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Open Access
Book part
Publication date: 1 May 2019

Pernilla Gluch, Anna Kadefors and Kamilla Kohn Rådberg

The aim of this research is to increase the understanding of how strategic and long-term innovation efforts can be organised, operated and co-created within a…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this research is to increase the understanding of how strategic and long-term innovation efforts can be organised, operated and co-created within a project-based organisational setting.

Design/Methodology/Approach

A case study with a qualitative approach was chosen, showing a critical case with powerful examples rather than representative samples, to draw conclusions from. The analysis builds on the concept of absorptive capacity, which provides a multidimensional perspective on innovation activities in organisations.

Findings

The difficulties in orchestrating an interplay between innovation processes and the construction process in itself is presented. The study identifies effects from introducing new “innovation roles” as well as comprehending implications of collaborative contract forms for innovation.

Research Limitations/Implications

Based on a single case study, and being an in-depth empirical study, a rich description of innovation processes is provided which contributes to generalisation on processes rather than outcomes. The use of the absorptive capacity construct also contributes to a theoretically informed research on innovation in construction.

Practical Implications

The study provides valuable insights regarding how to conduct collaborative innovation in within the frame of construction projects.

Originality/Value

The study of a novel organisational setup, where multiple innovation processes is integrated in a construction project with a partnering contract, provides an understanding on how a construction client can manage the interplay between innovation processes and the construction process in itself. Furthermore, flows of knowledge and effects from introducing new innovation roles are unfolded.

Details

10th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organization
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-051-1

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 March 2022

Olugbenga Timo Oladinrin, Mohamed Arif, Muhammad Qasim Rana and Louis Gyoh

Many companies invest in innovations because of the inherent benefits, and research on innovation has increased over the year. However, the vast majority of research…

Abstract

Purpose

Many companies invest in innovations because of the inherent benefits, and research on innovation has increased over the year. However, the vast majority of research papers deals with purely technical matters. There seem to be growing concerns over ethical issues in adopting innovations in the construction industry. This extant review of literature aims to analyse the interrelations between the concepts of ethics and innovations in construction research to understand the advances of current scientific production and future lines of research.

Design/methodology/approach

Thus, this work presents a bibliometric analysis covering articles obtained from the Web of Science Core Collection Database published between 1995 and May 2021. A sample size of 5,786 research papers relevant to the study was evaluated using VOSviewer software.

Findings

The results of the analysis shed light on the evolution of the connection between the two concepts. The study highlighted Heng Li as the most productive author. The country with the most publications and citations is China. The most productive institution is the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. The results revealed a limited intellectual exchange and lack of cohesion characterising the two concepts (ethics and innovation), resulting in a situation whereby innovation-related researchers tend to follow personal trajectories in isolation from ethics-related researchers in the construction field.

Originality/value

This is probably the most comprehensive scientometric analysis ever conducted to examine the theoretical relationship between ethics and innovation in construction. This study adds to the so far limited knowledge in the field and provides insights for future research. Overall, this review may spur future research on dyad investigation of ethics and innovative related themes in construction such as ethics and sustainability, ethics and sensor-based technology and ethics and innovative safety approach.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 21 December 2021

Liané van Wyk, Kahilu Kajimo-Shakantu and Akintayo Opawole

The South African construction industry appears to be lagging behind other industries in the country in terms of implementation and adoption of innovative technologies…

198

Abstract

Purpose

The South African construction industry appears to be lagging behind other industries in the country in terms of implementation and adoption of innovative technologies. Moreover, sufficient empirical data on the adoption of innovative technologies, especially, in developing countries are not readily available. The aim of this study is therefore to assess the adoption and implementation of innovative technologies in the South African construction industry with a view to improving the industry's performance.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was undertaken using a questionnaire, administered to construction professionals primarily in project management, quantity surveying and architectural firms.

Findings

The key findings show that there are some innovative technologies such as building information modelling, 3-dimensional mapping, drones, 3-dimensional printing and virtual reality that have been deployed. However, limited adoption of innovative technologies within the industry and low levels of knowledge of its benefits among the respondents were reported. This low implementation of innovative technologies was due to critical barriers such as high cost, limited knowledge, time requirement, fear of change, lack of interest, nature of construction processes and lack of team dynamics. Key drivers of innovation were found to include globalization and competition.

Practical implications

The current level of implementation of innovative technologies indicated that they are not yet optimized in the South African construction industry and suggests implications for change, adaptation and growth. The study recommends that firms should consider investing in research and development in order to exploit the potential of innovation for organizations and the industry at large.

Originality/value

The drivers and barriers indicated will help to prioritize the direction of adoption and growth which could help to improve the industry.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 September 2021

Barry Gledson

The purpose of this study is to establish an enhanced model of the innovation-decision process (IDP), specifically for construction. As context, innovation diffusion…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to establish an enhanced model of the innovation-decision process (IDP), specifically for construction. As context, innovation diffusion theory (IDT) is concerned with explaining how some innovations successfully stick whilst others fail to propagate. Because theoretical models provide abstracted representations of systems/phenomena, established IDT models can help decision-making units with innovation-related sense-marking and problem-solving. However, these occasionally fail or require enhancement to represent phenomena more successfully. This is apparent whenever middle-range theory seems ill-fitted to the complexity of construction.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research via 13 semi-structured interviews occurred, with participants recruited via convenience and purposive sampling strategies. The study forms part of a broader mixed-method study (n = 246) informed by a research philosophy of pragmatism, investigating the applicability of classic IDT to the adoption of four-dimensional (4D) building information modelling (4D BIM) by the UK construction sector.

Findings

This diffusion study resulted in the adaptation of an existing IDP model, ensuring a better contextual fit. Classified more specifically as a modular-technological-process innovation, 4D BIM with its potential to provide construction planning improvements is used as a vehicle to show why, for construction, an existing model required theoretical extensions involving additional stages, decision-action points and outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

This model can assist construction industry actors with future adoption/rejection decisions around modular-technological-process innovations. It also aids the understanding of scholars and researchers, through its various enhancements and by reinforcing the importance of existing diffusion concepts of compatibility and trialability, for these innovation types.

Originality/value

An enhanced model of the IDP, specifically for construction, is established. This construction-centric contribution to IDT will be of interest to construction scholars and to practitioners.

Details

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

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 26 June 2021

Koki Arai and Emi Morimoto

The purpose of this study is to identify the essential elements required for innovation in the construction industry. To this end, the authors assessed the innovation at…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to identify the essential elements required for innovation in the construction industry. To this end, the authors assessed the innovation at three levels: the firm growth account level, the firm behaviour level and the level of the firm’s experts. The factors influencing innovation at each level were identified and synthesised into guiding strategies for innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

Three methods were combined to develop a mode of thinking for innovation. First, at the semi-macro level, the authors identified the factors that influence the total factor productivity (TFP) by regressing the TFP across firms of the construction industry on a variety of extrinsic factors. Second, at the firm level, the authors extracted actual innovative firms from a large amount of public procurement individual data. The authors analysed the behaviours of these innovative firms. Third, the authors conducted a survey of expert-level personnel. In addition, a text analysis was performed to determine what was perceived by experts as a factor that leads to innovation.

Findings

The authors analysed the TFP, the behaviour of innovative firms and the perception issues between industry experts and stakeholders regarding innovation. As a result, two factors were identified. The first factor was the expectation of a positive solution to the problem through monopoly profits, future benefits and increased efficiency. The second factor was peer pressure from other organisations of a similar nature, peer pressure from users and technical information, as well as competitive conditions, e.g. recent environmental growth, including relevant innovations.

Practical implications

In the context of innovation, static and dynamic thinking were important requirements. Static concepts were based on the accumulation of knowledge, such as patents and technological progress. Dynamic thinking involved a future outlook, including a competitive environment as a necessary condition. Actual technological innovation was driven by incentives and expectations.

Social implications

According to the results of this study, the authors make the following recommendations for enhancing the construction-industry innovation in Japan: do not rely on a patent policy to drive innovation, create an environment that encourages competition and develop an ongoing initiative that encourages and rewards innovation.

Originality/value

This study was novel, in that the nature of innovation was investigated at three levels: the TFP, firm behaviour and expert perceptions. The identification and extraction of the two resulting points – statically necessary and dynamically necessary elements – was a significant contribution of the study.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 30 June 2021

Zheng Gong and Nannan Wang

Innovation has been acknowledged as the key for modern industries. However, the construction industry is criticised for being poor in innovation performance compared to…

Abstract

Purpose

Innovation has been acknowledged as the key for modern industries. However, the construction industry is criticised for being poor in innovation performance compared to other industry sectors. Large construction firms are the main contributor to technological innovation in the construction industry, but the driving process of their technological innovation has not yet been fully investigated in previous studies. The purpose of this paper is to provide quantitative analysis of the technological innovation driving process of large construction firms.

Design/methodology/approach

An extended crépon, duguet and mairesse (CDM) model has been developed to analyse the key influencing factors for technological innovation in construction firms. The sample data are selected from the world’s largest construction market, China, and include 129 listed construction firms.

Findings

The results show significant positive correlation between R&D investment and innovation output and also between innovation output and performance. The effect of influencing factors on the R&D investment, innovation output and performance are also revealed by the empirical study. The underlying reasons are discussed and suggestions are given for the construction industry to improve the technological innovation capacity of construction firms.

Originality/value

This research contributes to the literature of construction innovation and benefits practitioners by providing a quantitative approach to demonstrate the driving process of innovation in construction firms.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 29 March 2021

Rita Lavikka, Krishna Chauhan, Antti Peltokorpi and Olli Seppänen

Systemic innovations emerge and create value in an inter-organisational context. However, innovation studies rarely investigate the role of value creation and value…

1244

Abstract

Purpose

Systemic innovations emerge and create value in an inter-organisational context. However, innovation studies rarely investigate the role of value creation and value capture among multiple organisations in successful innovation implementation. This paper aims to understand the role of value creation and value capture in the implementation of systemic innovations in construction which is by nature, an inter-organisational context.

Design/methodology/approach

The empirical research focused on the barriers, enablers and opportunities for value creation and value capture of the Finnish construction project parties when trying to implement mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) prefabrication, which is a systemic innovation. Data were collected through interviews, observations and action workshops.

Findings

The empirical study identified interaction patterns on how social, political, technical and economic barriers lead to uneven value capturing, lack of value-based procurement and unclear value creation between MEP design and installation. They hinder the implementation of MEP prefabrication. The results point to enablers leading to fairly shared value to all parties, procurement of value and collaborative value creation, thus increasing the usage of MEP prefabrication, a systemic innovation.

Originality/value

The study adds new knowledge by demonstrating that the identification of barriers and their interaction with enablers and opportunities for value creation and capture lay a baseline for suggestions on how to implement a systemic innovation. This study stresses the importance of enabling value creation and capture for all construction project parties when implementing a systemic innovation.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 21 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 June 2021

Johnson Adafin, Suzanne Wilkinson, James O.B. Rotimi, Casimir MacGregor, John Tookey and Regan Potangaroa

This study aims to examine how innovation can be accelerated within the New Zealand (NZ) building industry to improve the productivity and efficiency of the industry.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine how innovation can be accelerated within the New Zealand (NZ) building industry to improve the productivity and efficiency of the industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The study adopted a mixed philosophical approach combining interpretivism and post-positivism. Data for the study were obtained through a focus group of 50 practitioners that were selected using a stratified sampling procedure. All focus group data were audio-recorded, notes of the discussions were taken and then transcribed, de-identified and managed using NVivo software. Data analysis was undertaken using thematic analysis and inductive reasoning consistent with interpretative phenomenological analysis.

Findings

The study findings revealed that the industry could benefit from the adoption of new and emerging technologies to improve its performance, especially its productivity and efficiency. Key drivers for the adoption of innovative practices included the adaptation of “local best practices” from case studies that would consist of stories of successful innovations that could foster confidence in future innovation. It was also identified that Government and industry should nurture innovation through collaborative contracts, policies and regulations. Further, it was highlighted that a culture of innovation needed to be developed to help nurture competencies and capability within the industry workforce.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides an in-depth examination of the need for innovation from the point of view of building industry practitioners. This study provides a useful starting-off point for further research and for the creation of policies that could help to support and accelerate innovation within the NZ building industry.

Practical implications

NZ’s building industry productivity and efficiency have been sub-optimal relative to other industries. But using evidence from the experiences and knowledge of industry practitioners, strategies can be developed to accelerate innovation within the NZ building industry that could help reverse industry performance. Further, the research findings can help inform government policies to develop support mechanisms that could encourage innovation in the industry in NZ. In addition, it is anticipated that the findings will provide a useful set of guidance for other countries that have similar market and physical constraints as those encountered by NZ.

Originality/value

There is a dearth of empirical studies on innovation in the NZ building industry which the current study contributes to. By sharing industry practitioners’ experiences and knowledge of innovation, the paper seeks to counteract more technocratic and technological optimist accounts of innovation within the building industry. Further, the paper provides insights into how the NZ building industry can transform its performance through innovation.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 10 April 2019

Timothy Rose, Karen Manley and Kristian Widen

The purpose of this study is to examine product innovation as a means of addressing infrastructure shortages in developed economies and to improve the sustainability of…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine product innovation as a means of addressing infrastructure shortages in developed economies and to improve the sustainability of infrastructure. The obstacles to product innovation in the road industry are compared between different types of participants in the supply chain to provide guidelines for interventions to improve innovation rates.

Design/methodology/approach

This exploratory study uses descriptive data from a large scale survey of the Australian road industry. The three top-rated product innovation obstacles for the following four types of participants are examined: contractors, consultants, suppliers and clients.

Findings

The four groups were found to disagree about the relative importance of the obstacles. Contractors and suppliers ranked “restrictive price-only tender assessment” used by clients as their number one obstacle, while consultants thought there was too much emphasis by the clients on direct costs compared with whole-of-life costs. On the other hand, clients felt suppliers do not do enough thorough testing prior to proposing a new product and disagreed with suppliers about who should carry the risk of new product failure.

Research limitations/implications

The conceptual framework was found to yield novel insights with significant policy implications. The construction-specific contextual determinants that were integrated by the authors into a broad innovation diffusion process proved useful in categorising road product innovation obstacles across the four surveyed supply chain groups – without overlap or omission. The new framework also proved useful in ordering the key obstacles across groups for interpretation and discussion. In disaggregating product obstacles according to groups, these contextual determinants were proven to be mutually exclusive and to represent important focal points in promoting the uptake of product innovation in construction. Although the current study has usefully provided quantitative data concerning construction innovation obstacles, there are limitations due to its reliance on descriptive statistics. Future work by the authors is proposed to analyse the relationships between innovation obstacles and supply chain partners using inferential statistics to further develop and validate these early findings. The current study is an interim step in this work and an important contribution in identifying and addressing firm-level barriers seen to be constraining construction product innovation.

Practical implications

Results suggest there is a need for government clients to carefully consider the differing perspectives across the supply chain when developing strategies to encourage the adoption of mutually-beneficial innovative products on their construction projects. Inclusive focus groups examining the drivers, configuration and benefits of collaborative procurement systems are recommended to reduce innovation obstacles.

Social implications

Society relies on urban infrastructure for daily living and the current study contributes to stretching infrastructure investment dollars and reducing the environmental impact of infrastructure provision.

Originality/value

No previous study has compared the perception of product innovation obstacles across different road industry supply chain partners. This is a significant gap, as differences in opinions across the supply chain need to be understood to develop the shared expectations and the improved relationships required to improve product innovation rates. Product innovation is important because it has been shown to improve efficiency (potentially addressing the road investment gap) and reduce deleterious environmental impacts.

Article
Publication date: 5 December 2016

Soroush Maghsoudi, Colin Duffield and David Wilson

This paper aims to develop a practical tool to evaluate the outcomes of innovative practices in the building and construction industry.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a practical tool to evaluate the outcomes of innovative practices in the building and construction industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A practical tool was proposed. It is an online tool programmed in a JavaScript environment. A previously developed and tested framework was the basis for this tool. Six case projects were used to test and validate the reliability of the tool. The outcomes of the building projects were categorized into six categories of economic, quality, social, environmental, satisfaction and soft and organizational impacts.

Findings

The most important finding of this research was that the evaluation of innovation in building and construction would be possible only if the subjective assessment is tolerated to include the non-monetary outcomes in the evaluation, as well as the monetary outcomes.

Research limitations/implications

The findings of this research are limited to the domestic and medium density building projects; thus, the outcomes might be generalized with appropriate care. The developed tool would assist practitioners in the field of building and construction to realize the impacts of innovation introduced into their projects. The project owners and developers could be the main audience of this tool.

Practical implications

The main contribution of the current study into the literature is the consideration of tangible and intangible outcomes of innovation together. In other words, this tool not only evaluates monetary outcomes but also takes into account non-monetary outcomes. It has been stated in the literature that 80 per cent of firms choose “non-numeric” project selection models (Meredith and Mantel, 2006). To provide a full representation of the reality, this model considers both numeric and non-numeric measures by applying both quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods. The project owners and developers could be the main audience of this tool. It is worth mentioning that this tool is the first attempt of its kind for building and construction projects, and it is applicable and fully practical.

Originality/value

This tool is the first attempt of its kind to evaluate practically the outcomes of innovation in the building and construction industry. The tool practicality and applicability in the real-world project is a privilege which gives more reliability and credibility to the proposed approach of innovation evaluation.

Details

International Journal of Innovation Science, vol. 8 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-2223

Keywords

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