Imperial College London

ProfessorJenniferWhyte

Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Laing O'Rourke/RAEng Chair in Systems Integration
 
 
 
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Contact

 

+44 (0)20 7594 9245j.whyte Website

 
 
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Assistant

 

Mr Tim Gordon +44 (0)20 7594 5031

 
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Location

 

436Skempton BuildingSouth Kensington Campus

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Summary

 

Publications

Publication Type
Year
to

67 results found

Hall DM, Whyte JK, Lessing J, 2019, Mirror-breaking strategies to enable digital manufacturing in Silicon Valley construction firms: a comparative case study, CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT AND ECONOMICS, ISSN: 0144-6193

Journal article

Zhang R, Zhou A, Tahmasebi S, Whyte Jet al., 2019, Long-standing themes and new developments in offsite construction: the case of UK housing, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Civil Engineering, Pages: 1-34, ISSN: 0965-089X

This paper reviews the evolution of offsite construction methods in UK housing over the past 15 years and puts this in an international context. Long-standing themes include targets for construction productivity, challenges of labour shortages and skills, desire to learn across sectors and a need to develop new business models. Newer developments include research and development funding through the UK government’s ‘transforming construction’ initiative, higher pre-manufactured value and increased digitisation. The paper concludes with recommendations for practice, policy and research.

Journal article

Mosca L, Whyte J, Zhang R, Regional Innovation Systems and the Transformation of construction into a Manufacturing Process., 35th Annual ARCOM conference

Conference paper

Whyte J, Comi A, Jaradat S, 2019, Constructing shared professional vision in design work: the role of visual objects and their material mediation, Design Studies, ISSN: 0142-694X

Journal article

Whyte JK, 2019, How digital information transforms project delivery models, Project Management Journal, Vol: 50, Pages: 177-194, ISSN: 1938-9507

This study articulates how increasingly pervasive digital information transforms project delivery models. It builds on and extends literatures on innovation and knowledge codification, analysing London’s evolving digital innovation ecosystem across fifteen years of industry/government initiatives and infrastructure megaprojects. Findings suggests profound and ongoing changes in digitally-enabled project delivery models. Novel contributions are: first, to identify new generations of integrated solutions; second, to articulate changes in supply-chains and relationships with owners, operators and end-users; and third, to recognize the growing importance of digital workflows and analytics, rather than documents. There are implications for project management practice and scholarship.

Journal article

Tee R, Davies A, Whyte JK, 2019, Modular designs and integrating practices: managing collaboration through coordination and cooperation, Research Policy, Vol: 48, Pages: 51-61, ISSN: 0048-7333

Collaboration in large-scale projects introduces challenges involving both coordination (the ability to collaborate) as well as cooperation (the willingness to do so). Existing research has shown how modular designs can improve coordination by locating interdependencies within rather than between different modules. Based on an in-depth case study of collaboration in a large-scale infrastructure project, our study highlights an effect of modularity on collaboration that previously has been overlooked. Specifically, we show that while modular designs may help overcome coordination challenges by reducing interdependencies between modules, they can in turn hamper collaboration by emphasizing specialization within modules. Therefore, though existing work typically perceives modularity and integration as opposites, we clarify how they can also act as complements. In particular, we show how firms need to complement modular designs with integrating practices that stimulate cooperation. Overall, we contribute to the literature on collaboration and modularity by explaining when and how organizations can combine modularity and integration.

Journal article

Comi A, Whyte J, 2018, Future making and visual artefacts: an ethnographic study of a design project, Organization Studies, Vol: 39, Pages: 1055-1083, ISSN: 1741-3044

Current research on strategizing and organizing has explored how practitioners make sense of an uncertain future, but provides limited explanations of how they actually make a realizable course of action for the future. A focus on making rather than sensemaking brings into view the visual artefacts that practitioners use in giving form to what is ‘not yet’ – drawings, models and sketches. We explore how visual artefacts are used in making a realizable course of action, by analysing ethnographic data from an architectural studio designing a development strategy for their client. We document how visual artefacts become enrolled in practices of imagining, testing, stabilizing and reifying, through which abstract imaginings of the future are turned into a realizable course of action. We then elaborate on higher-order findings that are generalizable to a wide range of organizational settings, and discuss their implications for future research in strategizing and organizing. This paper contributes in two ways: first, it offers future making as an alternative perspective on how practitioners orient themselves towards the future (different from current perspectives such as foreseeing, future perfect thinking and wayfinding). Second, it advances our understanding of visual artefacts and their performativity in the making of organizational futures.

Journal article

Senthilvel M, K Soman R, Mahalingam A, Whyte J, Raphael B, Brilakis I, Varghese Ket al., Towards Digital Delivery of Metro-rail Projects in India, The 7th World Construction Symposium

Conference paper

Whyte JK, Hartmann T, 2017, How digitizing building information transforms the built environment., Building Research and Information, Vol: 45, Pages: 591-595, ISSN: 0961-3218

Journal article

Brookes N, Sage D, Dainty A, Locatelli G, Whyte Jet al., 2017, An island of constancy in a sea of change: rethinking project temporalities with long-term megaprojects, International Journal of Project Management, Vol: 35, Pages: 1213-1224, ISSN: 1873-4634

This paper examines the organizational phenomena of long-term projects. While research literature frames projects as “temporary organizations”, megaprojects have long initiation and delivery phases, lasting years sometimes decades, and deliver capital assets that are used for decades or centuries. Instead of short-duration activity within a fixed organizational context, these projects involve multiple temporalities, combining more and less temporary forms of organizing in the process of enactment. Using an example of a long-term infrastructural megaproject, a wind-farm, to illustrate the phenomenon, we contribute by articulating different temporalities associated with the delivery project, life-cycle; stakeholder organizations that set up the project; and special purpose vehicles through which it is delivered. Implications of these temporalities for project management research and practice are discussed with reference to understandings of risk and knowledge. We argue that focus on long-term projects and their multiple temporalities opens up new ways of thinking about projects as temporary organizations.

Journal article

K Soman R, Birch D, Whyte J, Framework for shared visualization and real-time information flow to the construction site, 24th International Workshop on Intelligent Computing in Engineering

Conference paper

K Soman R, Whyte J, A Framework for Cloud-Based Virtual and Augmented Reality using Real-time Information for Construction Progress Monitoring, Lean and Computing in Construction Congress (LC3).

Conference paper

Whyte J, Tryggestad K, Comi A, 2017, Visualizing practices in project-based design: tracing connections through cascades of visual representations, Engineering Project Organization Journal, Vol: 6, Pages: 115-128, ISSN: 2157-3735

Project-based design involves a variety of visual representations, which are evolved to make decisions and accomplish project objectives. Yet, such mediated and distributed ways of working are difficult to capture through ethnographies that examine situated design. A novel approach is developed that follows cascades of visual representations; and this is illustrated through two empirical studies.In the first case, Heathrow Terminal 5, analysisstarts from paper- and model-work used to develop design, tracing connections forward to an assembly manual that forms a ‘consolidated cascade’of visual representations. In the second, the Turning Torso, Malmö, analysisstarts froma planning document, tracingconnections backward tothepaper-and model-workdone toproduce this consolidated cascade.Thiswork makes atwofoldcontribution:First, itoffersa methodological approach that supplements ethnographiesof situated design. Thisallows the researcher to be nimble, tracing connections across complex engineering projects; reconstructing practices through their visual representations; and observing their effects. Second, itarticulateshow, in these empirical cases, interaction with a cascade of visual representations enabled participants in project-based design to develop and share understanding. The complexity of projects,and theirdistributed and mediated nature makes this approach timely and important in addressingnew research questions and practical challenges.

Journal article

Lobo S, Whyte J, 2016, Aligning and Reconciling: Building project capabilities for digital delivery, Research Policy, Vol: 46, Pages: 93-107, ISSN: 0048-7333

Digital delivery of complex projects, using integrated software and processes, is an important emerging phenomenon as it transforms relationships across the associated ecology of project-based firms. Our study analyses how a project-based firm, ‘Global Engineering’, builds new project capabilities for digital delivery through work on three major road and railway infrastructure projects. We find that it seeks to: (1) align the project set-up with the firm’s existing capabilities; and (2) reconcile differing agendas and capabilities in collaborating firms across the project ecology. Here, aligning involves influencing the set-up of digital delivery and renegotiating that set-up during project implementation; and reconciling involves managing across multiple digital systems; accommodating and learning other firms’ software and processes; and using digital technologies to create shared identity across the firms involved in delivery. We argue that creating relative stability enables firms to use existing, and build new, project capabilities, and hence aligning and reconciling are important to project-based firms in environments where there is high interdependence across heterogeneous firms and rapid technological change. We find that building these capabilities involves both ‘economies of repetition’ and ‘economies of recombination’; the former enabling the firm to capture value by mobilizing existing resources and the latter, requiring additional work to re-combine existing and new resources. Our study thus provides insight into how project-based firms build project capabilities for the digital delivery of complex projects in order to remain competitive in their existing markets, and has broader implications for learning in the project ecologies associated with these projects.

Journal article

Whyte JK, The future of systems integration within civil infrastructure: A review and directions for research, International Symposium of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), Pages: 1541-1555

What is the future of systems integration within civil infrastructure? This paper provides a background to systems integration; articulates the challenges of civil infrastructure in the mid-21st century; and reviews the state-of-the-art in research on systems integration in the delivery and operation of civil infrastructure. Building on the literature review it highlights opportunities that arise through reframing from projects to systems (and systems of systems), and using the potential of new forms of data analytics. It sets out a research agenda for next generation tools to visualize and understand civil infrastructure as a complex product system.

Conference paper

Whyte J, Stasis A, Lindkvist C, 2016, Managing change in the delivery of complex projects: Configuration management, asset information and 'big data', INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PROJECT MANAGEMENT, Vol: 34, Pages: 339-351, ISSN: 0263-7863

Journal article

Whyte JK, Lindkvist C, Jaradat S, 2016, Passing the baton? Handing over digital data from the project to operations, Engineering Project Organization Journal, Vol: 6, Pages: 2-14, ISSN: 2157-3735

From fieldwork conducted ahead of the London Olympic Games, we develop new understanding of how organizations hand over digital data from the project to operations. Prior research explains how practitioners negotiate meaning across boundaries in ongoing work. However, it gives little attention to hand-over, where one group disengages as another engages. We use the analogy of the baton pass in a relay race to articulate how hand-over requires attention to sequence, timing, passing technique and communication within a time-constrained window of opportunity. In our case study, the project delivery team transfer responsibility for sports venues and other facilities, and their associated digital data, to Games operators. We show how delivery professionals both project the nature of future work; and probe how meanings will be interpreted. They seek to extend the window to discuss and negotiate meaning with operators. Our study contributes to research on engineering projects and on the coordination of knowledge work by articulating the baton pass, window of opportunity and projection and probing activities involved in hand-over. Understanding and improving the hand-over of digital data from the project to operations is important to enable owners and operators to better manage built infrastructure.

Journal article

Whyte J, 2015, Towards a new craft of architecture, Building Research and Information, Vol: 43, Pages: 263-265, ISSN: 0961-3218

The Death of Drawing discusses the far-reaching impact of design tools on the craft and meaning of architecture, critically reflecting on how new digital methods of working will transform the architecture profession and ultimately reshape architecture to an extent not seen in over 500 years. Engagement with drawing is thus seen as a means to interrogate and understand building materials, and to understand more profoundly the form of buildings. The discussion raises questions about how architects can use digital tools, particularly tools such as BIM that become collectively shared, in generating design. The reader wants to know more about the relationships between BIM and computational design, and how their use relate to other digital technologies such as building management systems and data-capture technologies.

Journal article

Sacks R, Whyte J, Swissa D, Raviv G, Zhou W, Shapira Aet al., 2015, Safety by design: dialogues between designers and builders using virtual reality, Construction Management and Economics, Vol: 33, Pages: 55-72, ISSN: 0144-6193

© 2015 The Author(s). Published by Taylor & Francis. Designers can contribute to enhancing the safety of construction work by considering how their decisions impact on both the physical environment in which construction workers operate and the means and methods they use. To do so, however, designers require knowledge about safety hazards on site and the opportunity to examine their designs early in projects. Through a set of studies virtual reality tools were used to examine the potential for collaborative dialogue between designers and builders to provide a forum for learning and proactive change of a design to make a project safer to build. In the tests, participants viewed proposed designs using virtual reality to examine various alternative design and construction scenarios. The study shows that consultation and dialogue with an experienced construction professional are highly beneficial for designers to appreciate the implications of designs on safety, and that designers are more willing to adapt design details than to change aesthetic aspects of their designs.

Journal article

Ramalingam S, Lobo S, Mahalingam A, Whyte Jet al., 2014, Achieving reliability in transnational work on complex projects: new directions for research, Engineering Project Organization Journal, Vol: 4, Pages: 193-208, ISSN: 2157-3727

The delivery of complex engineering projects today often involves globally distributed teams. In these teams, engineers must check for inadvertent errors by following the assumptions, logic and computations of others and define processes to reduce these errors. Engineering firms are thus increasingly using digital technologies to enable teams to do transnational work. While project management research on global virtual teams articulates how team performance relates to composition and characteristics, it has paid less attention to reliability and how this is achieved in such transnational work. This paper considers how constructs related to reliability—trust, culture and communication—become inter-related in work on complex projects. Recent research on work practice, which examines dynamics over time, is brought into dialogue with the literature on global virtual teams, re-conceptualizing trust as enacted in practice; culture as a resource for action and communication as a mediated dialogue. Vignettes from pilot work are used to support this re-conceptualization and illustrate how it extends research on teams to enable new insights into reliable performance in transnational work. The paper suggests a new agenda for project management research on achieving reliability in complex projects where delivery is digitally mediated and involves a global team, concluding by highlighting areas for further research.

Journal article

Lindkvist C, Whyte J, 2013, Challenges and opportunities involving facilities management in data handover: London 2012 case study, Pages: 670-679

There is an increasing interest of the usage of project data for the life-cycle with the evolution of Building Information Modelling, which promotes the incremental collection of data. This research considers the role of facilities management in developing data for handover at project completion by empirically studying the delivery of the London 2012 games. Eighteen interviews were conducted with project participants. Backgrounds of participants included project sponsors (client representative), delivery partners and facility manager professionals. Our findings suggest a number of approaches taken by a client for the transition of knowledge into the practices of facilities management. These approaches are 1) creating a culture for knowledge transfer in the project; 2) strategic knowledge transfer through guides and processes; 3) knowledge transfer through social interactions; 4) knowledge transfer through the representation of facilities management. There were a number of enablers identified that were aimed at progressing knowledge transfer into facilities management in the project to different degrees such as a transition phase for data handover of up to 6 months in projects. However, there were challenges that limited knowledge transfer as end-user links with the project came to an end with project completion. The contribution of this paper outlines how the client can involve facilities management professionals in the project through incorporating their knowledge during the data handover phase. However, this does not have to be one way and the implications of this study is that having a project representative after the data is handed over to the end user will further enable knowledge transfer from projects into facilities management practices. © 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Conference paper

Maradza E, Whyte J, Larsen GD, 2013, Standardisation of building information modelling in the UK and USA: Challenges and opportunities, Pages: 457-466

Standardisation provides an invisible digital infrastructure within which digital design technologies support coordination by heterogeneous actors in the construction sector. Inadequate standards pose challenges to design technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM). In its latest strategy mandating the use of BIM, the UK government blames the construction industry's lack of collaboration and inefficiency on low levels of standardisation. This paper investigates the development of standards as invisible digital infrastructures for facilitating collaboration in construction projects in the USA and the UK. The paper draws on a) interviews with key standards development consultants in the UK and USA and b) industry publication and revisions to the British standard through the publicly available specification (PAS) 1192 and NBIMS in the USA. The literature on standardisation suggests that engagement in standard development is often motivated by self-interest; and that standards are developed through consensus building, political processes of aligning multiple standards, and end-user participation. Findings from the empirical work to date suggest a rapid process of development, excessive self-interest, minimal end user participation and incompatible processes. The study concludes with observations on how digital infrastructures develop and could be useful in shaping practice and how such artefacts are integrated in dynamic, unstructured and rapidly developing project based environments. The paper contributes to literature on evolution and proliferation of digital infrastructures in sectorial systems of innovation. © 2013 American Society of Civil Engineers.

Conference paper

Larsen GD, Whyte J, 2013, Safe construction through design: perspectives from the site team, Construction Management and Economics, Vol: 31, Pages: 675-690, ISSN: 0144-6193

How does the work of designers impact on the safety of operatives at the construction site? Safety research and policy emphasize the importance of designing for safe construction, yet the interface between design and construction is poorly understood: accidents have multiple causes making it hard to establish causal links between design choices and safety outcomes. An in-depth case study of a major station project examines how professionals on the construction site perceive and manage the safety challenges of a building design. Analyses reveal understandings that, on the project studied, design has an impact on safety because of: (1) the timing of design work, where the volume of late design changes increased the difficulty of planning safe procedures, e.g. for working at height, lifting heavy items, refurbishing and demolishing old buildings; and (2) inputs from design stakeholders with insufficient practical knowledge of construction and operation required unplanned work-arounds, e.g. to coordinate different sub-systems, provide maintenance access, and manage loads during construction. These findings suggest that safety suffers where projects are under-designed, and that alongside regulation, there is a need for robust management attention to the contractual structures, incentives, processes and tools that enable clients and designers to understand material practices of construction and operation. © 2013 Taylor and Francis Group, LLC.

Journal article

Whyte J, Lindkvist C, Ibrahim NH, 2013, From projects into operations: Lessons for data handover, Proceedings of Institution of Civil Engineers: Management, Procurement and Law, Vol: 166, Pages: 86-93, ISSN: 1751-4304

Data from civil engineering projects can inform the operation of built infrastructure. This paper captures lessons for such data handover, from projects into operations, through interviews with leading clients and their supply chain. Clients are found to value receiving accurate and complete data. They recognise opportunities to use high-quality information in decision-making about capital and operational expenditure, as well as in ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. Providing this value to clients is a motivation for information management in projects. However, data handover is difficult as key people leave before project completion, and different data formats and structures are used in project delivery and operations. Lessons learnt from leading practice include defining data requirements at the outset, involving operations teams at an early stage, shaping the evolution of interoperable systems and standards, developing handover processes to check data rather than documentation and fostering skills to use and update project data in operations.

Journal article

Jaradat S, Whyte J, Luck R, 2013, Professionalism in digitally mediated project work, BUILDING RESEARCH AND INFORMATION, Vol: 41, Pages: 51-59, ISSN: 0961-3218

Journal article

Stasis A, Whyte J, Dentten R, 2013, A Critical Examination of Change Control Processes, Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV

Other

Whyte J, 2013, Beyond the computer: Changing medium from digital to physical, INFORMATION AND ORGANIZATION, Vol: 23, Pages: 41-57, ISSN: 1471-7727

Journal article

Lindkvist C, Stasis A, Whyte J, 2013, Configuration management in complex engineering projects, Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV

Other

Whyte J, Harty C, 2012, Socio-material Practices of Design Coordination: Objects as Plastic and Partisan, Materiality and Organizing: Social Interaction in a Technological World, ISBN: 9780199664054

© Oxford University Press 2012. All rights reserved. Drawing on detailed research on a construction megaproject, the chapter takes a practice-based approach to examining the practical and theoretical tensions between existing ways of working and the introduction of new digital coordination tools in design. The chapter analyzes the new hybrid practices that emerge, using insights from actor network theory, to articulate the delegation of actions to physical and digital objects within ecologies of practice. The three vignettes that we discuss highlight this delegation of actions, the "plugging" and "patching" of ecologies occurring across media and the continual iterations of working practices between different types of media. By shifting the focus from tools to these wider ecologies of practice, the approach has important implications for the stabilization of new technologies and practices and for managing technological change in the design of physical infrastructure.

Book chapter

Zhou W, Whyte J, Sacks R, 2012, Construction safety and digital design: A review, AUTOMATION IN CONSTRUCTION, Vol: 22, Pages: 102-111, ISSN: 0926-5805

Journal article

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