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Articles Review: Management Information System in Construction Industry in Malaysia

Articles Review: Management Information System in Construction Industry in Malaysia



            Currently, the success of construction industry is increasingly dependent on investments in Information Technology (IT), thus, it is expected to continue in the future, due to the different challenges and risks being faced by the industry (Gaith, Khalim and Ismail, 2009).

            The construction industry is considered as a fragmented industry because of many stakeholders and phases thawt are involved in the construction project. The said fragmentation related to different problems and risks related to communication as well as information processes which contributed to the proliferation of adversarial relationship between the parties involved in the project. In addition, this fragmentation is also connected to problems related to low productivity in the construction projects. As a result, IT is now routinely used in the industry as a tool to lessen some of the problems related to fragmentation. This help in order to develop the coordination, connection and collaboration between the companies involved in the construction project, which consequently result to better communication practices (Nitithamyong and Skibniewski, 2004). 


            This paper will review 5 articles related to Management Information System in Construction Industry. The articles to be reviewed are:

·         Diktas, A., Yitmen, I. and Morten, B. (2000). ‘An integrated management information system for construction project’. Construction Informatics Library. Retrieved 27th September, 2010, from LTC library.

·         Scott, D. and Cheong, W. ‘Web-based construction information management systems’. The Australian Journal of Construction Economics and Building. 3(1), 43 – 53.

·         Love, P. and Irani, Z. (2003). ‘A project management quality cost information system for the construction industry’. Information & Management. 40(7), 649 – 661.

·         Caldas, C. and Soibelman, L. (2003). ‘Automating hierarchical document classification for construction management information systems’. Automation in Construction. 12(4), 395 – 406.

·         Chin, S. and Kim, K. (2004). ‘A process-based quality management information system’. Automation in Construction. 13(2), 241 – 259.

In general, this paper will review and analyze these five articles with accordance to the subject or topic. Thus, it will enable to present the different researches and different theories related to the topic.   

Findings/Author’s Opinion

            Centralized information systems are considered as powerful tools in improving efficiency and help in order to enhance the flow of information in the construction industry. The study of Scott and Cheong focused on the need for centralized information framework in the construction as well as the importance and significance of web technology in the construction management. In connection to this, the study of Dikbas, Yitmen and Morten shows that the online reporting systems help to improve the information accuracy and accessibility, at the same time help to remove the redundant files, offer multi-locations access towards information. It also help in order to improve process efficiency because communication used less time and fewer resources. Above all, it also help in order to attain accurate and timely information.

            With this, it is important to focus on the issue of quality management in the construction industry. With this, it is important to focus on meeting the different standards of ISO 9000:2000. Thus, the ISO 9000 QMIS was developed with three-tier architecture which consists of Internet-based user interfaces, application functions for quality management processing as well as quality information database. The study of Chin, Kim and Kim (2003) showed that information model and management systems are valid and important in facilitating collaboration and communication among the participants, efficient documentation as well as recording of quality information, together with the photo and scanned images, tracing of the entire quality control procedures as well as accumulation of as-built information.

            The escalating globalization and complexity of construction projects have augmented and boosted the participation of different firms from different locations in project teams. Thus, it is important to focus on inter-organizational construction management information system in order to lessen the risks and threats related to time and distance. Thus, there are different data used in MIS in construction projects, which include:

  • Structured data filed that are stored in database management systems (e.g. cost estimating, payroll, scheduling and accounting)

  • Semi-structured data files (e.g. Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Extensible Markup Language (XML) etc.)

  • Unstructured text data files (e.g. contracts, catalogs, change orders, etc.)

  • Unstructured graphic files stored in binary format

  • Unstructured multimedia files (e.g. pictures, audio, video files)

As a result, MIS in construction industry create and produce a significant and vital quantity of data which are needed to be organized, stored, accessed and used by the entire organization. The increase in the amount, quantity and types of information being generated by the industry is becoming dependent towards the implementation of different standards which can help in order to comprehend the entire scope of the construction information.  The study of Caldas and Soibelman (2003) created a methodology for hierarchical document classification, which the author believe can help in order improve the organization as well as the access of the different unstructured documents in construction in MIS, which are considered as vital issue for the construction MIS because of the large percentage of project information are stored in text document. The methodology reviewed and studied the author help to support the generation of classification models that are all based on the project information classification structures, which include the construction of information classification systems.

            On the other hand, information that are incorrect or delayed is commonly filtered and delegated to a specific parameters, as a result, the failure of quality of the system happens due to the ineffective decision-making (Josephson and Hammarlund, 1999). In connection to this, the study of Love and Irani (2003) a prototype Project Management Quality Cost System (PROMQACS) developed in order to know the quality costs in construction projects. The author enables to focus on the different structure and information requirements in order to offer a classification of quality cost. Consequently, the system was used in order to know the cost and causes of different rework in the projects, which concluded that PROMQACS can be used in order to identify the shortcomings in different project-related activities.

Conclusion/Student’s Opinion

            The 5 articles reviewed in this paper enables to show and tackle the different issues related with MIS in construction industry. The result of review shows that the main issues related and tackled in the industry is the quality and the cost of managing different projects in the construction industry.

            The author agrees with the different efforts and objectives of the reviewed article. First, the application of web or the Internet will be very helpful in order to come up with the different problems related to communication and connection of the different stakeholders of the project, as well as the different functions and procedures to be done in the project.

            In addition, it is also important to come up with the different tools and techniques to be used in order to come up with the problems related to variety of data and information used and stored in MIS of construction project. All of these systems, being sold by different vendors and being developed by companies in the construction industry are all helpful in order to come up with the problems related to planning and decision-making.

            With this, the articles reviewed in this paper enables the researcher to come up with the background information of the current use and application of MIS in the construction industry, at the same time, come up with the information related to the advantages and limitations of different systems used in managing projects and activities in construction industry. Therefore, it can help in order to focus on improvement and development of tools and techniques to be used in the industry.



Gaith, F., Khalim, A. R. and Ismail, A. (2009). ‘Usage of information technology in construction firms: Malaysian construction industry’. European Journal of Scientific Research. 28(3), 412 – 421.

Josephson, P. E. and Hammarlund, Y. (1999). ‘The causes and costs of defects in construction: A study of seven building projects’. Automation in Construction. 8(6), 642 – 681.

Nitithamyong, P. and Skibniewski, M. (2004). ‘Web-based construction project management systems: How to make them successful?’. Automation in Construction. 13(4), 491 – 506.



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