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Brockmann, C, Brezinski, H and Erbe, A (2016) Innovation in Construction Megaprojects. Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, 142(11).

  • Type: Journal Article
  • Keywords: Construction innovation; Megaproject; Product innovation; Process innovation; Organizational innovation; Construction materials and methods;
  • ISBN/ISSN: 0733-9364
  • URL: https://doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)CO.1943-7862.0001168
  • Abstract:
    The construction industry is often criticized for its lack of innovation. Yet, that same industry designs and builds the largest projects of the world—megaprojects. This discrepancy begs the question, whether lack of innovation is a valid description of the construction industry. A megaproject seems ideal to test the construction industry for its innovation potential. For the collection and analysis of data, longitudinal action research, combined with a case study approach, provides the required level of detail and an understanding of interdependencies. The BangNa Expressway in Thailand serves as the focal case; it is the largest bridge in the world. The following aspects are primary contributions to the stock of knowledge: we identify 58 innovations, some are product or construction technology innovations, others are within the technical, management, or contractual organization. This magnitude attests to the ability of the construction industry to innovate on a level not yet identified. The whole project is embedded in a system of interdependent innovations, and strings of incremental innovation lead to very important changes. There are many innovative features on the world level which different champions sponsored. The construction industry, with its bewildering diversity of products and services, provides results on a continuum from repetition to innovation, with megaprojects situated at the innovative end.