Advanced

Innovation Diffusion in the Construction Sector

Widén, Kristian LU (2006) In Construction Managment Publications
Abstract
Innovation and development are the backbone of a thriving market economy. It is through innovations of various kinds that nations, industries and companies compete. Many actions in areas internationally and nationally will affect the construction sector. Research into construction innovation has attracted increasing interest. There have been studies ranging from how national research policies support construction innovations to how projects should be organised. One general conclusion is that the level of innovation needs to be improved. There is a need to assess the potential barriers and enablers to achieving a better diffusion of innovations in construction. The overall aim of the research is to increase knowledge of the factors creating... (More)
Innovation and development are the backbone of a thriving market economy. It is through innovations of various kinds that nations, industries and companies compete. Many actions in areas internationally and nationally will affect the construction sector. Research into construction innovation has attracted increasing interest. There have been studies ranging from how national research policies support construction innovations to how projects should be organised. One general conclusion is that the level of innovation needs to be improved. There is a need to assess the potential barriers and enablers to achieving a better diffusion of innovations in construction. The overall aim of the research is to increase knowledge of the factors creating successful development, implementation and diffusion of innovations in the construction sector. More specifically, the research aims to understand where the usefulness and weaknesses exist in applying established innovation theory, particularly in regard to diffusion, within the Swedish construction context with the further aim of identifying a suitable basis for creating a shared understanding among stakeholders of the innovation process at work.



A conceptual model for improving the existing situation was developed using contextualised innovation and diffusion theories. The model was tested using the findings in several supporting papers. It was found that actions in line with the conceptual model would enhance the probability of successful diffusion. The research has also investigated national policies, innovation brokerage and (research and) development projects in Sweden and found systemic weakness in the innovation process. The research has also found that tools of analysis not normally associated with the research problem in the construction domain can be used to provide improved insights to policy makers, innovation brokers and development managers. Significant in this regard is the criticality of communication vertically within the supply chain and laterally amongst suppliers with respect to specific innovations, such that diffusion becomes a normal and, therefore, integral feature of construction activity. The tools of analysis identified and adopted in the research can be used directly by policy makers, innovation brokers and development managers to lead to a shared understanding of barriers and enablers to innovation and a basis for continual improvement. In this connection, causal loop diagrams can aid in assessing the type of organisations needed in communication. Shortcomings in communication can, to a certain extent, also be mitigated by innovation brokers. (Less)
Abstract (Swedish)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Innovation är ryggraden i en fungerande marknadsekonomi. Det är genom innovationer som nationer, industrisektorer och företag konkurrerar. Det sker mycket både internationellt och nationellt som påverkar den svenska byggsektorn, vilket både ställer krav och skapar möjlighet för sektorn att förändras. Forskning kring innovationer i byggandet har mött ett ökat intresse de senaste decennierna. Forskning om innovationsprocesser i byggsektorn har hitintills fokuserat på att förbättra utvecklingen av innovationer, så som nya produkter, processer eller tjänster. Det finns ett behov av att även utvärdera möjligheter och hinder för att nå en bättre spridning av innovationer i byggsektorn, vilket inte... (More)
Popular Abstract in Swedish

Innovation är ryggraden i en fungerande marknadsekonomi. Det är genom innovationer som nationer, industrisektorer och företag konkurrerar. Det sker mycket både internationellt och nationellt som påverkar den svenska byggsektorn, vilket både ställer krav och skapar möjlighet för sektorn att förändras. Forskning kring innovationer i byggandet har mött ett ökat intresse de senaste decennierna. Forskning om innovationsprocesser i byggsektorn har hitintills fokuserat på att förbättra utvecklingen av innovationer, så som nya produkter, processer eller tjänster. Det finns ett behov av att även utvärdera möjligheter och hinder för att nå en bättre spridning av innovationer i byggsektorn, vilket inte gjorts i någon större utsträckning tidigare. Det övergripande syftet med detta arbete är att öka kunskapen kring de faktorer som ger lyckad utveckling, implementering och spridning av innovationer i byggsektorn. Mer specifikt, forskningsprojektet syftar till att skapa en förståelse för användbarheten i etablerade innovationsteorier men också visa på svagheter med dessa modeller, speciellt i förhållande till spridning. Syftet är också att skapa en gemensam förståelse bland intressenterna i innovationsprocessen.



En konceptuell modell utvecklades för att förbättra den nuvarande situationen och för att hitta metoder till ökad spriding av innovationer i byggsektorn och överbrygga svårigheten att använda existerande, traditionell innovations- och spridningsteori. Modellen testades med resultaten från ett antal artiklar. Slutsatsen är att aktiviteter i linje med den konceptuella modellen ökar sannolikheten för lyckad spridning. Systematiska svagheter i innovationsprocessen upptäcktes. Verktyg som de som formulerar och fastställer policyn, innovationsmäklare (innovation brokers) och utvecklingschefer kan använda för att öka förståelsen har också hittats. Forskningen visar att vertikal och horisontal kommunikation i leverantörskedjan är viktigt så att spridning blir en norm och därmed en integrerad del i byggandet. I det sammanhanget är ?causal loop diagrams?



ett verktyg som kan användas för att utvärdera vilka typer av organisationer, med vilka kommunikation är nödvändigt för en specifik innovation. I de fall det är svårt att uppnå tillfredställande kommunikation med berörda organisationer kan innovationsmäklare fungera som en mellanhand. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Miozzo, Marcela, Manchester Business School, Manchester, UK
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Anläggningsteknik, Construction technology, Industriell ekonomi, Commercial and industrial economics, Construction Sector, Innovation, Diffusion
in
Construction Managment Publications
pages
148 pages
publisher
Division of Construction Management, Lund Institute of Technology
defense location
Lecture hall V:C John Ericssons väg 1 Lund
defense date
2006-10-25 13:15:00
external identifiers
  • other:ISRN:LUTVDG/TVBP--06/1024--SE
ISSN
1651-0380
ISBN
91-85257-93-1
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
fec00578-f992-41ba-b2ae-d818aacc54c8 (old id 547317)
date added to LUP
2016-04-01 16:35:44
date last changed
2019-05-21 12:33:46
@phdthesis{fec00578-f992-41ba-b2ae-d818aacc54c8,
  abstract     = {Innovation and development are the backbone of a thriving market economy. It is through innovations of various kinds that nations, industries and companies compete. Many actions in areas internationally and nationally will affect the construction sector. Research into construction innovation has attracted increasing interest. There have been studies ranging from how national research policies support construction innovations to how projects should be organised. One general conclusion is that the level of innovation needs to be improved. There is a need to assess the potential barriers and enablers to achieving a better diffusion of innovations in construction. The overall aim of the research is to increase knowledge of the factors creating successful development, implementation and diffusion of innovations in the construction sector. More specifically, the research aims to understand where the usefulness and weaknesses exist in applying established innovation theory, particularly in regard to diffusion, within the Swedish construction context with the further aim of identifying a suitable basis for creating a shared understanding among stakeholders of the innovation process at work.<br/><br>
<br/><br>
A conceptual model for improving the existing situation was developed using contextualised innovation and diffusion theories. The model was tested using the findings in several supporting papers. It was found that actions in line with the conceptual model would enhance the probability of successful diffusion. The research has also investigated national policies, innovation brokerage and (research and) development projects in Sweden and found systemic weakness in the innovation process. The research has also found that tools of analysis not normally associated with the research problem in the construction domain can be used to provide improved insights to policy makers, innovation brokers and development managers. Significant in this regard is the criticality of communication vertically within the supply chain and laterally amongst suppliers with respect to specific innovations, such that diffusion becomes a normal and, therefore, integral feature of construction activity. The tools of analysis identified and adopted in the research can be used directly by policy makers, innovation brokers and development managers to lead to a shared understanding of barriers and enablers to innovation and a basis for continual improvement. In this connection, causal loop diagrams can aid in assessing the type of organisations needed in communication. Shortcomings in communication can, to a certain extent, also be mitigated by innovation brokers.},
  author       = {Widén, Kristian},
  isbn         = {91-85257-93-1},
  issn         = {1651-0380},
  language     = {eng},
  publisher    = {Division of Construction Management, Lund Institute of Technology},
  school       = {Lund University},
  series       = {Construction Managment Publications},
  title        = {Innovation Diffusion in the Construction Sector},
  url          = {https://lup.lub.lu.se/search/ws/files/4719146/547318.pdf},
  year         = {2006},
}