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Constructing Teams: Adapting Practices and Routines for Collaboration Through BIM

The recent introduction of Building Information Modeling to design and construction has challenged teams to adjust work at all levels from project delivery strategies to day-to-day work practices. In this paper, we use ethnographic methods to study teamwork routines and practices as they adapt to new Building Information technologies. This paper leverages our understanding of conflicting obligations on construction project teams and the need for joint-problem solving messy talk to extend theories of routine adaptations and practice work-arounds, collectively called reconfiguration when team needs are misaligned with technology affordances. In this analysis, leadership that provides flexibility and distributed authority enables teams to reconfigure routines and practices and hack their tools. This reconfiguration processes itself has both direct and broad social outcomes: 1) the immediate team buy-in on new work processes as well as 2) longer term team culture building that enables messy talk engagement and orientation to project goals.


Neff, Gina and Carrie Sturts Dossick. “Constructing Teams: Adapting Practices and Routines for Collaboration Through BIM,” Proceedings of the Engineering Project Organizations Conference, Winter Park, CO, July, 15pp.


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