The Failure of Digital Transformation Policy to Digitally Transform the UK Construction Industry

Despite a relentless ‘modernise or die’ rhetoric permeating construction industry policy and guidance, alongside glossy depictions of digital transformation outcomes, the level of engagement with and adoption of digital practices is still relatively low compared with other industries, and especially within the micro and small businesses that account for most of the construction industry.

The aim of the PhD research is to investigate why digital transformation policy has failed and continues to fail to digitally transform the construction industry, focusing on the relationship between the lived reality of construction SME affective practice and engagement with such policy.

Biography

Initially graduating with a Theatre Design degree from Wimbledon School of Art, Loretta worked in set design and art direction for film, TV and theatre for ten years before transitioning into construction design management. She then worked on several major projects for large UK contractors during pre-construction and construction phases, including education (£287m University of Manchester MECD), retail and leisure (£39m Rochdale Riverside, £8.5m Octagon Theatre) and transport, infrastructure and residential (£80m Stockport Interchange). Through this experience, Loretta became fascinated by the construction digital transformation agenda and started her PhD in 2021.

Loretta currently works part-time for Digital Construction Skills, which supports construction companies with their digital strategy and implementation.

She is also National Chair for the National Association of Women in Construction (NAWIC), an international not-for-profit association dedicated to the advancement of women in the construction industry.

Supervisors

Professor Andy Dainty
Professor Andy Dainty Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education View profile
Ulysses Sengupta
Ulysses Sengupta Reader in Architecture View profile
Professor Stefan White
Professor Stefan White Professor of Architecture View profile