MIT      Construction Engineering and Management                               

E- Business Strategies

E-Commerce and the Internet in Real Estate and Construction  



last revised January 29, 2004



Teaching Intent:

This course is intended to cover several key technologies and business models available in e-business strategies for organizations. 

The materials are generally based on the real estate, design, and construction industry, and on the technologies that have the most potential to change that industry.   However,  not all the cases are drawn from those fields, and students with other interests will benefit from the course. 

Strategic Management (MIT 1.46) concentrated on the basic strategy tools useful in practice management and career planning for the vast majority of firms for whom strategy is a means to improve how they compete, but who are not seeking to restructure or transform an industry.     In this class, we continue these studies with particular emphasis on technologies and models that have transformed other industries, and that might transform real estate, construction, and design. 

Similarly, most of Strategic Management 1.46 assumes that strategy discussions occur in the context of an ongoing business.   This course gives substantially more weight to issues in entrepreneurship and in starting a new business or in commercializing a new technology or business model. 


The teaching methodology similarly relies more on student research and presentations of original work, than on the analysis of existing case studies.   Case studies are still used to illustrate real world applications of the concepts; but they are not used to test learning. 

Project Issues

The major deliverable work for students is a project, due near the end of the term.   The project can be a white paper for publication, a case study for future teaching use, or a business plan.   It is hoped that most of the projects will be conceived by students to follow an area of their interest.     Other projects can be on topics suggested by the instructor. 

  • Note that there will be some flexibility called for with respect to calendar and to tasks, as itís not yet known what the project topics will be. 

  • There will be several interim assignments with respect to the projects.   The objective is to identify topics early, to promote a steady work plan for the effort, and to allow time for editing and redirection. 

  • It is expected that at the end of the term, all of the projects will be compiled and published as a contribution to the thinking about the future of the construction industry. 

  • The class is organized along the lines that a Table of Contents might be organized for the final work product.    Similarly, most of the Topics in the class schedule make good possible subject categories for papers, when applied with the Competitive Advantage model. 

Revised February 29, 2004








Readings:     Title


Macomber, "Follow the Money: What Really Drives Technology Innovation in Construction and Real Estate" BuildingVision Online Library
Avalon Bay Communities REIT Annual Report Library
Bower and Christensen, "Disruptive Technologies: Catching the Wave" MIT Course Reader
Porter, "How Information Gives You Competitive Advantage" Reader
Turning Process Into Value: A New Global Engineering Solution for Joy Library
Oculus, Inc Fuels Rapid Business Growth with Autodesk Revit Library
Hammer: "Deep Change: How Operational Innovation can Transform Your Company" Reader
Supply Chain Management at World Co, Inc Reader
Demand Management by i2 Library
Efficiency in Demand Planning at Toyota Library
Macomber,  "IT Strategy for Construction Companies" Library
Herman Miller: Innovation by Design Reader
Putting the "Fab" in Prefab: High Style Modular Library
D. R. Horton: USA's Largest Homebuilder Emulates Wal-Mart Library
Knowledge Management at Andersen Consulting Reader
Sarvary, "Knowledge Management and Competition in the Consulting Industry" Reader
H&R Block Library
A Note on Franchising Reader

revised January 29, 2005