Lost in Translation : A case of BIM implementation at a large public client

Sammanfattning: The technology of Building Information Modelling (BIM) is being introduced to the Architectural, Engineering and Construction (AEC) industry. This industry is generally perceived as being fragmented, having low productivity and with a low rate of innovation. BIM is presented as new paradigm within this industry, enabling inter-organisational collaboration, overall increasing quality while simultaneously lowering costs. But widespread BIM implementation has not yet taken place. In order to increase adoption, public client organisations have been argued to be the actors needed to initiate and drive the implementation of BIM. However, the client perspective of such implementation initiatives has not been the main focus of earlier research.In this licentiate thesis the BIM implementation process conducted by the largest infrastructure client in Sweden is analysed. This organisation implements BIM both to benefit their own organisation but also to increase productivity and innovation within the whole infrastructure branch of the AEC-industry. With the purpose of increasing the understanding of technology driven change processes at public client organisations, the BIM implementation at this organisation is analysed as an empirical example. The case study is analysed by a theoretical framework taking inspiration from Actor-Network theory and Sociology of Translation. Based on this analysis the translation process, where key actors are identified and enrolled into using BIM are described. The analysis reveals a complex network of actors linked to the implementation in question. Instead of a single BIM concept, several different and sometimes conflicting interpretations of BIM are simultaneously being translated.This licentiate thesis problematizes the role of client organisations in initiating change within a network of actors. The main ways of enrolling actors into using BIM have in the studied case been the development of new demand documents. This strategy has however been problematic as the new demands for BIM have not been accepted as intended within many construction projects. Instead, the results of this thesis argue for the importance of client organisations as negotiators, not only needed to establish demand for a new innovation.