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CAD adoption in the Swedish architectural industry: IT and the professional service sector
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Umeå School of Business and Economics (USBE), Business Administration.
2001 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The adoption of information technology (IT) is an intensive and ongoing process in society. All types of firms, but especially service firms, tend to adopt IT. Professional services, a sub-section of the service sector, are heavy users of IT. These firms are special because their business builds on the knowledge of the people in the firm. Therefore, tt is of special interest to study the impact of IT in these firms.

The impact of IT in professional service firms is identified in four ways: service quality, competitive advantage, bottomline (management visions), and industry structure. The empirical focus is on the Swedish architectural industry and the adoption of CAD in this industry. Two extensive surveys each consisting of several in-depth interviews and a mailed questionnaire provide the empirical data. The research design is longitudinal and changes in the industry were observed. In special focus were the differences between the firms that had CAD—adopter firms—and firms that did not have CAD—non-adopters.

Both the architects and their clients rated services performed with CAD to have better quality; e.g., the cooperation was eased by the use of this technology. The findings also suggest that CAD may be used as a competitive tool in the industry. The adopters increased their productivity significantly more than the non-adopters did between the two surveys and the adopters had significantly more loyal clients. CAD seems to be a tool that accentuates the differences between the adopter and the non-adopter firms.

The results suggest that adopters and non-adopters develop into two different types of firms. The characteristics of these firms indicate that a division of the industry appeared. For example, the adopters were significantly larger than the non-adopters and plans to expand their business. One explanation to the disparity between these two types of firms may be the differences in management vision. The adopters may be characterized as progressive firms and the nonadopters as traditional firms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå Universitet , 2001. , 263 p.
Studier i företagsekonomi. Serie B, ISSN 0346-8291 ; 45
Keyword [en]
professional service, information technology, service quality, competitive advantage, bottomlines, management visions, industry structure, dynamic service quality, CAD, architectural firms, innovation
Keyword [sv]
Arkitektkontor, Informationsteknik, Datorstödd konstruktion, Sverige
National Category
Business Administration
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-94093ISBN: 91-7305-066-0OAI: diva2:752719
Public defence
2001-09-28, Humanisthuset, Hörsal G, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:15

Diss. Umeå : Univ., 2001

Available from: 2014-10-06 Created: 2014-10-03 Last updated: 2015-04-08Bibliographically approved

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CAD Adoption in the Swedish Architectural Industry(18743 kB)235 downloads
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Boström, Gert-Olof
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