Humans tend to rely on beliefs, assumptions and cognitive rules‐of‐thumb for making judgments and are biased against taking more uncertain alternatives. Such inertia has implications for client organizations' decision making about innovations, which are inherently more uncertain than conventional alternatives. The purpose of this paper is to contribute to furthering the understanding of barriers to overcoming inertia in client decision making in new‐build.
A descriptive behavioural decision‐making perspective is combined with an organizational information‐processing perspective. To identify and discuss individual and organizational barriers that potentially distort clients' decision making on innovation, the analysis addresses aggregated data from four studies. The analysis focuses on inferences and interpretations made by decision makers in Swedish client organizations, their information‐processing practices and the subsequent impacts on perceived meanings and judgments about industrialized multi‐storey, timber‐framed building innovations, which are perceived by Swedish clients as new and different building alternatives.
Cognitive and organizational barriers maintain status‐quo decisions. Clients are inclined to make biased judgments about industrialized‐building alternatives because non‐applicable cognitive rules‐of‐thumb, based on their experiences of conventional‐building alternatives, are used. Furthermore, client organizations' information‐processing practices do not allow different meanings to surface, interact and potentially suggest different conclusions, at odds with established beliefs.
The paper's conclusions highlight how inertia is sustained in client decision making in new‐build. They illustrate the limitations of a common engineering approach, i.e. supporting decision making about innovations by focusing on providing more information to the decision maker in order to reduce uncertainty, as well as managing multiple meanings by reductionism.
Engström, S. and Hedgren, E. (2012), "Sustaining inertia? Construction clients' decision‐making and information‐processing approach to industrialized building innovations", Construction Innovation, Vol. 12 No. 4, pp. 393-413. https://doi.org/10.1108/14714171211272180Download as .RIS
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