AbstractThe challenge for engineering firms to align with an unprecedented variation of digital integration agendas across projects is a recent phenomenon. The literature has offered only a partial understanding of this challenge due to the episodic focus on the digital delivery of individual projects or the initial adoption of digital practice in firms. Through a longitudinal ethnographic study of an engineering firm, this paper explored how practitioners act upon the surge of custom digital integration agendas across multiple projects. By looking at and beyond a large portfolio of projects that demanded building information modeling (BIM) cloud collaboration, this study found that disparate digital agendas across projects disrupt digital integration routines, and they have knock-on effects that can overreach project boundaries and impact projects portfolios and firm operations. With this evidence, this research spotlights the shifting loci of information integration in practice, wherein custom agendas pressure practitioners to shift the focus of integration from their permanent practice at firms to temporary workflows in projects. By revealing organizational responses to this phenomenon, this paper introduces the concept of genericity–complexity trade-off in digital integration routines to explain how firms generate routines that address integration either with ad hoc responses in projects or with systemized integrative efforts across all constellations of practice.

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