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Innovation in infrastructure projects: an Australian perspective

Soroush Maghsoudi (University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
Colin Duffield (University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)
David Wilson (University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia)

International Journal of Innovation Science

ISSN: 1757-2223

Article publication date: 6 June 2016

Abstract

Purpose

Unlike manufacturing and research and developments, major infrastructure projects rarely emphasize or drive their objectives on the basis of innovation. This is in part because of a risk-averse culture, yet conceivably great benefits and opportunities are being lost because of this behavior.

Design/methodology/approach

The case for focusing on innovation in infrastructure projects is that the reasons driving innovation are not fully understood, and this impedes the effective implementation of lessons learned for the numerous innovative projects into practice more generally. The purpose of this study was to discover how innovation is produced and captured in major infrastructure projects in Australia and to understand how innovation may be replicated for future projects through refinement of design, project management, finance and procurement.

Findings

Engineering and project managers may find this paper helpful to better understand how innovation might happen in infrastructure projects and what different forms it can take.

Originality/value

The findings of this study demonstrate that people and culture drive consistent successful infrastructure outcomes more than simply the development of new products or processes.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The research described in the above paper was funded by The Department of Infrastructure and Transport of Australia. The authors wish to thank their support during the first phase of the research and ongoing contribution to the rest of the study. Also, the anonymous reviewers of the paper are appreciated for their invaluable comments and suggestions which enhanced the quality the final version of the paper.

Citation

Maghsoudi, S., Duffield, C. and Wilson, D. (2016), "Innovation in infrastructure projects: an Australian perspective", International Journal of Innovation Science, Vol. 8 No. 2, pp. 113-132. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJIS-06-2016-008

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2016, Emerald Group Publishing Limited