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Article
Publication date: 6 January 2021

Florence Crespin-Mazet, Karine Goglio-Primard, Malena I. Havenvid and Åse Linné

The purpose of this study is to address the problematic yet under-researched issue of the disconnectedness of the temporary and permanent levels of organisation in project

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to address the problematic yet under-researched issue of the disconnectedness of the temporary and permanent levels of organisation in project-based firms in terms of learning and innovation diffusion.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a longitudinal case study of a pioneering French construction firm introducing the partnering method in France. Based on an abductive approach, the analytical framework combines insights of the literature on community and networks of practice to investigate the processes and mechanisms of diffusion of innovation in project-based firms.

Findings

The function of semi-permanent organisational levels in connecting the temporary and permanent levels of the firm – the communities of practice (CoPs) and network of practice (NoP) exists besides the formal organization of the firm. As a social learning process, innovation diffusion involves both formal (i.e. vertical) and informal (i.e. horizontal) forms of organising and learning. Intermediary and informal ways of organising enables the embedding of innovation both in terms of content and connections. Foremost, CoPs/NoPs contribute to relational embeddedness. Boundary actors and objects are essential in crossing the different levels of embeddedness to overcome the learning boundaries between temporary projects and the permanent firm.

Research limitations/implications

The investigation is built on a single case study and further empirical research is needed, preferably longitudinal case studies, as this allows greater capture of the diffusion process. The authors suggest further studies using practice-based perspectives to capture the formal and informal ways of organising innovation diffusion.

Practical implications

Managerial interventions should favour the development of the informal dynamics of community and networks to foster both innovation and its diffusion. The managerial challenge lies in creating the right prerequisites for the existence of both the informal community logics of organising and the formal top management decision-making, and to orchestrate their timing in the diffusion process.

Social implications

The study reveals the importance of both formal and informal networks in driving innovation. As such, project-based firms should be aware of these dynamics when striving for change.

Originality/value

The study contributes to the literatures on diffusion of innovation, project marketing and construction management. It includes new insights related to the function of intermediary and informal organisational levels of project-based organisations, the dynamics and connection between the temporary and permanent levels of the project-based firm related to communities and networks of practice, and the boundary spanning activities that are involved between the formal and informal levels of the firm.

Details

Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0885-8624

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2020

Sam Fernando, Kriengsak Panuwatwanich and David Thorpe

This study aims to investigate and model the complex dynamics of innovation enablers in construction projects aiming to develop a framework identifying actions for clients…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate and model the complex dynamics of innovation enablers in construction projects aiming to develop a framework identifying actions for clients to promote innovation.

Design/methodology/approach

Through a comprehensive literature review, a conceptual model was previously derived to explain the client-driven enablers in promoting innovation. This was tested using the data from 131 Australian construction projects. Statistical analysis was conducted on the data using factor analysis and correlation analysis to test the model, which was validated using the case study approach. The testing and validating aspects are explained in this paper.

Findings

The constructs of the recommended model are idea harnessing, relationship enhancement, incentivization and project team fitness.

Research limitations/implications

The difficulty of analyzing the complex dynamics happening within projects in relation to innovation has been a barrier to progress research in this area. The introduction of this model would pave the way for researchers to explore this area with ease.

Originality/value

As revealed in the detailed literature review undertaken, this is the first time that a comprehensive study has been conducted to identify client-led innovation enablers for construction projects. The results would benefit industry practitioners to achieve enhanced project outcomes in construction projects through innovation.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 6 February 2020

Bart Lenderink, Johannes I.M. Halman, Hans Boes and Hans Voordijk

Stimulating innovation in projects can contribute to achieving policy goals, addressing societal challenges and meeting objectives within programs and projects. Despite…

Abstract

Purpose

Stimulating innovation in projects can contribute to achieving policy goals, addressing societal challenges and meeting objectives within programs and projects. Despite their potential, innovations are rarely included in tender assignments and evaluated in the award of civil engineering projects. One explanation for this is the perceived difficulty in triggering and objectively assessing innovations in the awarding of projects. The aim of this paper is to develop, implement and evaluated a method to encourage and assess innovations in the awarding of bridge construction projects to address this problem.

Design/methodology/approach

A design science research (DSR) approach is used to develop, implement and evaluate a method to trigger and assess innovations in tenders for bridge projects. DSR approaches are used to develop “well-tested, well-understood and well documented innovative generic designs, dealing with authentic field problems or opportunities” (van Aken et al., 2016).

Findings

The findings show that the application of the developed method in a bridge project led to the inclusion of a broad range of innovations in the tender offers. Despite the broad support for the defined criteria, there were some differences in the way the criteria were interpreted by the public procurement team and by the tenderers. Despite these differences, no legal claims were filed in court.

Practical implications

Further development and wider adoption of the method is likely to have a positive impact on the application of innovations in bridge projects. With some adjustments, the method would also be appropriate for other civil engineering and construction projects.

Originality/value

This paper contributes to the discussion on how the terms innovation and innovativeness can be operationalized and used in the literature and practice. The developed method provides definitions for assessing the degree as well as the level of innovations in tenders for bridge projects. Further, it provides a way to rank innovations and determine the additional value of the offered innovations in terms of a notional reduction in tender price. Finally, it provides insights into how to encourage innovations through public procurement in civil engineering projects.

Details

Construction Innovation , vol. 20 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

Bart A.G. Bossink

This article presents four basic innovation leadership styles: charismatic, instrumental, strategic and interactive innovation leadership. The leadership styles and their…

Abstract

This article presents four basic innovation leadership styles: charismatic, instrumental, strategic and interactive innovation leadership. The leadership styles and their characteristsics relate to process and product innovations in construction projects. A theoretical framework – which synthesizes these relations – enables explorative research into the effects of leadership on organizational innovativeness. Four case studies, observing the same manager in four comparable projects, explore the effects of each leadership style on a construction project’s innovativeness in ecological terms. On an analytical level the case study explorations indicate that a manager’s consistent performance of a leadership style stimulates the project’s ecological innovativeness when the manager also injects the project with ecological information, knowledge and competence. It also indicates that a manager’s consistent performance of a leadership style, without an injection of information, knowledge and competence in the project, does not stimulate the project’s ecological innovativeness.

Details

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

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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

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

Mersiha Tepic, Frances Fortuin, Ron G.M. Kemp and Onno Omta

The aim of this paper is to establish the differences between the food and beverages (F&B) and technology-based industries with regards to the relation between previously…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this paper is to establish the differences between the food and beverages (F&B) and technology-based industries with regards to the relation between previously identified success factors and innovation project performance.

Design/methodology/approach

These differences are established on the basis of logistic regression analysis, using 38 innovation projects (18 F&B and 20 technology-based).

Findings

Newness of the innovation project to the company, communication capabilities and market potential have a more negative impact on innovation project performance in the F&B than the tech-based industry. Especially functional upstream capabilities increase the likelihood of success in F&B, when compared to tech-based innovation projects.

Practical implications

While functional upstream capabilities are important for success of F&B innovation projects, there is still room for improvement in order to deal effectively with newness of the innovation project to the company. Internalization of resources from the network and a balanced radical/incremental innovation project portfolio contribute to additional enhancement of functional capabilities of the F&B companies, improving their capacity to deal with newness. Through a larger focus on co-innovation with retail, F&B companies can improve their intra- and inter-firm communication capabilities to attain more consumer-oriented integration of R&D and marketing activities, improving the market potential of their innovations.

Originality/value

This paper demonstrates that the previously identified critical success factors for innovation projects differ in impact and importance for F&B innovation project performance when compared to innovation projects in the technology-based industry.

Details

British Food Journal, vol. 116 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0007-070X

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Article
Publication date: 2 May 2008

Karen Manley

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role played by manufacturers of patented products on construction projects.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the role played by manufacturers of patented products on construction projects.

Design/methodology/approach

Four projects are reviewed to investigate the research question “How can manufacturers ensure the successful implementation of their product innovations on construction projects?”

Findings

Using a framework comprising six key innovation determinants, case‐study analysis demonstrates the critical role played by relationships and knowledge‐flows in creating conditions that support project‐based innovation by manufacturers. Such conditions comprise: advanced procurement systems, robust internal firm competencies, performance‐based regulations, effective technical support providers, and project‐imbedded manufacturers.

Research limitations/implications

The study was designed to meet industry needs and hence does not emphasise theoretical aspects.

Practical implications

Manufacturers can improve the diffusion of their product innovations on construction projects by using relationship networks to promote the above conditions, or to locate contexts where such conditions prevail, or to leverage those conditions that are most favourable.

Originality/value

The paper addresses four gaps in the construction management literature: there is very little literature on the role of manufacturers in innovation on construction projects; the literature on subcontractors tends to assume easily substitutable supplies; there is a focus in the literature on large projects, and the literature is dominated by quantitative studies. By undertaking a qualitative analysis of manufacturers of patented products subcontracting to small projects, this paper addresses the above shortcomings.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

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Article
Publication date: 4 September 2017

Tina Lundø Tranekjer

Innovation projects are often risky and costly. But not all innovation projects lead to commercialisation; some are abandoned, and these abandoned innovation projects can…

Abstract

Purpose

Innovation projects are often risky and costly. But not all innovation projects lead to commercialisation; some are abandoned, and these abandoned innovation projects can be classified as a waste of resources. Therefore, this paper studies the influence of different external sources and a firm’s decision to abandon an innovation project. The purpose of this paper is to provide a broader understanding of abandoned projects.

Design/methodology/approach

The data applied are quantitative data and the empirical background is the Danish Innovation Survey 2009. The sample consists of Danish manufacturing firms with ten employees or more (n=840). The results are based on logistic regression analysis.

Findings

Results reveal that firms should consider that the involvement of customers can lead them to abandon innovation projects. However, if firms combine customers with universities, it will decrease the likelihood of innovation projects being abandoned. A more in-depth analysis shows that the involvement of customers from “Europe” (countries in Europe excluding Denmark) and the “US” leads to innovation projects being abandoned while customers from “other countries” (the rest of the world, including China and India) have the opposite effect.

Originality/value

The contribution is to the limited literature on abandoned innovation projects by suggesting that the type of external sources is a significant factor in firms’ decisions to abandon innovation projects. The paper identifies that the involvement of certain external sources leads firms to decide to abandon innovation projects, and that the country of origin of the external sources is an important criterion to consider in relation to a firm’s decision to abandon innovation projects.

Details

Business Process Management Journal, vol. 23 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-7154

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2019

Fangwei Zhu, Mengtong Jiang and Miao Yu

The challenge of unforeseen uncertainties in exploratory projects requires the lead firm in a project alliance to effectively manage exploratory co-innovation. The purpose…

Abstract

Purpose

The challenge of unforeseen uncertainties in exploratory projects requires the lead firm in a project alliance to effectively manage exploratory co-innovation. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the types of capabilities a lead firm required in exploratory projects and how these capabilities enable the exploratory innovation of the project alliance.

Design/methodology/approach

A multiple-case study was done to provide empirical evidence for the rationale of the capabilities of the lead firm. The provided analysis used abductive reasoning of two typical exploratory projects in China.

Findings

This paper identifies two types of capabilities: innovation-related capabilities and network-related capabilities. Furthermore, a process model of the capabilities of the lead firm is developed that enables exploratory co-innovation in a project alliance. The capabilities of the lead firm input varied at four different stages.

Practical implications

Innovation-related capabilities and network-related capabilities could form the foundation for the lead firm in an exploratory project alliance. This will enable an exploratory co-innovation and collaboratively overcome the barriers of exploratory projects.

Originality/value

Although exploratory project attracts extensive attention for its unique characteristics and universal value, there is limited amount of research on the context of joint exploratory projects. This study starts from the role of lead firm in an exploratory project alliance, contributes toward the comprehension of the link between the lead firm’s capabilities and the process of exploratory co-innovation. The findings will be of value in supporting the management of exploratory innovation in a project alliance.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2003

Vera Blazevic, Annouk Lievens and Evelien Klein

Mobile service innovations are crucial for the long‐term success of companies operating in turbulent and uncertain environments. These innovations need to be introduced at…

Abstract

Mobile service innovations are crucial for the long‐term success of companies operating in turbulent and uncertain environments. These innovations need to be introduced at a rapid pace while at the same time companies have to absorb market information during the new mobile service development. Hence, the purpose of this paper is to construct a conceptual framework on the critical antecedents of project learning and time‐to‐market during new mobile service development. An extensive case study research involving four innovation projects was performed in a leading Dutch telecommunications company. With respect to project learning, our research findings indicate the crucial influence of a flexible decision architecture, project team memory, a high information awareness and a good fit between information requirements and capabilities. Both innovative and coordinative communication are required throughout the service innovation process. With regard to time‐to‐market, our research results point to the essential impact of project complexity, top management support, information power of suppliers and technological synergy. Finally, a medium level of project learning is the ideal condition for a fast time‐to‐market during mobile service innovation.

Details

International Journal of Service Industry Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0956-4233

Keywords

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