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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2004

A.M. Blayse and K. Manley

The goal of this paper is to identify the main factors driving or hindering construction innovation. An analysis of the relevant literature indicates there are six primary…

Abstract

The goal of this paper is to identify the main factors driving or hindering construction innovation. An analysis of the relevant literature indicates there are six primary influences: (1) clients and manufacturers; (2) the structure of production; (3) relationships between individuals and firms within the industry and between the industry and external parties; (4) procurement systems; (5) regulations/standards; and (6) the nature and quality of organizational resources. Attention to these factors by businesses and public policy makers would be a key component of effective innovation strategy and policy. Further research is needed, however, to explore the relationships between innovation influences, and between innovation influences and other aspects of business strategy and environment, in the context of broader societal considerations. Further research should also identify quantitative estimates of the impact of innovation on the construction industry.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 4 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 28 April 2020

Rita Lavikka, Olli Seppänen, Antti Peltokorpi and Joonas Lehtovaara

University research efforts have not been effective in developing lasting impacts on operations management in construction because of inadequate coordination between…

Abstract

Purpose

University research efforts have not been effective in developing lasting impacts on operations management in construction because of inadequate coordination between academia and industry. This study aims to describe the development of an industry–university (IU) relationship which has enabled the conduct of practically and scientifically relevant research.

Design/methodology/approach

Design science research was carried out between 2016 and 2019 to build a consortium between a university and 17 design, construction, technology and logistics companies for enabling process innovations in construction. The consortium conducted industry-funded research on various topics, such as takt production, lean design management, prefabrication, measurement of waste and business models supported by digitalisation. The academic and practical impacts of the consortium’s research projects were investigated through a survey and in-depth company interviews.

Findings

The paper presents a conceptual model for creating an IU relationship to support scientifically and practically relevant research. The model includes network architects who mobilised consortium development and a joint governance body that developed a shared long-term vision and selected research topics based on this vision. The results show that using the model’s approach, the consortium selected research topics that have led to both academic publications and process innovations in construction.

Originality/value

Using empirical data, this study describes how to create a win-win IU innovation relationship that enables the implementation of process innovations into the construction sector and, at the same time, the conduct of scientific research in construction management.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 24 March 2021

Natalya Sergeeva and Meri Duryan

This paper aims to explore the ways innovation becomes enabled through knowledge management and sharing which has important implications for establishing and sustaining…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the ways innovation becomes enabled through knowledge management and sharing which has important implications for establishing and sustaining the culture of innovative thinking in project-based construction firms. This study adopts a reflective practitioner perspective to explore this relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

In total, 30 semi-structured interviews were conducted with the construction sector professionals whose roles are most relevant in the connection between innovation and knowledge management. Thematic analysis and cognitive mapping techniques were used to analyse the interview data.

Findings

The research findings indicate that due to the complexity of project-based construction firms, a more holistic approach to knowledge management and organisational learning at the firm level is required. This would enable a culture of continuous and coordinated knowledge flow that facilitates innovation and continuous improvement in project-based firms.

Practical implications

This paper has important implications for practising managers in project-based construction firms. By better understanding the ways organisational knowledge can be managed to become an enabler of innovation would allow to build and enhance firms’ innovative capabilities, individual and team competencies. There is a real need for innovation knowledge managers as formal job positions in the construction sector.

Originality/value

This study contributes to construction innovation and project management research and practice by providing insights into establishing and sustaining the culture of learning and innovative thinking.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 2016

Lingyun Zhou, Jie Wu, Dong Mu, Yachao Wu and Zhonghua Gu

As a crucial element of city planning, an adequately planned logistics center for agricultural products can improve the circulation efficiency of agricultural products…

Abstract

As a crucial element of city planning, an adequately planned logistics center for agricultural products can improve the circulation efficiency of agricultural products, thereby contributing to a convenient lifestyle of urban residents. First, this study analyzed the functional zones of urban green logistics centers for agricultural products based on low-carbon idea. A method was also proposed to calculate the area of each functional zone. Moreover, this study proposed a layout planning innovation method of urban green logistics centers for agricultural products based on logistics motion line analysis and logistics intensity calculation. Lastly, this study analyzed the application processes of the layout planning methodology according to the topographical conditions of Huai’an logistics center project case in China. Results of the case study show that the construction innovation method proposed in this study is scientific, reasonable, and practical. The construction innovation method can be also used for the planning and designing of similar urban logistics centers.

Details

Open House International, vol. 41 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0168-2601

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Article
Publication date: 22 January 2018

Rami Sariola

The manufacturers of construction components and materials are the suppliers in construction projects, and represent a significant portion of their value. However, their…

Abstract

Purpose

The manufacturers of construction components and materials are the suppliers in construction projects, and represent a significant portion of their value. However, their knowledge is not used sufficiently when it comes to construction innovation. This research paper focuses on the suppliers’ innovation potential in construction projects. The purpose of this paper is to identify practices for enhancing the contractor–supplier relationship and using the suppliers’ innovation potential in construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative exploratory research strategy is used in the context of construction projects. In total, 18 interviews were conducted with contractors to discover the experiences and practices related to the contractor–supplier relationship and construction innovation.

Findings

The contractors perceive that the suppliers have innovation potential, and that they are often a source of construction innovation. The findings reveal business- and project-level practices for enhancing the contractor–supplier relationship and for overcoming barriers that hinder the suppliers’ innovation potential.

Research limitations/implications

The research conducted for this paper is limited to the contractors’ perspectives based on construction projects in one country. Further research is encouraged to verify the success of identified practices and cover the perspectives of the suppliers, clients and designers.

Originality/value

Limited research and attention is directed toward the role of the suppliers in projects within the construction industry. This paper offers important information about the part that both the suppliers and the contractors play in construction innovation and its facilitation.

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2015

Emiliya V. Suprun and Rodney A. Stewart

The aim of this study is to explore the current situation in the Russian construction industry and the obstacles, drivers and strategies that affect innovation…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to explore the current situation in the Russian construction industry and the obstacles, drivers and strategies that affect innovation implementation most significantly. The Russian construction industry is highly conservative and is often criticised for its lack of innovation. Construction firms invest relatively little in innovation adoption, development of new ideas and formal research and development.

Design/methodology/approach

This study utilised an extensive literature review followed by a questionnaire survey incorporating some post hoc interviews with 52 experts from the Russian architecture, engineering and construction industry to identify the most significant drivers, enablers, barriers and strategies related to innovation diffusion in construction.

Findings

Findings indicated that economic and financial difficulties, as well as inappropriate legislation, are the most significant barriers to innovation. Financial incentives, legislative improvements and the promotion of alternative construction procurement methods were viewed as the most critical strategies to improve the current lacklustre rate of innovation diffusion.

Originality/value

While there is anecdotal evidence that the Russian construction industry is lagging in terms of technological advancement, its closed nature means that there is still little reported evidence on what are the main barriers to innovation diffusion in this country. Hence, there is a lack of focus on innovation diffusion rates in different construction sectors, such as building and civil infrastructure and limited consideration on how effectively the research and development sector contributes to innovation.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 4 October 2017

Ayirebi Dansoh, Daniel Oteng and Samuel Frimpong

The purpose of this research is to identify the conditions under which the internal environment of small construction firms makes them either develop or adopt an innovation.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this research is to identify the conditions under which the internal environment of small construction firms makes them either develop or adopt an innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

The research described in this paper adopted a qualitative case study approach. The data were obtained from multiple sources such as face-to-face semi-structured interviews with company representatives and from project reports.

Findings

The study identified that firms’ decision to either adopt or develop an innovation is determined by a complex interaction between their internal environment and 12 different conditions. Some of the findings contrast widespread perceptions in broader literature on innovation development and adoption in small construction firms.

Research limitations/implications

The study focused only on firms from two regions in Ghana. Additionally, adopting a purely qualitative approach meant that the quantitative impacts of the different factors were not presented.

Practical implications

The results can inform the decisions of agencies and persons wishing to invest their resources in innovation activities of small construction firms. It can also inform the policy debate and directions of government and industry associations looking to create innovation-friendly environments in the small business sector.

Originality/value

This research provides a better understanding of innovation development and adoption by small construction firms. Given that there is little previous research on innovation by small construction firms, especially in developing economies, the paper complements existing studies that generally focus on much larger firms and developed economies.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 17 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 3 January 2017

John Lindgren and Stephen Emmitt

The purpose of this paper is to identify factors that influence the diffusion of a systemic innovation in the Swedish construction sector. The focus is on high-rise…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify factors that influence the diffusion of a systemic innovation in the Swedish construction sector. The focus is on high-rise multi-storey timber housing; the development of which was enabled by a change in building regulations. This allowed building higher than two stories in timber.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal case study was used with multiple data collection methods to study the development and diffusion of a multi-storey timber house system by a case study organisation.

Findings

The findings contribute to understanding for a number of interacting factors influencing the diffusion of a systemic innovation related to the case study organisation.

Originality/value

The research provides a holistic view of interacting factors influencing the diffusion of a systemic innovation. The results have value to the Swedish construction sector and to the global community of construction researchers, as it provides empirical findings that further increase the understanding for diffusion of systemic innovations in a specific context.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 17 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 11 October 2011

Kushan Kulatunga, Udayangani Kulatunga, Dilanthi Amaratunga and Richard Haigh

Clients or users of products, processes or services are currently being identified as potential sources of innovation in construction. There are concerns about the degree…

Abstract

Purpose

Clients or users of products, processes or services are currently being identified as potential sources of innovation in construction. There are concerns about the degree of innovation within the construction industry, despite having potential to be innovative. The role that can be played by the construction client to promote innovation in the industry is well documented. However, lack of knowledge on the desirable characteristics of the construction client was identified as one of the barriers for the construction client to be an effective innovation promoter. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to evaluate the characteristics of the construction client that promote innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple holistic case studies were used as the research strategy and semi‐structured interviews were used as the principal data collection technique. Code‐based content analysis and cognitive mapping were used to analyse the interviews. Data analysis was supported by two computer‐aided softwares, NVivo and Decision Explorer.

Findings

Clients can increase the efficiency of work carried out towards the construction process, stimulate team dynamics, and team action through the championing characteristics, which in turn can strengthen the innovation process that lead to the innovative product. Being a team player, promoting respect for people, and knowledge and information dissemination are identified as constituents of the championing characteristics of clients that promote innovation in construction projects. The personal skills of clients such as competence, value judgement, flexibility, and self‐motivation will energise the success of the championing characteristics.

Originality/value

The client characteristics identified from the study widen the knowledge base of the client to successfully engage in construction innovation.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 11 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Nor’Aini Yusof, Kong Seng Lai and Ernawati Mustafa Kamal

An organisation’s performance tends to be associated with its innovativeness. However, innovation remains challenging in the construction industry, partially due to the…

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.

Details

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1726-0531

Keywords

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