Mobile phones in project management: The pendulum of professionalism

Doug Longstaff, Eric Johansen

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


Instant electronic communication has become a regular feature on many construction projects in recent years. However, the use of the mobile telephone for instant vocal communication, as opposed to more structured strategies for mobile computing, may produce problems. Anecdotal evidence suggests that there is concern about the instantaneous nature of this form of communication, its affect on behaviour and what constitutes "professional" practice in its use. The opportunity has been taken here, through the use of a questionnaire survey of project managers mainly from the construction process industry, to discover something about the use of mobile telephones in projects and the opinion of those who use them. Initial research suggested that the use of mobile phones did not have the planning, financial investment and in-use training support which are given to mobile computing tools. Some people in the construction team appear to have different approaches to mobile phone use and this may be age related. Positive and negative issues are identified which are associated with aspects of mobile phone use classified as professional [more formal and organised where high levels of understanding are generated and issues are clarified if necessary] and unprofessional [a more relaxed approach where understanding is not fully generated and issues are not fully clarified]. Further research on a longitudinal basis is strongly recommended to investigate these issues.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2009
EventARCOM 25th Annual Conference - Nottingham, UK
Duration: 1 Sept 2009 → …


ConferenceARCOM 25th Annual Conference
Period1/09/09 → …


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