1 Introduction

The construction industry worldwide is one of the most important and considerable revenue-generating industries, and there is a vast movement to incorporate new technologies into construction management practices, processes, and strategies (Chen 2022). Technology advances can provide essential solutions and innovative ideas to improve the construction industry's response to present targets, future needs, and threats to boost performance (Duncan et al. 2018). BIM technology has changed the construction industry by providing a collaborative digital platform for managers, architects, engineers, contractors, and other participants in the building process (Azhar 2011). The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is not an exception to the increasing prevalence of BIM technology adoption worldwide. In recent years, despite the challenges, there has been an increase in the intention to use BIM technology in the UAE construction market supported by the UAE government (Mehran 2016). Yet, the effect of BIM technology adoption on different aspects of organizational performance in the UAE's construction sector remains limited in the literature.

Previous research on technology adoption aimed to discover, forecast, and describe the factors that influence how organizations and individuals accept and use technological innovations using different innovation theories and modules such as UTAUT and TAM (Dube et al. 2020). However, there is a need for more studies in the context of construction innovation within the UAE, such as BIM technology adoption and its overall effect on business outcomes. Moreover, due to the impact that BIM and other modern technologies have on various organizational-level aspects, there is still a necessity to develop emerging and innovative paradigms to understand and assess the exploitation of new technologies, such as BIM technology in the context of a specific country (Dube et al. 2020). Therefore, this study aims to evaluate the impact of key determinates of BIM technology adoption on organizational performance in the UAE construction sector via the employment of the UTAUT model determinates (Performance expectancy, behavioral intention, use behavior ) and their impact on organizational performance. The paper will address a main question: How do the key determinants of BIM technology adoption relationship impact organizational performance in the UAE construction industry?

2 Literature Review

2.1 Innovation and Technology Adoption

A broad definition of innovation is applying any idea, method, tangible artefact, or technological advancement that the relevant adopting unit perceives as novel (Blayse & Manley 2004). Innovation can be classified as organizational or technological innovation (Damanpour & Aravind 2012). However, this study will focus on both technological and organizational contexts, as innovation is an integrated practice. Organizations need to preserve their competitive advantage and ensure organizational performance by using new innovative technologies that support the increasing market demand. Research reveals that new technologies significantly impact the construction industry's overall performance, efficiency, and productivity (Sepasgozar & Davis 2018). Khasawneh (2008) defines adoption as the initial intention to use or accept an innovative technology or system. Hence, studying and employing innovation theories and models is essential to understanding technology use and acceptance and the overall impact on construction-based organizational performance.

Multiple diffusion of innovation theories and models have been developed over time by different scholars so far to study, clarify, explain, and analyze various types of organizational or technological level innovations, such as the well-known technology acceptance model (TAM) and the extensively used unified theory of acceptance and use of technology (UTAUT). However, TAM and UTAUT frequently examine the organizational level's technology adoption (Zhenhua et al. 2008).

UTAUT, introduced by Venkatesh et al. (2003), was derived over a decade ago by combining different proven theories in the area of technology acceptance and innovation and is widely utilized in many other research fields (Venkatesh et al. 2016). As Venkatesh et al. (2013) highlighted, performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social impact, and different conditions enabling are the four factors of UTAUT, which are linked to behavioral intention and use intention moderated by age, gender, experience, and voluntarism. These determinants affect the assessment of behavioral engagement in utilizing and using technology, principally within the organizational-level contexts. Many scholars endorse the UTAUT model and claim that UTAUT is reliable and can be used in any culture or context. However, it is argued that the existing and followed scale measures must be revisited, including the relationship to any new technology usage behavior (Oshlyansky et al. 2007).

2.2 Information Technology in Construction (ITC)

Information technology in construction (ITC) studies are still a relativity new area of research, which lacks a solid methodological base or proven practices (Björk 1999). According to Björk (1999), the use of technologies, strategies, and systems in construction to streamline and reengineer the information process sharing is of significance to ITC, and the primary purpose and driver of ITC research is to speed up the information process sharing across the whole life cycle of developed projects and engineering practices.

“Information Technology” refers to employing computer hardware and software capabilities to process, store, transmit, and display information (Björk 1999). However, information technology in construction can be narrowed to reflect relevant technologies to this unique industry due to the complex nature of the construction sector. As Sepasgozar and Davis (2018) suggested, construction technologies can be defined as new tools, machinery, and adjustments that can assist in achieving a goal, carrying out a specific role, or resolving a challenge. Until now, substantial research has been undertaken on applying certain technologies in the construction industry, such as big data and augmented reality, 3D printing, and robotics (Guo and Skitmore 2017). However, a systematic review conducted by Chen (2022) revealed that 26 technologies were identified from other literature in the construction field, and the study's conclusion highlighted that visualization technologies can support and enable innovation in the construction field and practices. According to this review, building information modeling (BIM) tends to be the most widely employed technique among these construction-based technologies. However, there is very limited research done to evaluate the impact of BIM technology adoption on organizational performance using the UTAUT model with a focus on UAE construction. Therefore, this study will focus on BIM technology adoption in this context.

2.3 Building Information Management (BIM)

The construction sector is famous for its delayed adoption of advanced technologies that can support running businesses, increase productivity, and deliver construction projects with the desired quality (Elmualim & Gilder 2014). However, BIM technology adoption worldwide has risen recently due to the non-traditional organizational advantages and the impact on construction business efficiency (Azhar 2011). BIM provides an integrated project delivery mechanism, a breakthrough method that integrates people, tools, and innovative business structures and processes in a joint effort to minimize waste and maximize efficiency throughout the project's lifespan (Glick & Guggemos 2009). BIM has altered traditional business procedures for engineering projects and business plans of different sizes of organizations within the construction industry. Previous research indicates that BIM adoption is governed by its technological, organizational, and environmental benefits (Elmualim & Gilder 2014). In addition, to achieve the desired outcomes and with the advancement of computer technology in the construction industry, BIM has been combined with other relevant construction technologies such as information systems (GIS) and visualization technologies (Chen 2022).

2.4 Understanding BIM Adoption in Literature

Academic, architectural, engineering, and construction (AEC) and facility management (FM) businesses have conducted extensive research on BIM applications due to untraditional advantages on organizational financial and operational performance (Azhar 2011; Juan et al. 2016). Moreover, BIM adoption detainments, drivers, risks, and challenges in different countries and contexts using various technology adoption models, such as the technology-organization-environment (TOE) framework was widely covered in the literature on the diffusion of innovation (Ariono et al. 2022). For instance, Chen et al. (2019) conducted an empirical study to examine Chinese construction companies' BIM technology adoption determinants using TOE. They found that BIM benefits and management support contribute significantly to BIM adoption success, organizational readiness is not significant to BIM adoption in construction, and small-size organizations have more tendency toward BIM adoption. Another study examines BIM adoption in several Taiwanese organizations by building organizational innovation readiness and technology acceptance assessment models based on TAM and other relevant innovation theories (Juan et al. 2016). In the UAE construction industry context, Mehran (2016) conducted a study on BIM technology adoption due to the UAE government’s new requirement to use technologies in this field. This research revealed three significant barriers to implementing BIM technology: a lack of BIM standards, understanding BIM features, and unwillingness to change stakeholders. However, despite the thorough literature on BIM adoption prerequisites and challenges, the available studies on the impact of BIM adoption, focusing on employing the UTAUT model to measure the effect on organizational performance, are limited, especially in the UAE construction industry context (Mehran 2016).

2.5 Organizational Performance in Construction

Innovation and modern technologies adoption affect performance in the construction industry, and different forms of innovation implemented by an organization have varying consequences on performance (Tajuddin et al. 2015). To accomplish the appropriate levels of performance and outcomes, the construction sector must adjust to the rapid advancements in technological capabilities. The literature on innovation and technology diffusion shows the construction industry’s reluctance to adapt to new methods to adopt novel technologies despite the ability to boost operational and financial performance (Yitmen 2007). Nonetheless, adopting new technology such as BIM is essential as it's expected to enlarge the performance and profitability of the construction industry because of its known benefits (Azhar 2011; Mehran 2016). It is essential to highlight that organizational performance definitions and measures are generally used without relating to different businesses' or industries’ nature and requirements. However, the best definition that fits the context of this study is that organizational performance is a multidimensional construct comprised of subjective and objective measurements, including financial performance measures such as ROA, customer-related results, innovation practices, and operational-related measures (Singh et al. 2016). This definition is suitable because it touches all factors that can directly or indirectly affect the performance of the complex nature of the construction sector requirements.

3 Conceptual Framework and Hypothesis Development

This study examines the impact of key factors of BIM technology adoption on organizational performance to achieve construction innovation in the UAE. It is mainly based on the widely used UTAUT model of technology adoption. The UTAUT model introduced by Venkatesh et al. (2003) was derived over a decade ago by combining different proven theories and frameworks in technology and innovation and is widely utilized in many other research fields and contexts (Venkatesh et al. 2016). As Venkatesh et al. (2013) highlighted, performance expectancy, effort expectancy, social impact, and conditions facilitating are the four factors of UTAUT, which are linked to behavioral intention and use intention moderated by age, gender, experience, and voluntarism. These determinants contribute considerably to analysing actual technology usage decisions and behavioral engagement in the use of technology, primarily within the context of organizational-level settings.

Since its establishment, UTAUT has been frequently utilized as a theoretical lens in technology adoption and diffusion of innovation by scholars performing different empirical examinations of user intent and use behavior of various technologies within various contexts and industries. Despite this evident influence, limited studies have measured or analyzed the performance of UTAUT or examined/evaluated conclusions accordingly (Williams et al. 2015). According to Williams et al. (2015), performance expectancy and behavioral intention, which impact actual usage variables, are qualified as predictors in the UTAM model. Therefore, this study employs these factors affecting organizational performance in the UAE construction industry.

This study proposes a research model based on UTAUT as the model offers theoretical direction that supports building the research hypotheses for identifying key determinants of BIM adoption impact to achieve organizational performance within the context of the construction sector in UAE. The model employs three out of six of the known influential constructs from the UTAUT model, touching the perceived performance, intention to use, and actual use, and studies their impact on organizational performance as a dependent construct of BIM technology adoption. Despite the considerable usage of the UTAUT model in literature, limited research was done to explore the relationship between these selected constructs to study their relationship and impact on companies’ organizational performance (Financial and operational). The following proposed hypotheses explore the associations between the study variables to support the development of a proposed research model.

Performance expectation refers to how new technology can give consumers the anticipated rewards for doing particular activities, and it makes complete sense that the more a user's performance improves when utilizing technology, the greater their intention to continue using it (Venkatesh et al. 2013). Performance expectation and intent behaviour are the greatest predictors of new technology usage (Williams et al. 2015). Therefore, it’s essential to explore the impact of performance expectations on BIM technology adoption within UAE-based construction companies. Hence, the below hypothesis is proposed :

H1: Performance expectancy positively impacts the behavioral intention of BIM usage in the UAE construction industry

The correlation between a user's behavioral intention and their actual use of a new technology, such as BIM, is supported by a few of the models incorporated as part of the UTAUT model (Davis 1989). According to Venkatesh and Davis’s (2000) research, there is a persistent movement toward organizations shifting away from hierarchical structures and toward those comprising more networked, self-governing teams and integrated practices that support using new technological innovations such as BIM. Therefore, the below hypothesis is proposed :

H2: Behavioral intention positively impacts the use of BIM in the UAE construction industry

According to the study performed by Tajuddin et al. (2015), innovation has a considerable positive influence on the overall performance of businesses. The study also supported the significance of dynamics within the construction industry, the requirement for reform strategies to improve the performance of the sand, and the need for reform strategies to improve the sector's performance. As a result, investigating how BIM affects organizational performance within the UAE construction industry is vital as it can lead to an overall performance improvement in the UAE business ecosystem.

H3: The use of BIM positively impacts the organizational and business performance of UAE-based construction companies.

As shown in Fig. 1, the proposed research model demonstrates the proposed hypotheses and the relationships between the research variables.

Fig. 1.
figure 1

The research model

4 Conclusion

This paper addresses the impact of key determinates of BIM technology adoption on various aspects of organizational performance in the UAE construction industry. The proposed research model and hypotheses in this paper address the research objective and question by highlighting an existing gap in the literature related to BIM technology adoption determinates impact on organizational performance using the UTAUT model specific to the UAE construction industry (Rogers et al. 2015). The model evaluates BIM technology performance expectancy, behavioral intention, use behavior, and organizational performance, as variables to investigate the relationship in the context of the UAE construction industry. Hence, assisting construction companies in the UAE to increase organizational performance by leveraging BIM technology benefits. The proposed research model in this paper offers an opportunity for future studies to focus on empirical evaluation to understand BIM and different technology adoption and organizational performance and enrich the literature on diffusion on innovation impact. Furthermore, it assists construction companies in the UAE to increase organizational performance by leveraging BIM technology benefits. However, the paper has a few limitations as it’s only a framework paper applied in the UAE context. The study can be extended to other countries and industry contexts.