Mitigating Risks of Corruption in Construction: A theoretical rationale for BIM adoption in Ethiopia

  • This PhD thesis sets out to investigate the potentials of Building Information Modeling (BIM) to mitigate risks of corruption in the Ethiopian public construction sector. The wide-ranging capabilities and promises of BIM have led to the strong perception among researchers and practitioners that it is an indispensable technology. Consequently, it has become the frequent subject of science andThis PhD thesis sets out to investigate the potentials of Building Information Modeling (BIM) to mitigate risks of corruption in the Ethiopian public construction sector. The wide-ranging capabilities and promises of BIM have led to the strong perception among researchers and practitioners that it is an indispensable technology. Consequently, it has become the frequent subject of science and research. Meanwhile, many countries, especially the developed ones, have committed themselves to applying the technology extensively. Increasing productivity is the most common and frequently cited reason for that. However, both technology developers and adopters are oblivious to the potentials of BIM in addressing critical challenges in the construction sector, such as corruption. This particularly would be significant in developing countries like Ethiopia, where its problems and effects are acute. Studies reveal that bribery and corruption have long pervaded the construction industry worldwide. The complex and fragmented nature of the sector provides an environment for corruption. The Ethiopian construction sector is not immune from this epidemic reality. In fact, it is regarded as one of the most vulnerable sectors owing to varying socio-economic and political factors. Since 2015, Ethiopia has started adopting BIM, yet without clear goals and strategies. As a result, the potential of BIM for combating concrete problems of the sector remains untapped. To this end, this dissertation does pioneering work by showing how collaboration and coordination features of the technology contribute to minimizing the opportunities for corruption. Tracing loopholes, otherwise, would remain complex and ineffective in the traditional documentation processes. Proceeding from this anticipation, this thesis brings up two primary questions: what are areas and risks of corruption in case of the Ethiopian public construction projects; and how could BIM be leveraged to mitigate these risks? To tackle these and other secondary questions, the research employs a mixed-method approach. The selected main research strategies are Survey, Grounded Theory (GT) and Archival Study. First, the author disseminates an online questionnaire among Ethiopian construction engineering professionals to pinpoint areas of vulnerability to corruption. 155 responses are compiled and scrutinized quantitatively. Then, a semi-structured in-depth interview is conducted with 20 senior professionals, primarily to comprehend opportunities for and risks of corruption in those identified highly vulnerable project stages and decision points. At the same time, open interviews (consultations) are held with 14 informants to be aware of state of the construction documentation, BIM and loopholes for corruption in the country. Consequently, these qualitative data are analyzed utilizing the principles of GT, heat/risk mapping and Social Network Analysis (SNA). The risk mapping assists the researcher in the course of prioritizing corruption risks; whilst through SNA, methodically, it is feasible to identify key actors/stakeholders in the corruption venture. Based on the generated research data, the author constructs a [substantive] grounded theory around the elements of corruption in the Ethiopian public construction sector. This theory, later, guides the subsequent strategic proposition of BIM. Finally, 85 public construction related cases are also analyzed systematically to substantiate and confirm previous findings. By ways of these multiple research endeavors that is based, first and foremost, on the triangulation of qualitative and quantitative data analysis, the author conveys a number of key findings. First, estimations, tender document preparation and evaluation, construction material as well as quality control and additional work orders are found to be the most vulnerable stages in the design, tendering and construction phases respectively. Second, middle management personnel of contractors and clients, aided by brokers, play most critical roles in corrupt transactions within the prevalent corruption network. Third, grand corruption persists in the sector, attributed to the fact that top management and higher officials entertain their overriding power, supported by the lack of project audits and accountability. Contrarily, individuals at operation level utilize intentional and unintentional 'errors’ as an opportunity for corruption. In light of these findings, two conceptual BIM-based risk mitigation strategies are prescribed: active and passive automation of project audits; and the monitoring of project information throughout projects’ value chain. These propositions are made in reliance on BIM’s present dimensional capabilities and the promises of Integrated Project Delivery (IPD). Moreover, BIM’s synchronous potentials with other technologies such as Information and Communication Technology (ICT), and Radio Frequency technologies are topics which received a treatment. All these arguments form the basis for the main thesis of this dissertation, that BIM is able to mitigate corruption risks in the Ethiopian public construction sector. The discourse on the skepticisms about BIM that would stem from the complex nature of corruption and strategic as well as technological limitations of BIM is also illuminated and complemented by this work. Thus, the thesis uncovers possible research gaps and lays the foundation for further studies.show moreshow less

Download full text files

Export metadata

Metadaten
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Author:MArch Asgedom Berhe
DOI (Cite-Link):https://doi.org/10.25643/bauhaus-universitaet.4517Cite-Link
URN (Cite-Link):https://nbn-resolving.org/urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-20211007-45175Cite-Link
Referee:Dr.-Eng. Wubishet Jekale, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Frank PetzoldGND
Advisor:Prof. Dr.-Ing. Bernd NentwigGND
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2021/10/07
Year of first Publication:2020
Date of final exam:2020/12/11
Release Date:2021/10/07
Publishing Institution:Bauhaus-Universität Weimar
Granting Institution:Bauhaus-Universität Weimar, Fakultät Architektur und Urbanistik [bis 2014 Fakultät Architektur]
Institutes and partner institutions:Fakultät Architektur und Urbanistik [bis 2014 Fakultät Architektur] / Professur Baumanagement und Bauwirtschaft
Fakultät Architektur und Urbanistik [bis 2014 Fakultät Architektur] / Professur Informatik in der Architektur
Pagenumber:336
Tag:BIM; Construction; Corruption; Ethiopia; Risk management
GND Keyword:Building Information Modeling; Korruption; Risikomanagement; Äthiopien
Dewey Decimal Classification:000 Informatik, Informationswissenschaft, allgemeine Werke
BKL-Classification:54 Informatik
56 Bauwesen
70 Sozialwissenschaften allgemein
Licence (German):License Logo Creative Commons 4.0 - Namensnennung (CC BY 4.0)