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Analysing functionalities of project extranets in construction: a provision and requirement approach

Liu, N 2010, Analysing functionalities of project extranets in construction: a provision and requirement approach , PhD thesis, Salford : University of Salford.

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    Abstract

    Project extranets are adopted to improve information management, communication and collaborative working in construction industry. Previous studies have demonstrated their development, evolution and implementation. The benefits, barriers and success factors surrounding the use of project extranets are also documented. However, although the general functionalities of project extranets have been identified and described, there is still a lack of systematic way to analyze the functionalities provided by different systems and required by various users. To bridge this gap, this research develops a novel approach aiming to find the differences, major components and potential improvements from the integrated analysis to systems' provisions and user requirements. This approach, named, Provision & Requirement (P&R) approach starts with the reviews to the development and use of project extranets and outlines the characteristics of such systems. It has then listed and grouped the function and associated features into some categories, in order to set the criteria for the analysis from system provisions and user requirements. Afterwards, it conducts investigations by case study and questionnaire survey, aiming to gather functionalities provided by selected sample systems and to elicit user requirements to the listed functionalities. The results help the author to classify the functionalities hierarchically based on their availability in the products and users' preferences. The investigations have therefore established the fundament for proposing the P&R approach and conduct further analysis by comparing the provisions and requirements. Through the analysis, the author reaches research findings, by presenting the differences, major components and possible improvements of functionalities of project extranets. Later, the research findings are validated and proposed approach is consolidated by interviews, leading to the answers to the research questions and concluding research outcomes. The main contribution of this research is that it develops a novel approach to analyze functionalities in project extranets. This approach aims to integrate both systems provisions and user requirements into consideration. By doing so, this approach studies system vendors and users' perspectives to functionality issues, to reflect their respective attitude and make the comparison, in order that researchers can have wider knowledge from different research angles and achieve the balance on the issues of systems' provisions and user requirements. So, this research has established a holistic approach of analysing functionalities of project extranets, rather than focusing only on one part from either vendors or users, which in return has contributed to its uniqueness and distinctiveness. The result may be useful to system vendors, customers and researchers involved in the development and implementation of project extranets or other web-based information systems. The research has put forward to the ideas for other similar research, with more holistic consideration to all stakeholders involved in the studied topics. It can also be used to develop other methodologies that consider the adaptation of elements of one industry's practice to another, thus satisfying other research gaps.

    Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
    Contributors: Kagioglou, M(Supervisor)
    Additional Information:
    Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology
    Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment
    Depositing User: Institutional Repository
    Date Deposited: 03 Oct 2012 14:34
    Last Modified: 17 Feb 2014 15:43
    URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/26777

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