The construction industry’s environment is continually changing. Employees are now more
geographically widespread and diverse, both culturally and educationally, than ever before. A
great deal of research has been carried out on knowledge acquisition and storage, but there is
still a distinct lack of research into knowledge presentation and communication. Information
and knowledge presentation play a significant role in daily decision-making processes, when
inappropriate decisions may result from inaccurate or poorly communicated information. The
simplified, filtered coherent presentation of explicit knowledge can be instrumental to a
successful, profitable and safety conscious business.
Wates Construction is a major construction company and employs around 1300 people
directly, as well as various subcontractors on different projects. Their current turn over is
around £1billion, they are based in the UK and have branches in Ireland and Abu Dhabi.
Wates realised their existing information system was inefficiently conveying information to
its employees and the need to provide a simplified system, to assist staff’s decision-making
processes. Earlier IT professionals’ attempts to make the system more usable had made no
significant difference to its performance.
A dissertation thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of the degree Doctor of Engineering (EngD), at Loughborough University.