Azman and K.A.M. Kamar, 2014. Fragmentation Issue in Malaysian Industrialised Building System (IBS) Projects Critical Success Factors for Improving Team Integration in IBS Construction Projects, Journal of Engineering Science and Technology, 9(1): 97-1

[15.] Ramli, N.A., C.S. Abdullah, M.N.M. Nawi, 2013. definition and new directions of IBS load bearing masonry (LBM) system in construction industry, 8(5): 1864-1867.

[16.] Roger, 1995. Diffusion of innovations (4th edition.). New york: Free Press.

[17.] Samad M.E.S., and L.E. Bernold, 2012. Factors influencing the decision of technology adoption in construction. In ICSDEC pp: 654-661.

[18.] Sinha, B.P., 2002. Development and potential of structural masonry. In Seminario sobre Paredes de Alvenaria, P.B. Lourenco & H. Sousa (Eds), Porto pp: 1-16). Porto.

[19.] Tatum, C.B., 1986. Potential mechanisms for construction innovation. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 112: 178-191.

[20.] Tatum, C.B., 1988. Process of innovation in construction firm. Journal of Management in Engineering, 113: 648-663.

[21.] Yu, W.D., C.M. Wu and T.W. Huang, 2009. Development and application of a systematic innovation, Procedure for Construction Technology. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, pp: 24-27.

[22.] Wisconsin, 2008. Literature Review, Writing Studio, Duke University. Available at: http://uwp.aas.duke.edu/wstudi.

(1) Ramli, N.A., (2) Abdullah, C.S., (3) Nawi, M.N.M.

(1,2,3) School of Technology Management and Logistics, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 Sintok Kedah, Malaysia.

Corresponding Author: Nor Azlinda Ramli, School of Technology Management and Logistics, Universiti Utara Malaysia, 06010 Sintok, Kedah, Malaysia.

E-mail: azlinda9091@gmail.com

Table 1: Potential factors influences for the adoption of a load-
bearing masonry (LBM) system in organization.

No.   Potential factors influences for the adoption of
      a load-bearing masonry system in organization

      Theories/       Factors influence   Authors
      Factors

1.    Technology      Perceived           (Majid et
      Acceptance      Ease of Use         al. 2010)
      Model (TAM)
                      Perceived
                      Usefulness

2.    Innovation      Relative            (Abdullah,
      Diffusion       advantage           2009)
      Theory (IDT)

3.    Other Factors   Technology          (Samad et
                                          al. 2012)

                      Organizational      (Dikmen et
                      factors             al. 2005)

                      Organization        (Blayse &
                      resources           Menley,
                                          2004)

                      Organizational      (Dikmen et
                      culture             al. 2005)

                      Individual          (Dikmen et
                      factors             al. 2005:
                                          Mitropoulos,
                                          1999)

                      External            (Dikmen et
                      sources             al. 2005)

                      Regulation          (Blayse &
                      standard            Menley, 2004)

                      Product             (Tatum, 1986)
                      characteristics
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Research Article
Author:Ramli, N.A.; Abdullah, C.S.; Nawi, M.N.M.
Publication:American-Eurasian Journal of Sustainable Agriculture
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:9MALA
Date:Aug 30, 2014
Words:2460
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