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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.

Article
Publication date: 1 June 2015

Rami Sariola and Miia Maarit Martinsuo

This paper investigates third-party relationships in project networks in the construction industry and seeks increased understanding on how such relationships can be…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper investigates third-party relationships in project networks in the construction industry and seeks increased understanding on how such relationships can be strengthened. The purpose of this paper is to develop a framework and propositions on enhanced relationship strength between component suppliers and designers as third parties.

Design/methodology/approach

A conceptual approach is used in this paper. Previous empirical research on business relationships, project networks and relationship strength is reviewed systematically, to identify factors required for strengthening the relationship in project networks.

Findings

Cooperative practices needed for strengthening the relationships in project networks were identified. The framework on how such practices are associated with relationship strength between supplier and designers was developed. Propositions on strengthening the relationship between component suppliers and designers were stated. These propositions can be developed further and tested in a hypothetic-deductive study.

Research limitations/implications

The research was delimited by the choice of designers as third parties. The authors used some excerpts from the earlier interview study with over 20 designers, to illustrate the issues. Empirical analysis was not included in this paper which causes an evident limitation to validity. Additional research is proposed on analyzing the contractors’ and suppliers’ viewpoints to third-party relationships.

Practical implications

The paper suggests cooperative practices for construction component suppliers to enhance their relationship strength with third parties in project networks.

Originality/value

Limited research attention has been directed at the third-party relationships of suppliers in project networks. This paper offers important knowledge about these less salient relationships in project networks, beyond a simple dyadic relationship in the direct supply chain.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 8 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Miia Martinsuo and Rami Sariola

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding on the emergence of mutually beneficial relationships between component suppliers and third parties in projects, and…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to increase understanding on the emergence of mutually beneficial relationships between component suppliers and third parties in projects, and their interaction practices in the project and potential new services.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative, exploratory research strategy is employed in the context of construction projects, with construction component manufacturers as the focal component suppliers. In total 22 interviews were conducted with structural engineers and architects as relevant third parties, to discover the specifics of component suppliers’ third-party relationship development in construction projects.

Findings

The results show the crucial role of third parties in the constructor’s and customer’s decision-making process, and various ways for component suppliers to develop the relationship toward the third parties. The results offer important knowledge about the cooperation between construction component suppliers and third parties and means to increase the centrality of component suppliers in the project network.

Research limitations/implications

The research was delimited to structural engineers and architects as third parties in construction projects in one country. Further research is encouraged on third-party cooperation in other kinds of project networks, other kinds of third parties, and the various forms of triadic cooperation in project networks.

Practical implications

The results encourage component suppliers to take a proactive approach in developing relationships with third parties, when strengthening their network position. The paper introduces practical ways in which component suppliers may take action toward generating powerful main contractor-supplier-third-party triads.

Originality/value

Limited research attention has been directed at third parties and triadic cooperation in project networks. This paper offers important knowledge about the relationship between component suppliers and third parties, particularly in terms of third parties’ expectations and practical initiatives to enhance the relationships.

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 5 January 2015

Rolf A. Lundin and Kjell Tryggestad

268

Abstract

Details

International Journal of Managing Projects in Business, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1753-8378

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