HERA is pleased to release the second of our white papers arising from the $10.3 million Endeavour funded project titled “Developing a Construction 4.0 transformation of the Aotearoa New Zealand Construction sector”.

The second report is titled: “Public governance in the context of Construction 4.0: A systematic and comprehensive literature review” and closely follows the release of our first white paper last week on the narrow and broad perspective of Construction 4.0. Both reports were prepared by Prof Jeroen van der Heijden who is working within the Technology Transfer theme of the project.

This whitepaper provides a comprehensive review of the academic literature on public governance in the context of Construction 4.0, focusing on eight recurring themes.

The identified themes include:

  • policy and regulation;
  • infrastructure and investment;
  • skill development and education;
  • digital inclusion and access;
  • collaboration and partnerships;
  • data governance and privacy;
  • interactions with environmental and societal goals; and
  • the impact of Construction 4.0 on public governance itself.
Click image to download report.

Through an analysis of existing research, this review presents an overview of the current knowledge on these themes. The central insight drawn from this review is a significant disparity between the normative debates on the necessity of public governance in Construction 4.0 and the scarcity of empirical knowledge regarding its practical implementation.

While scholars and policymakers emphasise the importance of public governance in addressing the challenges and harnessing the opportunities of Construction 4.0, there is a notable lack of empirical research on how public governance strategies can be effectively implemented in practice. This review contributes to the existing literature by highlighting the research gaps and emphasising the need for further empirical investigations to bridge the theoretical-practical divide in public governance within the context of Construction 4.0.


Why has this white paper come about?

The construction industry has historically been hesitant to adopt new technologies, but the emergence of Construction 4.0 presents an unprecedented opportunity for transformation.

While numerous studies and reports have focused on the technological aspects of Construction 4.0, its impact goes beyond technology adoption, encompassing broader dimensions such as society, environment, governance, and technology itself (referred to as the ‘SEGT dimensions’). However, there is a noticeable absence of comprehensive literature reviews that encompass this holistic understanding of Construction 4.0.

About the author

Prof Jeroen van der Heijden is a Professor of Public Governance at Victoria University of Wellington.  He works at the intersection of regulation and governance, with a specific interest in regulatory stewardship and dynamic governance regimes.

His research aims to help to find suitable local, national and international governance responses to some of the most pressing challenges of our time and his role in the project has been to investigate public policy and regulatory responses to the opportunity presented by Construction 4.0.

Want to know more?

You may be interested to take a deep dive into HERA’s works pertaining to Construction 4.0:


Construction 4.0 as an opportunity:

Notice – exploring Industry 4.0 opportunity for construction

Resource: HERA report shows adoption of construction 4.0 worth $8 billion

Update shared by our CEO and Construction 4.0 Impact Lead, Troy Coyle.