New technology development within the construction sector often stems from the appeal of replicating efficiencies seen in other sectors such as automation and manufacturing. As such, construction firms are increasingly engaging in collaborative research and development (R&D) projects with sector specialists e.g. software vendors and OEMs. These R&D projects create new communities of practice with a shared collection of knowledge, experience, and problem-solving approaches representing the disparate expertise of each member that contributes to the development of new and innovative technological solutions. However, fundamental epistemological differences between the collaborating firms can hinder this process. Shared knowledge and experience to develop ideas is not easily communicated across a project team within which each member possesses a differing approach to understanding the common problem.
The proposed PhD will explore the process of communication within cross-sectoral collaborative R&D projects within the construction industry. A key focus of the research will be on understanding the challenges of boundaries across epistemic communities in achieving knowledge integration and innovation. Findings will contribute to an understanding of the problems faced within cross-sector collaboration in the construction sector and provide further insights into issues surrounding technology development in the sector.
Candidates should have an interest in and, ideally some background or experience in, construction management, business and management, and/or social sciences.