Exploring Individual Adaptability as a Prerequisite for Adjusting to Technological Changes in Construction

Derek Asante Abankwa*, Rita Yi Man Li, Steve Rowlinson, Yadi Li

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterResearchpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


The advances in globalisation and technology have had significant impacts on the work environment, as they make various jobs more dynamic and fast-paced. Changing technologies such as digital transformation and automation require employees to adapt to new ways of working. To prevent the resistance to change, adaptive employees have become essential ingreidents for organisation’s success. This study considers the reactive approach of individual adaptability, which is seen as modifying one's behaviour to meet the demands of a new situation, event or a changing environment. The study employed an exploratory research approach to understand the concept of individual adaptability to technological changes in construction organisations. It involved semi-structured in-depth interviews with three top management professionals and four construction workers from four different firms. These organisations were selected based on their number of employees, main construction business as contractors and investments towards technological changes. The findings indicated that individual adaptability is a performance construct instead of a personal characteristic. Workers are not involved in the decision-making processes regarding technological changes. Furthermore, the difficulties in implementing technological changes mainly consist of changing the mindset of workers, who have used the same method for a long time, and a lack of investment in innovation methods. The study identifies leadership, experience and open-mindedness as the predictors of adaptation to new technology. Workers consider learning through training as adaptive behaviour in technologically advanced environments. We propose future empirical studies on adaptability and trainability.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCollaboration and Integration in Construction, Engineering, Management and Technology Proceedings of the 11th International Conference on Construction in the 21st Century, London 2019
EditorsSyed M. Ahmed, Paul Hampton, Salman Azhar, Amelia D. Saul
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer Nature Switzerland AG
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-030-48465-1
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-48467-5, 978-3-030-48464-4
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameAdvances in Science, Technology and Innovation
ISSN (Print)2522-8714
ISSN (Electronic)2522-8722


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