Developing Industry 4.0 applications: A social construction of technology approach

William H. Collinge, Carlos A. Osorio-Sandoval, Patrick Manu, Clara Cheung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The design and development of Industry 4.0 applications requires focused research work and close collaboration with the industry. Such an approach requires a balance between technical work and social interactions with industry partners: a social construction of technology (SCOT) perspective providing a lens for understanding how joint optimisation of the technical with the social dimension may be achieved. This chapter explores work conducted on the BIM risk library project: a successful three-year research collaboration to develop and launch a new BIM digital tool to assist designers with their health and safety work. Describing the activities undertaken, including ontology creation, industry workshops, software development and piloting of a digital tool, the technical and social interrelatedness is noted as critical to success. Application of concepts from the social construction of technology – technological frames, social groups, problems/solutions, closure/stabilisation – and wider context further clarify the evolution of the digital tool from conceptual idea to prize-winning application. The aim is to reinforce the importance of a social constructivist approach to technology development for the construction industry; the insights and reflections of the chapter, including the identification of SCOT optimisation triggers, are useful for Industry 4.0 technology developers and researchers active in the field.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Construction Safety, Health and Well-being in the Industry 4.0 Era
EditorsPatrick Manu, Gao Shang, Paulo Jorge Silva Bartolo, Valerie Francis, Anil Sawhney
Place of PublicationAbingdon
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9781003213796
ISBN (Print)9781032079929
Publication statusPublished - 12 Apr 2023


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