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Virtual collaboration: improving communication in the South African construction industry

A research report submitted to the School of Construction Economics and
Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment, University of Witwatersrand
15 February 2018 / This thesis aims to explore the impact of virtual communication among professionals
within the South African construction industry by analysis of responses to a distributed
questionnaire and interviews which will highlight trends and hindrances to effective
communication. It hopes to answer the key question of key factors affecting virtual
communication from a global perspective to that of the current South African state in order
to improve future forms of ICT to maintain and enhance global competitiveness.
To date, many construction organisations are autocratic and have a hierarchical
organisational structure, which is often static and unable to change to current market
needs. However, there is a growing trend for organisations to form specialised
decentralised teams. These units are dynamic and are more flexible with knowledge
transfer allowing their organisation to adapt to the ever changing global market. One
particular adaptation in the construction industry is in information communication
technology (ICT) which has resulted in organisations becoming more globally competitive.
ICT is becoming more widely used in the construction project life cycle.
While the development of virtual collaborations has allowed for companies to be globally
competitive, there are areas in need of improvement such as communication and
information processing. The use of current communication methods and processes are
technologically driven and do not consider the individual’s psychological aspects. Social
interaction within a workplace is important with a move away from autocratic information
dissemination. These aspects have a direct effect on project delivery efficiency;
productivity of labour force; as well as quality of the final product.
There is a distinct shift in the use of different media for communication and effective those
medium has proved to be. The reluctance to change and how quickly individuals adapt to
technological advancements also impact on the efficiency of communication. / MT 2018
Date January 2018
CreatorsFok, Clinton
Source SetsSouth African National ETD Portal
Detected LanguageEnglish
FormatOnline resource (85 leaves), application/pdf, application/pdf

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