Investigating major challenges for industry 4.0 adoption among construction companies

Sevilay Demirkesen, Algan Tezel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

67 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to explore the challenges hindering the adoption of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) among construction companies. Design/methodology/approach: The construction industry needs innovative technologies due to its complex and dynamic nature. In this respect, the latest trends such as digitalization, building information modeling (BIM), Internet of things (IoT) are of utmost importance in terms of fostering the change in managing projects and encouraging industry practitioners to adopt the change for better performance. This paper focuses on I4.0adoption among construction companies. In this respect, a questionnaire was designed and administered to construction professionals to reveal the challenges in I4.0 adoption among construction firms. The respondents were requested to fill in the questionnaire on the I4.0 efforts of their companies. The questionnaire was intended to collect the perceptions of industry practitioners working at large construction companies. Based on these, the challenges listed were ranked based on their relative importance and success indices. Finally, the Mann–Whitney U test was conducted to test whether statistically significant responses exist among groups of respondents (i.e. young and old companies, large and small, high and low revenue and main area of expertise). Findings: The results of the study indicated that resistance to change, unclear benefits and gains and cost of implementation are the major important challenges in terms of I4.0 adoption in construction projects. On the other hand, the data analysis implied that the majority of construction organizations successfully deal with the problems arising from lack of standardization, legal and contractual issues and cost of implementing in terms of promoting I4.0 adoption. Research limitations/implications: The study is expected to guide construction practitioners in terms of benefitting from I4.0 applications and deliver projects with better outcomes. This study might be used as a guide for the companies aiming to start their I4.0 transformation knowing the challenges and develop strategies for how to handle them. A concrete plan would help them achieve greater performance and benefit from the I4.0 implementation at the maximum level. Finally, the study implies that construction firms shall prepare action plans for handling each challenge listed and monitor their performance based on the planned and actual data of their projects. Originality/value: This study investigates the major challenges of I4.0 among construction companies. This is one of the important studies, which puts I4.0 focus forefront of the construction industry with a clear identification of challenges that construction organizations have to address to transform their organizations into construction 4.0. The study has the potential to guide both industry practitioners and researchers to develop awareness for the benefits of using the latest technology and fostering innovation. This is expected to create value for construction clients in terms of achieving the product with serious gains such as time and cost.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1470-1503
Number of pages34
JournalEngineering, Construction and Architectural Management
Issue number3
Early online date29 Apr 2021
Publication statusPublished - 24 Mar 2022


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