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The role of organizational culture in motivating innovative behaviour in construction firms

Andreas Hartmann (Department of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Twente, Enschede, The Netherlands)

Construction Innovation

ISSN: 1471-4175

Article publication date: 1 September 2006



Motivation is the main force through which individuals allocate effort to generate and implement innovative ideas. However, employees are only motivated to go beyond their designated role and get involved in spontaneous and innovative activities if they have a strong identification with the organization. Organizational culture plays a critical role in motivating innovative behaviour, as it can create commitment among members of an organization in terms of believing in innovation as an organizational value and accepting innovation‐related norms prevalent within the organization. The research this paper reports on addresses the motivational aspects of the relationship between culture and innovation in construction firms. Specifically, it focuses on those managerial actions through which the importance of innovation may be communicated and innovation‐related behaviour may be induced and reinforced. An in‐depth case study investigating the innovation activities of a Swiss contractor revealed that project constraints and regional separation may diminish the motivational effects of managerial actions in construction firms. It is concluded that a culture that motivates new solutions and innovative improvements in particular first of all prevents ideas from getting lost in daily business and within the organization. Giving immediate feedback, providing communication channels for implicit knowledge, allowing for autonomous work and task identity, initiating innovation projects and using a comprehensive reward and incentive system are appropriate managerial actions in this regard.



Hartmann, A. (2006), "The role of organizational culture in motivating innovative behaviour in construction firms", Construction Innovation, Vol. 6 No. 3, pp. 159-172.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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