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Innovation, construction SMEs and action learning

Caroline L. Davey (University of Salford, Salford, UK)
James A. Powell (University of Salford, Salford, UK)
Ian Cooper (Eclipse Research Consultants, The Eden Centre, Cambridge, UK)
Jennifer E. Powell (University of Salford, Salford, UK)

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management

ISSN: 0969-9988

Article publication date: 1 August 2004



Action learning is intended to enable a group of professionals (a SET) to tackle work problems, develop solutions and reflect upon the success and failure of their actions. As part of the UK construction industry's drive to improve learning and performance, four SETs of small and medium‐sized enterprises (SMEs) were established. This paper evaluates the capacity of action learning to promote innovation and use of technologies within a CIOB‐funded SET located in Watford. Construction companies were unable to address real problems related to their day‐to‐day activities due to competition. Instead, they identified an industry‐wide issue – a lack of quality recruits – and marshalled resources to provide better careers advice and promote opportunities for builders. The role of action learning in empowering construction SMEs to contribute to industry change programmes is explored.



Davey, C.L., Powell, J.A., Cooper, I. and Powell, J.E. (2004), "Innovation, construction SMEs and action learning", Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 230-237.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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