Impacts of isomorphic pressures on BIM adoption in construction projects

Dongping Cao, Heng Li, Guangbin Wang

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

155 Citations (Scopus)


Drawing on institutional theory, this study examines how three types of isomorphic pressures (i.e., coercive, mimetic, and normative pressures) impact building information modeling (BIM) adoption activities in construction projects. The effects of these pressures are empirically tested with survey data collected from 92 construction projects in China. The results from partial least squares analyses indicate that coercive and mimetic pressures both significantly influence the extent of project-level BIM adoption. However, this study does not find support for a significant influence of normative pressures. The results further indicate that client/owner support plays a crucial but varied mediating role in the influences of these different isomorphic pressures. This study reinforces the need to regard project BIM adoption as a complexly socialized activity that is not only motivated by participants' rational needs to proactively address internal process problems, but also driven by external isomorphic pressures related to the acquisition of institutional legitimacy. The findings also provide insights into how different types of institutional forces can be better manipulated to facilitate the diffusion of BIM in the construction industry.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04014056
JournalJournal of Construction Engineering and Management
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014


  • Building information modeling (BIM)
  • Construction projects
  • Innovation adoption
  • Institutional theory
  • Isomorphic pressures
  • Organizational Issues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Industrial relations
  • Strategy and Management


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