Nudging for smart construction: Tackling uncertainty by changing design engineers' choice architecture

Marc van Buiten, Andreas Hartmann, Jeroen van der Meer

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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    Nudging refers to the deliberate change in choice architecture (i.e., the careful design of the environments in which people make choices) with the goal of engineering a particular (benign) outcome. The core proposition of nudging is that seemingly innocuous alterations of choice architecture matter: they influence decision making. Typically, the early stages of decision making in construction projects have a long-term impact on project performance, but are at the same time often fraught with uncertainties. We experimentally examine if tweaking a trade-off matrix used to assess preliminary design options in a design competition can raise uncertainty awareness of decision makers and can nudge decision makers away from riskier, more uncertain options, towards less risky and uncertain options. First results indicate a statistically unreliable shift in the predicted direction. Based on our research results, we suggest and discuss other pertinent and potentially more effective nudges.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the Engineering Project Organization Conference, EPOC 2016
    Subtitle of host publicationJune 28-30, 2016, Cle Elum, Washington, USA
    EditorsJessica Kaminsky, Vedran Zerjav
    Place of PublicationCle Elum, WA, USA
    Number of pages10
    Publication statusPublished - 2016
    EventEngineering Project Organization Conference 2016 - Cle Elum, United States
    Duration: 28 Jun 201630 Jun 2016

    Publication series

    NameWorking Paper Proceedings


    ConferenceEngineering Project Organization Conference 2016
    Abbreviated titleEPOC 2016
    Country/TerritoryUnited States
    CityCle Elum
    Internet address


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