Digital transformation strategies: Towards a framework for the construction industry

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Insinööritieteiden korkeakoulu | Master's thesis
Real Estate and Water Management
Degree programme
Master's Programme in Creative Sustainability (CS)
The digital revolution is reshaping industries worldwide, and the construction sector is no exception. As digital technologies continue to disrupt traditional practices, understanding the factors driving digitalization in construction becomes crucial. This study delves into the realm of digital transformation strategies and examines the unique aspects shaping the adoption of digital technologies in the construction industry. This research focuses on digital transformation strategies in the Finnish construction industry, exploring the landscape of digital transformation in the sector, the benefits and challenges it presents, as well as the leading technologies and their prevalent applications. The study aim is to gain an understanding of digital transformation strategies and to understand the sector-specific factors that influence digitalization in the construction industry. This study adopted a qualitative research design that utilized both secondary data from the literature and primary data obtained through semi-structured interviews. The participants in this investigation were eight well-established Finnish construction companies with annual revenues spanning from 50 million to 50 billion EUR, and involved in diverse construction business ventures, including property development, renovation, infrastructure projects, and construction rental solutions. The empirical study employed was thematic and framework analysis for data processing and interpretation. The research findings indicate that digital transformation requires significant changes to organizational structure, business processes, and employee roles and responsibilities, and strong leadership support is crucial for success. Resistance to change is a significant barrier to digitalization, and construction firms need to focus on high-impact changes, identify pain points in current processes, and promote these changes internally to create a sense of excitement and motivation among the team. The implications of the research findings are significant for the construction industry, as they offer novel insights into strategies and best practices that can be employed to successfully implement digitalization in this sector.
Toivonen, Saija
Thesis advisor
Tähtinen, Lassi
Donoghue, Ilkka
digitalization, digital transformation, construction, leadership, change management
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