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Civil engineering, 2.1 CIVIL ENGINEERING
The high knowledge intensity of professional service firms (PSFs) has been extensively researched in industries such as manufacturing; however, lesser attention has been given to construction. As the construction sector in Ireland continues in its path of sustained growth, knowledge acquisition is becoming a central issue for strategy researchers within the sector. While several authors have explored aspects of the strategy in construction PSFs, knowledge acquisition as a tool for driving strategy remains largely unexplored. Previous studies have applied the theoretical underpinnings of social contagion (SC) to sectors such as healthcare, however, research into SC theory is lacking within construction. This paper therefore, examines the significance of social contagion in the knowledge acquisition process of quantity surveying (QS) firms in Ireland. The aim of this study is to shine new light on whether knowledge acquisition in PSFs is deliberate, emergent or driven by social contagion. By employing a quantitative method of enquiry, the study further illuminates the latent effect of social contagion in driving knowledge acquisition in PSFs. The study provides an important opportunity to advance the understanding of social contagion theory in construction by demonstrating firms acquire knowledge spontaneously to keep up with trends in the industry, rather than in a planned, deliberate sequence.
Murphy, R. & Oluwasegun, S. (2018) Keeping up with the Joneses: Social Contagion and Knowledge Acquisition in Irish Construction Professional Service Firms, 9th Annual Graduate Research Symposium, Dublin Institute of Technology, Ireland.