Construction 4.0 and Its Potential Impact on People Working in the Construction Industry

Sherratt, Fred and Dowsett, Ruth and Sherratt, Simon (2020) Construction 4.0 and Its Potential Impact on People Working in the Construction Industry. Proceedings of the ICE - Management, Procurement and Law, 173 (4). pp. 145-152. ISSN 1751-4312

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Construction 4.0 is bringing change to our industry through digitization and technological innovation. Such change deliberately impacts ‘traditional’ ways of working, as it actively seeks to disrupt the norm and so enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of construction project delivery. Yet technology is not neutral, it brings with it an autonomy and an amorality that is potentially cause for concern. Here we draw on Ellul’s theory of technique, as associated with technology, to unpack Construction 4.0 from critical perspectives and explore the potential it has to bring social and ethical challenges to our industry, and specifically its people. For example, trade workers may become usurped by technologies that automate their work, whilst professionals may find their roles within the design, engineering and construction processes become more heavily influenced and shaped by the technologies themselves. Indeed, the role of the ‘technology owner’ may become more powerful than any traditional profession in the future, as they become dominant actors within the construction industry space. This paper aims to stimulate discussion and debate in this area, and encourage the development of a more critical voice to supplement the technocratic optimism that currently surrounds Construction 4.0.

Item Type: Journal Article
Keywords: Construction 4.0, Ethics, Technique, Technology
Faculty: Faculty of Science & Engineering
SWORD Depositor: Symplectic User
Depositing User: Symplectic User
Date Deposited: 11 May 2020 08:50
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2021 18:52

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