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Article
Publication date: 31 October 2018

Susanna Hedborg Bengtsson, Tina Karrbom Gustavsson and Per Erik Eriksson

Innovation is constantly present in the construction industry, however, mainly on a single project level. Initiating and implementing inter-organizational innovation in a…

Abstract

Purpose

Innovation is constantly present in the construction industry, however, mainly on a single project level. Initiating and implementing inter-organizational innovation in a multi-project context such as in urban development entails large complexity, for example, because of the many interdependent projects and users of innovation. The users’ influence on inter-organizational innovation in a multi-project context has not been fully explored. Accordingly, the purpose of this paper is to discuss how users influence inter-organizational innovation in multi-project contexts by mapping the receptiveness for change.

Design/methodology/approach

A single case study approach was used, where empirical material including semi-structured interviews in combination with meeting observations, document studies and participative workshops were gathered. The rich empirical material, studying inter-organizational innovation in an urban development context, was mapped based on the receptive context for change framework.

Findings

A receptive context for change was not present in the studied multi-project context. Communication to develop and implement inter-organizational innovation was not sufficient and the clients’ procurement strategies were to a large extent not developed to facilitate inter-organizational innovation. Findings show differences in users’ possibility and aim to implement inter-organizational innovation.

Originality/value

The mapping of the receptive context to influence inter-organizational innovation widens the knowledge base and provides valuable insights on how inter-organizational innovation may be implemented in the loosely coupled construction industry. Furthermore, the findings broaden the discussion on clients as innovation supporters, and contribute to the debate on clients as innovation supporters, by highlighting the importance of distinguishing between different types of clients.

Details

Construction Innovation, vol. 18 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1471-4175

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