Exploring the interactions among factors impeding the diffusion of prefabricated building technologies: Fuzzy Cognitive Maps

Xiao Long Gan, Ruidong Chang, Craig Ashley Langston, Tao Wen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to identify the interactions of factors impacting the widespread adoption of prefabricated building technologies and the intervention strategies to facilitate the development of prefabrication based on fuzzy cognitive maps (FCMs).

Design/methodology/approach
Through in-depth interviews with six stakeholder groups, namely, the government, developers, designers, contractors, manufacturers and researchers, 13 critical factors were identified and used to construct stakeholder-grouped FCMs, which were further aggregated into a collective FCM. The complexity and density of the collective FCM and the centrality of factors in the FCM were examined. Subsequently, a series of “what-if” simulations of the collective FCM were conducted to analyze the effectiveness of different interventions in promoting prefabrication.

Findings
The results show that three factors including market demand, cost, and policies and regulations have been mentioned by all stakeholder groups. However, these factors were ranked differently by stakeholder groups, implying that different stakeholder groups perceive the barriers to prefabricated building technologies differently. FCM simulations show that strengthening policies and regulations yield the strongest overall effect stimulating prefabrication, alleviating the organizational and environmental barriers more than the technological barriers, while improving the knowledge and expertise alleviate the technological barriers more. These measures need to be accompanied by other approaches, such as reducing cost and improving quality.

Research limitations/implications
It is a tough task to promote prefabrication as it is affected by numerous barriers with complex interactions, which have been overlooked by previous studies. This study clearly shows which strategy could tackle which barriers to prefabrication through the FCM simulations. This provides valuable references for the enterprises’ decision making and the governments’ policy making to facilitate the diffusion of prefabricated building technologies.

Originality/value
Few studies aim to analyze the interactions among the barriers to prefabrication, while this study specifically investigates this issue by illustrating the complex interactions using FCMs. Few studies also aim to identify the intervention strategies promoting prefabrication based on a quantitative approach, while this study employs FCM simulations to directly simulate the effectiveness of different strategies to facilitate prefabrication in a quantitative manner.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)535-553
Number of pages19
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Volume26
Issue number3
Early online date2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Apr 2019

Fingerprint

Prefabricated construction
Fuzzy cognitive maps
Interaction
Factors
Contractors
Costs

Cite this

@article{ab7925e202df473f85812e8c74d18bfe,
title = "Exploring the interactions among factors impeding the diffusion of prefabricated building technologies: Fuzzy Cognitive Maps",
abstract = "PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to identify the interactions of factors impacting the widespread adoption of prefabricated building technologies and the intervention strategies to facilitate the development of prefabrication based on fuzzy cognitive maps (FCMs).Design/methodology/approachThrough in-depth interviews with six stakeholder groups, namely, the government, developers, designers, contractors, manufacturers and researchers, 13 critical factors were identified and used to construct stakeholder-grouped FCMs, which were further aggregated into a collective FCM. The complexity and density of the collective FCM and the centrality of factors in the FCM were examined. Subsequently, a series of “what-if” simulations of the collective FCM were conducted to analyze the effectiveness of different interventions in promoting prefabrication.FindingsThe results show that three factors including market demand, cost, and policies and regulations have been mentioned by all stakeholder groups. However, these factors were ranked differently by stakeholder groups, implying that different stakeholder groups perceive the barriers to prefabricated building technologies differently. FCM simulations show that strengthening policies and regulations yield the strongest overall effect stimulating prefabrication, alleviating the organizational and environmental barriers more than the technological barriers, while improving the knowledge and expertise alleviate the technological barriers more. These measures need to be accompanied by other approaches, such as reducing cost and improving quality.Research limitations/implicationsIt is a tough task to promote prefabrication as it is affected by numerous barriers with complex interactions, which have been overlooked by previous studies. This study clearly shows which strategy could tackle which barriers to prefabrication through the FCM simulations. This provides valuable references for the enterprises’ decision making and the governments’ policy making to facilitate the diffusion of prefabricated building technologies.Originality/valueFew studies aim to analyze the interactions among the barriers to prefabrication, while this study specifically investigates this issue by illustrating the complex interactions using FCMs. Few studies also aim to identify the intervention strategies promoting prefabrication based on a quantitative approach, while this study employs FCM simulations to directly simulate the effectiveness of different strategies to facilitate prefabrication in a quantitative manner.",
author = "Gan, {Xiao Long} and Ruidong Chang and Langston, {Craig Ashley} and Tao Wen",
year = "2019",
month = "4",
day = "15",
doi = "10.1108/ECAM-05-2018-0198",
language = "English",
volume = "26",
pages = "535--553",
journal = "Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management",
issn = "0969-9988",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing Limited",
number = "3",

}

Exploring the interactions among factors impeding the diffusion of prefabricated building technologies: Fuzzy Cognitive Maps. / Gan, Xiao Long; Chang, Ruidong; Langston, Craig Ashley; Wen, Tao.

In: Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 26, No. 3, 15.04.2019, p. 535-553.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - Exploring the interactions among factors impeding the diffusion of prefabricated building technologies: Fuzzy Cognitive Maps

AU - Gan, Xiao Long

AU - Chang, Ruidong

AU - Langston, Craig Ashley

AU - Wen, Tao

PY - 2019/4/15

Y1 - 2019/4/15

N2 - PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to identify the interactions of factors impacting the widespread adoption of prefabricated building technologies and the intervention strategies to facilitate the development of prefabrication based on fuzzy cognitive maps (FCMs).Design/methodology/approachThrough in-depth interviews with six stakeholder groups, namely, the government, developers, designers, contractors, manufacturers and researchers, 13 critical factors were identified and used to construct stakeholder-grouped FCMs, which were further aggregated into a collective FCM. The complexity and density of the collective FCM and the centrality of factors in the FCM were examined. Subsequently, a series of “what-if” simulations of the collective FCM were conducted to analyze the effectiveness of different interventions in promoting prefabrication.FindingsThe results show that three factors including market demand, cost, and policies and regulations have been mentioned by all stakeholder groups. However, these factors were ranked differently by stakeholder groups, implying that different stakeholder groups perceive the barriers to prefabricated building technologies differently. FCM simulations show that strengthening policies and regulations yield the strongest overall effect stimulating prefabrication, alleviating the organizational and environmental barriers more than the technological barriers, while improving the knowledge and expertise alleviate the technological barriers more. These measures need to be accompanied by other approaches, such as reducing cost and improving quality.Research limitations/implicationsIt is a tough task to promote prefabrication as it is affected by numerous barriers with complex interactions, which have been overlooked by previous studies. This study clearly shows which strategy could tackle which barriers to prefabrication through the FCM simulations. This provides valuable references for the enterprises’ decision making and the governments’ policy making to facilitate the diffusion of prefabricated building technologies.Originality/valueFew studies aim to analyze the interactions among the barriers to prefabrication, while this study specifically investigates this issue by illustrating the complex interactions using FCMs. Few studies also aim to identify the intervention strategies promoting prefabrication based on a quantitative approach, while this study employs FCM simulations to directly simulate the effectiveness of different strategies to facilitate prefabrication in a quantitative manner.

AB - PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to identify the interactions of factors impacting the widespread adoption of prefabricated building technologies and the intervention strategies to facilitate the development of prefabrication based on fuzzy cognitive maps (FCMs).Design/methodology/approachThrough in-depth interviews with six stakeholder groups, namely, the government, developers, designers, contractors, manufacturers and researchers, 13 critical factors were identified and used to construct stakeholder-grouped FCMs, which were further aggregated into a collective FCM. The complexity and density of the collective FCM and the centrality of factors in the FCM were examined. Subsequently, a series of “what-if” simulations of the collective FCM were conducted to analyze the effectiveness of different interventions in promoting prefabrication.FindingsThe results show that three factors including market demand, cost, and policies and regulations have been mentioned by all stakeholder groups. However, these factors were ranked differently by stakeholder groups, implying that different stakeholder groups perceive the barriers to prefabricated building technologies differently. FCM simulations show that strengthening policies and regulations yield the strongest overall effect stimulating prefabrication, alleviating the organizational and environmental barriers more than the technological barriers, while improving the knowledge and expertise alleviate the technological barriers more. These measures need to be accompanied by other approaches, such as reducing cost and improving quality.Research limitations/implicationsIt is a tough task to promote prefabrication as it is affected by numerous barriers with complex interactions, which have been overlooked by previous studies. This study clearly shows which strategy could tackle which barriers to prefabrication through the FCM simulations. This provides valuable references for the enterprises’ decision making and the governments’ policy making to facilitate the diffusion of prefabricated building technologies.Originality/valueFew studies aim to analyze the interactions among the barriers to prefabrication, while this study specifically investigates this issue by illustrating the complex interactions using FCMs. Few studies also aim to identify the intervention strategies promoting prefabrication based on a quantitative approach, while this study employs FCM simulations to directly simulate the effectiveness of different strategies to facilitate prefabrication in a quantitative manner.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85062457170&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1108/ECAM-05-2018-0198

DO - 10.1108/ECAM-05-2018-0198

M3 - Article

VL - 26

SP - 535

EP - 553

JO - Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

JF - Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

SN - 0969-9988

IS - 3

ER -