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Characteristics of innovation orientations in construction companies

Nor’Aini Yusof (Department of Architecture, Effat University, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Kong Seng Lai (Department of Architecture and Building, Tunku Abdul Rahman University College, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)
Ernawati Mustafa Kamal (School of Housing, Building and Planning, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Article publication date: 7 August 2017

Abstract

Purpose

An organisation’s performance tends to be associated with its innovativeness. However, innovation remains challenging in the construction industry, partially due to the complex nature of this industry. Nevertheless, innovation orientations (i.e. creation and adoption) shed new light on innovation in the construction industry. These orientations are similar but not entirely identical. Although most studies do not discuss these orientations in any detail, this study aims to classify the characteristics of the innovation orientations and determines the state of innovation among construction companies in Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey questionnaire was mailed to 1,230 construction companies in Malaysia. Descriptive analysis was used to examine the respondents’ profiles, and factor analysis was used to classify the innovation orientation characteristics. A paired samples t-test was used to determine the state of innovation among the construction companies.

Findings

Innovation creation reflects a pioneer’s efforts and involves being a market explorer that tolerates risk and is research and development (R&D)-oriented, whereas innovation adoption involves being a creative imitator, a market follower and a safe player. Construction companies in Malaysia are innovation adoption–oriented.

Research limitations/implications

This study uses quantitative methods only; therefore, the findings are statistically oriented. The small sample size makes generalisation challenging, so this study reflects only the built environment of the developing country of Malaysia.

Originality/value

This study classifies the characteristics of innovation creation and innovation adoption with respect to the innovation orientation of construction companies in Malaysia.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The study was supported by the Universiti Sains Malaysia under Research University Grant Scheme [grant number 1001.PPBGN.816284].

Citation

Yusof, N., Lai, K.S. and Mustafa Kamal, E. (2017), "Characteristics of innovation orientations in construction companies", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 436-455. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-06-2016-0037

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited