The purpose of this paper is to identify the major influences on innovation delivery in the context of small Australian construction businesses.
An analysis was undertaken of peer‐reviewed journal articles published between 1998 and 2008. Historical background to the current circumstances was included by reference to influential government reports and to literature on the economic theory underpinning the concept of innovation.
The findings suggest that despite the recent trend to more cooperative business arrangements, the ingrained culture of aggressively competitive relations on a building project remains in place. This is particularly evident at the small and sub‐contractor level. Such companies tend to operate with little spare capacity and can be restricted from participation in the benefits of the innovation strategies unless they receive outside assistance.
The need for an attitudinal change is described and critical factors which restrict the involvement of small businesses in innovative practice are identified. The potential for industry bodies and government organizations to foster innovative capacity is identified as an area for future research.
A focus on lifting technical innovation rates for the efficient delivery of projects is described and the case for a renewed research effort on the needs of small construction businesses is made.
The need for the translation of innovation theory to an industry which tends to see itself as a special case and has traditionally avoided the adoption of economic theory from other sectors.
Hardie, M. (2010), "Influences on innovation in small Australian construction businesses", Journal of Small Business and Enterprise Development, Vol. 17 No. 3, pp. 387-402. https://doi.org/10.1108/14626001011068699Download as .RIS
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