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  • Samuelson, Olle; Björk, Bo-Christer (2011)
    Three strategically important uses of IT in the construction industry are the storage and management of project documents on webservers (EDM), the electronic handling of orders and invoices between companies (EDI) and the use of 3-D models including non-geometrical attributes for integrated design and construction (BIM). In a broad longitudinal survey study of IT use in the Swedish Construction Industry the extent of use of these techniques was measured in 1998, 2000 and 2007. The results showed that EDM and EDI are currently already well-established techniques whereas BIM, although it promises the biggest potential benefits to the industry, only seems to be at the beginning of adoption. In a follow-up to the quantitative studies, the factors affecting the decisions to implement EDM, EDI and BIM as well as the actual adoption processes, were studied using semi-structured interviews with practitioners. The theoretical basis for the interview studies was informed by theoretical frameworks from IT-adoption theory, where in particular the UTAUT model has provided the main basis for the analyses presented here. The results showed that the decisions to take the above technologies into use are made on three differ- ent levels: the individual level, the organizational level in the form of a company, and the organiza- tional level in the form of a project. The different patterns in adoption can to some part be explained by where the decisions are mainly taken. EDM is driven from the organisation/project level, EDI mainly from the organisation/company level, and BIM is driven by individuals pioneering the technique.
  • Björk, Bo-Christer (Arnolds, 2002)
    A model of the information and material activities that comprise the overall construction process is presented, using the SADT activity modelling methodology. The basic model is further refined into a number of generic information handling activities such as creation of new information, information search and retrieval, information distribution and person-to-person communication. The viewpoint could be described as information logistics. This model is then combined with a more traditional building process model, consisting of phases such as design and construction. The resulting two-dimensional matrix can be used for positioning different types of generic IT-tools or construction specific applications. The model can thus provide a starting point for a discussion of the application of information and communication technology in construction and for measurements of the impacts of IT on the overall process and its related costs.
  • Samuelson, Olov; Björk, Bo-Christer (Elsevier BV, 2014)
    The rapid development of IT technology has in the past three decades created opportunities for faster and more efficient processes as well as innovative new working methods in the building industry. This paper presents the results of a longitudinal survey-based study (the ”IT barometer”) of IT use in the Swedish building industry, conducted at several intervals over the period 1998-2011. The results show a rapid increase in general IT use as well as in the use of sector-specific tools. Improving communication and information sharing is a strong driving force for taking IT into use, for instance technologies such as EDM and EDI, although the adoption of the more complex applications (ie BIM) is slower. Interestingly “demands from employees” has over the years become a very important reason for companies to increase their IT use. Leading areas for planned IT investments include document handling and mobile equipment, with BIM technology rather low on the list.
  • Björk, Bo-Christer; Öörni, Anssi (Elsevier, 2009)
    When authors of scholarly articles decide where to submit their manuscripts for peer review and eventual publication, they often base their choice of journals on very incomplete information abouthow well the journals serve the authors’ purposes of informing about their research and advancing their academic careers. The purpose of this study was to develop and test a new method for benchmarking scientific journals, providing more information to prospective authors. The method estimates a number of journal parameters, including readership, scientific prestige, time from submission to publication, acceptance rate and service provided by the journal during the review and publication process. Data directly obtainable from the web, data that can be calculated from such data, data obtained from publishers and editors, and data obtained using surveys with authors are used in the method, which has been tested on three different sets of journals, each from a different discipline. We found a number of problems with the different data acquisition methods, which limit the extent to which the method can be used. Publishers and editors are reluctant to disclose important information they have at hand (i.e. journal circulation, web downloads, acceptance rate). The calculation of some important parameters (for instance average time from submission to publication, regional spread of authorship) can be done but requires quite a lot of work. It can be difficult to get reasonable response rates to surveys with authors. All in all we believe that the method we propose, taking a “service to authors” perspective as a basis for benchmarking scientific journals, is useful and can provide information that is valuable to prospective authors in selected scientific disciplines.
  • Lundgren, Berndt; Björk, Bo-Christer (2004)
    The ProFacil model is a generic process model defined as a framework model showing the links between the facilities management process and the building end user’s business process. The purpose of using the model is to support more detailed process modelling. The model has been developed using the IDEF0 modelling method. The ProFacil model describes business activities from the generalized point of view as management-, support-, and core processes and their relations. The model defines basic activities in the provision of a facility. Examples of these activities are “operate facilities”, “provide new facilities”, “provide re-build facilities”, “provide maintained facilities” and “perform dispose of facilities”. These are all generic activities providing a basis for a further specialisation of company specific FM activities and their tasks. A facilitator can establish a specialized process model using the ProFacil model and interacting with company experts to describe their company’s specific processes. These modelling seminars or interviews will be done in an informal way, supported by the high-level process model as a common reference.
  • Björk, Bo-Christer; Holmström, Jonas (ALSPS, 2006)
    Authors of scholarly papers to a large extent base the decision on where to submit their manuscripts on the prestige of journals, taking little account of other possible factors. Information concerning such factors is in fact often not available. This paper argues for the establishment of methods for benchmarking scientific journals, taking into account a wider range of journal performance parameters than is currently available. A model for how prospective authors determine the value of submitting to a particular journal is presented. The model includes eight factors that influence an author’s decision and 21 other underlying factors. The model is a qualitative one. The method proposes to benchmark groups of journals by application of the factors. Initial testing of the method has been undertaken in one discipline.
  • Howard, Rob; Björk, Bo-Christer (Elsevier, 2008)
    The goal of the single building information model has existed for at least thirty years and various standards have been published leading up to the ten-year development of the Industry Foundation Classes. These have been initiatives from researchers, software developers and standards committees. Now large property owners are becoming aware of the benefits of moving IT tools from specific applications towards more comprehensive solutions. This study addresses the state of Building Information Models and the conditions necessary for them to become more widely used. It is a qualitative study based on information from a number of international experts and has asked a series of questions about the feasibility of BIMs, the conditions necessary for their success, and the role of standards with particular reference to the IFCs. Some key statements were distilled from the diverse answers received and indicate that BIM solutions appear too complex for many and may need to be applied in limited areas initially. Standards are generally supported but not applied rigorously and a range of these are relevant to BIM. Benefits will depend upon the building procurement methods used and there should be special roles within the project team to manage information. Case studies are starting to appear and these could be used for publicity. The IFCs are rather oversold and their complexities should be hidden within simple-to-use software. Inevitably major questions remain and property owners may be the key to answering some of these. A framework for presenting standards, backed up by case studies of successful projects, is the solution proposed to provide better information on where particular BIM standards and solutions should be applied in building projects.
  • Björk, Bo-Christer; Laakso, Mikael (Elsevier, 2010)
    There has been a demand for uniform CAD standards in the construction industry ever since the large-scale introduction of computer aided design systems in the late 1980s. While some standards have been widely adopted without much formal effort, other standards have failed to gain support even though considerable resources have been allocated for the purpose. Establishing a standard concerning building information modeling has been one particularly active area of industry development and scientific interest within recent years. In this paper, four different standards are discussed as cases: the IGES and DXF/DWG standards for representing the graphics in 2D drawings, the ISO 13567 standard for the structuring of building information on layers, and the IFC standard for building product models. Based on a literature study combined with two qualitative interview studies with domain experts, a process model is proposed to describe and interpret the contrasting histories of past CAD standardisation processes.
  • Laakso, Mikael; Björk, Bo-Christer (John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 2013)
    Delayed open access (OA) refers to scholarly articles in subscription journals made available openly on the web directly through the publisher at the expiry of a set embargo period. Though a substantial number of journals have practiced delayed OA since they started publishing e-versions, empirical studies concerning open access have often overlooked this body of literature. This study provides comprehensive quantitative measurements by identifying delayed OA journals, collecting data concerning their publication volumes, embargo lengths, and citation rates. Altogether 492 journals were identified, publishing a combined total of 111 312 articles in 2011. 77,8 % of these articles were made open access within 12 months from publication, with 85,4 % becoming available within 24 months. A journal impact factor analysis revealed that delayed OA journals have on average twice as high average citation rates compared to closed subscription journals, and three times as high as immediate OA journals. Overall the results demonstrate that delayed OA journals constitute an important segment of the openly available scholarly journal literature, both by their sheer article volume as well as by including a substantial proportion of high impact journals.
  • Laakso, Mikael (CRC Press, 2009)
    The industry foundation classes (IFC) file format is one of the most complex and ambitious IT standardization projects currently being undertaken in any industry, focusing on the development of an open and neutral standard for exchanging building model data. Scientific literature related to the IFC standard has dominantly been technical so far; research looking at the IFC standard from an industry standardization per- spective could offer valuable new knowledge for both theory and practice. This paper proposes the use of IT standardization and IT adoption theories, supported by studies done within construction IT, to lay a theoretical foundation for further empirical analysis of the standardization process of the IFC file format.
  • Björk, Bo-Christer (Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), 2003)
    Electronic document management (EDM) technology has the potential to enhance the information management in construction projects considerably, without radical changes to current practice. Over the past fifteen years this topic has been overshadowed by building product modelling in the construction IT research world, but at present EDM is quickly being introduced in practice, in particular in bigger projects. Often this is done in the form of third party services available over the World Wide Web. In the paper, a typology of research questions and methods is presented, which can be used to position the individual research efforts which are surveyed in the paper. Questions dealt with include: What features should EMD systems have? How much are they used? Are there benefits from use and how should these be measured? What are the barriers to wide-spread adoption? Which technical questions need to be solved? Is there scope for standardisation? How will the market for such systems evolve?
  • Hjelt, Mathias; Björk, Bo-Christer (American Society of Civil Engineers, 2007)
    This article reports on a cross-sectional case study of a large construction project in which Electronic document management (EDM) was used. Attitudes towards EDM from the perspective of individual end users were investigated. Responses from a survey were combined with data from system usage log files to obtain an overview of attitudes prevalent in different user segments of the total population of 334 users. The survey was followed by semi-structured interviews with representative users. A strong majority of users from all segments of the project group considered EDM as a valuable aid in their work processes, despite certain functional limitations of the system used and the complexity of the information mass. Based on the study a model describing the key factors affecting end user EDM adoption is proposed. The model draws on insight from earlier studies of EDM enabled projects and theoretical frameworks on technology acceptance and success of information systems, as well as the insights gained from the case study.
  • Nyman, Linus Morten (2013)
    While significant factors that affect the open source community’s interest to participate in a development project have been studied, there has been little focus on the motivating factors that can cause a contributor to become a competitor by utilizing the right to fork a program i.e., to copy an existing program’s code base and use it to begin a separate development. The right to copy an existing program’s code base and use it to begin a separate development is guaranteed by all open source licenses. However, this right to fork a program is rarely exercised. Indeed, there is strong social pressure against code forking stemming from the negative side effects of code forking, such as conflict and duplicated efforts among developers. This paper details the events that led Widenius, the founder of the MySQL project, to decide to fork MariaDB from MySQL. Our findings confirm the previously held notion that there is a high threshold for starting a competing fork. While the few studies that exist of competitive forks find the reasons to be due to disagreement among developers, in the case of MariaDB the fork was caused by Widenius’ concerns regarding the uncertainty of the future freedom and openness of the MySQL codebase. This article makes three contributions. Firstly, it further validates the existing notion that there is a strong threshold to starting a competing fork. Secondly, it offers an in-depth analysis of the events and motivations behind the birth of a fork. Thirdly, it contributes to theory by introducing the freedom factor hypothesis: limiting either developers’ freedoms to contribute to a project or the freedom inherent in a project's license increases the likelihood of a fork.
  • Aaltonen, Aleksi (2011)
    In this paper we propose a theoretical framework to understand the governance of internet-mediated social production. Focusing on one of the most popular websites and reference tools, Wikipedia, we undertake an exploratory theoretical analysis to clarify the structure and mechanisms driving the endogenous change of a large-scale social production system. We argue that the popular transactions costs approach underpinning many of the analyses is an insufficient framework for unpacking the evolutionary character of governance. The evolution of Wikipedia and its shifting modes of governance can be better framed as a process of building a collective capability, namely the capability of editing and managing a new kind of encyclopedia. We understand Wikipedia evolution as a learning phenomenon that gives over time rise to governance mechanisms and structures as endogenous responses to the problems and conditions that the ongoing development of Wikipedia itself has produced over the years. Finally, we put forward five empirical hypotheses to test the theoretical framework.
  • Björk, Bo-Christer; Turk, Ziga (Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), 2000)
    The World Wide Web provides the opportunity for a radically changed and much more efficient communication process for scientific results. A survey in the closely related domains of construction information technology and construction management was conducted in February 2000, aimed at measuring to what extent these opportunities are already changing the scientific information exchange and how researchers feel about the changes. The paper presents the results based on 236 replies to an extensive Web based questionnaire. 65% of the respondents stated their primary research interest as IT in A/E/C and 20% as construction management and economics. The questions dealt with how researchers find, access and read different sources; how much and what publications they read; how often and to which conferences they travel; how much they publish, and what are the criteria for where they eventually decide to publish. Some of the questions confronted traditional and electronic publishing with one final section dedicated to opinions about electronic publishing. According to the survey researchers already download half of the material that they read digitally from the Web. The most popular method for retrieving an interesting publication is downloading it for free from the author’s or publisher’s website. Researchers are not particularly willing to pay for electronic scientific publications. There is much support for a scenario of electronic journals available totally freely on the Web, where the costs could be covered by for instance professional societies or the publishing university. The shift that the Web is causing seems to be towards the "just in time" reading of literature. Also, frequent users of the Web rely less on scientific publications and tend to read fewer articles. If available with little effort, papers published in traditional journals are preferred; if not, the papers should be on the Web. In these circumstances, the role of paper-based journals published by established publishers is shifting from the core "information exchange" to the building of authors' prestige. The respondents feel they should build up their reputations by publishing in journals and relevant conferences, but then make their work freely available on the Web.
  • Björk, Bo-Christer; Turk, Ziga (Michigan University Press, 2000)
    The current mainstream scientific-publication process has so far been only marginally affected by the possibilities offered by the Internet, despite some pioneering attempts with free electronic-only journals and electronic preprint archives. Additional electronic versions of traditional paper journals for which one needs a subscription are not a solution. A clear trend, for young researchers in particular, is to go around subscription barriers (both for paper and electronic material) and rely almost exclusively on what they can find free on the Internet, which often includes working versions posted on the home pages of the authors. A survey of how scientists retrieve publications was conducted in February 2000, aimed at measuring to what extent the opportunities offered by the Internet are already changing the scientific information exchange and how researchers feel about this. This paper presents the results based on 236 replies to an extensive Web-based questionnaire, which was announced to around 3,000 researchers in the domains of construction information technology and construction management. The questions dealt with how researchers find, access, and read different sources; how many and what publications they read; how often and to which conferences they travel; how much they publish, and criteria for where they eventually decide to publish. Some of the questions confronted traditional and electronic publishing, with one final section dedicated to opinions about electronic publishing. According to the survey, researchers already download half of the material that they read digitally from the Web. The most popular method for retrieving an interesting publication is downloading it for free from the author's or publisher's Web site. Researchers are not particularly willing to pay for electronic scientific publications. There is much support for a scenario of electronic journals available freely in their entirety on the Web, where the costs could be covered by, for instance, professional societies or the publishing university.
  • Björk, Bo-Christer (SETO, 1999)
    This article discusses the scope of research on the application of information technology in construction (ITC). A model of the information and material activities which together constitute the construction process is presented, using the IDEF0 activity modelling methodology. Information technology is defined to include all kinds of technology used for the storage, transfer and manipulation of information, thus also including devices such as copying machines, faxes and mobile phones. Using the model the domain of ITC research is defined as the use of information technology to facilitate and re-engineer the information process component of construction. Developments during the last decades in IT use in construction is discussed against a background of a simplified model of generic information processing tasks. The scope of ITC is compared with the scopes of research in related areas such as design methodology, construction management and facilities management. Health care is proposed as an interesting alternative (to the often used car manufacturing industry), as an IT application domain to compare with. Some of the key areas of ITC research in recent years; expert systems, company IT strategies, and product modelling are shortly discussed. The article finishes with a short discussion of the problems of applying standard scientific methodology in ITC research, in particular in product model research.
  • Björk, Bo-Christer; Löwnertz, Kurt; Kiviniemi, Arto (Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), 1997)
    Layering is a widely used method for structuring data in CAD-models. During the last few years national standardisation organisations, professional associations, user groups for particular CAD-systems, individual companies etc. have issued numerous standards and guidelines for the naming and structuring of layers in building design. In order to increase the integration of CAD data in the industry as a whole ISO recently decided to define an international standard for layer usage. The resulting standard proposal, ISO 13567, is a rather complex framework standard which strives to be more of a union than the least common denominator of the capabilities of existing guidelines. A number of principles have been followed in the design of the proposal. The first one is the separation of the conceptual organisation of information (semantics) from the way this information is coded (syntax). The second one is orthogonality - the fact that many ways of classifying information are independent of each other and can be applied in combinations. The third overriding principle is the reuse of existing national or international standards whenever appropriate. The fourth principle allows users to apply well-defined subsets of the overall superset of possible layernames. This article describes the semantic organisation of the standard proposal as well as its default syntax. Important information categories deal with the party responsible for the information, the type of building element shown, whether a layer contains the direct graphical description of a building part or additional information needed in an output drawing etc. Non-mandatory information categories facilitate the structuring of information in rebuilding projects, use of layers for spatial grouping in large multi-storey projects, and storing multiple representations intended for different drawing scales in the same model. Pilot testing of ISO 13567 is currently being carried out in a number of countries which have been involved in the definition of the standard. In the article two implementations, which have been carried out independently in Sweden and Finland, are described. The article concludes with a discussion of the benefits and possible drawbacks of the standard. Incremental development within the industry, (where ”best practice” can become ”common practice” via a standard such as ISO 13567), is contrasted with the more idealistic scenario of building product models. The relationship between CAD-layering, document management product modelling and building element classification is also discussed.
  • Aaltonen, Aleksi (2011)
    How does a new medium create its audience? This study takes the business model of commercial media as its starting point and identifies industrial audience measurement as a constitutive operation in creating the sellable asset of advertising- funded companies. The study employs a qualitative case study design to analyse how a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) company harnesses digital behavioural records generated by computational network infrastructure to turn network subscribers into an advertising audience product. The empirical evidence is based on a three-months intensive fieldwork at the company office. The analysis reveals comprehensiveness, openness and granularity as the historically new attributes of computational data vis-à-vis traditional audience measurement arrangements. These attributes are then juxtaposed with four kinds of business analytical operations (automatic data aggregation procedures, the use of software reporting tools, organizational reporting practices and custom analyses) observed at the research site to assess how does computational media environment rule key audiencemaking practices. Finally, the implications of this analytical infrastructure are reflected upon three sets of organizational practices. The theoretical framework for the analysis is composed by critically assessing constructivist approaches (SCOT, ANT and sociomateriality) for studying technology and by discussing an approach inspired by critical realism to overcome their limitations with respect to the objectives of the study. The findings contribute toward innovating new digital services, information systems (IS) theory and the study of media audiences. The case opens up considerable complexity involved in establishing a new kind of advertising audience and, more generally, a platform business. Sending out advertisements is easy compared to demonstrating that somebody is actually receiving them. The three computational attributes both extend and provide summative validity for mid-range theorizing on how computational objects mediate organizational practices and processes. Finally, the analysis reveals an interactive nature of digital audience stemming from the direct and immediate behavioural feedback in an audiencemaking cycle.
  • Lindman, Juho; Rossi, Matti; Puustell, Anna (I E E E, 2011)
    Choosing Open Source Software License and Corresponding Business Model