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Construction Innovation

Finn Orstavik (Editor), Andrew R. J. Dainty (Editor), Carl Abbott (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-118-65555-9 March 2015 Wiley-Blackwell 224 Pages


Construction innovation is an important but contested concept, both in industry practice and academic reflection and research. A fundamental reason for this is the nature of the construction industry itself: the industry and the value creation activities taking place there are multi-disciplinary, heterogeneous, distributed and often fragmented.

This book takes a new approach to construction innovation, revealing different perspectives, set in a broader context. It coalesces multiple theoretical and practice-based views in order to stimulate reflection and to prepare the ground for further synthesis. By being clear, cogent and unambiguous on the most basic definitions, it can mobilise a plurality of perspectives on innovation to promote fresh thinking on how it can be studied, enabled, measured, and propagated across the industry.

This book does not gloss over the real-life complexity of construction innovation. Instead, its authors look explicitly at the challenges that conceptual issues entail and by making their own position clear, they open up fresh intellectual space for reflection.

Construction Innovation examines innovation from different positions and through different conceptual lenses to reveal the richness that the theoretical perspectives offer to our understanding of the way that the construction sector actors innovate at both project and organizational levels.

The editors have brought together here leading scholars to deconstruct the concept of innovation and to discuss the merits of different perspectives, their commonalities and their diversity. The result is an invaluable sourcebook for those studying and leading innovation in the design, the building and the maintenance of our built environment.

About the Authors ix

Foreword by Wim Bakens, CIB xv

Preface xvii

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Construction Innovation: Concepts and Controversies 3

Perspectives on Construction Innovation 4

Instead of Conclusions 10

References 11

Chapter 2 Incentives for Innovation in Construction 13

Introduction 13

A Schumpeterian Definition of Construction Innovation 17

Innovation in Construction 18

Construction Innovation and Complexity 20

Construction Innovation and Asymmetric Information 20

Construction Innovation and Multi-Parametric Optimization 22

Conclusion 25

Acknowledgements 26

References 26

Chapter 3 Built-in Innovation and the Ambiguity of Designing Accessibility 29

Introduction: Making Innovation Accessible 29

Methodology 32

The Case: The World’s Most Accessible Office Building 33

Discussion: In Search of the Innovation 38

Conclusions 42

Acknowledgements 44

References 45

Chapter 4 Stakeholder Integration Champions and Innovation in the Built Environment 47

Introduction 47

Stakeholder Integration Champions, Collaboration and Participation 50

Method 51

Creating the Conditions for Innovation in the Built Environment 52

Integration for Innovation 57

Conclusion 58

Acknowledgements 60

References 60

Chapter 5 Grassroots Innovation in the Construction Industry 65

Introduction 65

Grassroots Innovation 66

The Elements of Grassroots Innovation 68

Grassroots Innovation in Practice 69

Assessing the Potential of Grassroots Innovation in Construction 73

Conclusion 75

References 76

Chapter 6 Regulation and Innovation in New Build Housing: Insights into the Adoption and Diffusion of Micro-Generation Technologies 79

Introduction 79

Regulation and Innovation for Sustainable Building 81

Case Study Example 84

Conclusions 86

Acknowledgement 87

References 87

Chapter 7 An Industrial Network Perspective on Innovation in Construction 89

Introduction 89

Innovation in the Construction Industry 90

An Industrial Network Perspective on Innovation 91

Understanding Innovation as Resource Interaction Processes 93

Empirical Examples 95

Conclusions 98

References 99

Chapter 8 Innovation Diffusion Across Firms 103

Introduction 103

Antecedents 103

Central Themes 104

Points of Departure 105

How to Approach the Problem 105

Mapping Networks of Innovation Diffusion 107

The Innovation Diffusion Network 109

The Network of Firms Engaged in the Innovation Diffusion Process 110

Sense-Making Framework 113

Conclusion 114

References 115

Chapter 9 Clients Shaping Construction Innovation 119

Introduction 119

Empirical Grounding 122

Findings 127

Conclusions 131

References 132

Chapter 10 Innovation in Road Building: Removing Obstacles for Diffusion of Novel Building Products 135

Introduction 135

Methods 138

Findings and Discussion 141

Pre-Project Product Certification Process 142

Conclusion 145

References 147

Chapter 11 Innovating for Integration: Clients as Drivers of Industry Improvement 149

Introduction 149

Theory of Integration 151

Drivers and Strategies for Innovation Diffusion 153

Framework for Analysis 154

Integrated Project Delivery 155

Building Information Modelling 157

Supply Chain Integration 160

Conclusions 161

References 163

Chapter 12 Project Delivery Systems and Innovation: The Case of US Road Building 165

Introduction 165

Design-Build 166

Public-Private Partnerships 170

Construction-Manager-as-General-Contractor 175

Conclusion 179

References 180

Chapter 13 The Leitmotif of Building-Products Innovation in Finland: From Commercial Technology Exploitation to Sustainable Development 181

Introduction 181

The Evolving Context of Building Products Innovation in Finland 184

The Evolution of Industry Strategies 186

Innovation Strategies in the Finnish Building Products Industry 188

Conclusion 197

Acknowledgements 198

References 198

Index 203