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Bygballe, L E, Ingemansson Havenvid, M, Hughes, W, Orstavik, F and Torvatn, T (2015) The significance of diverse economic logics for innovation in the construction industry . In: Raiden, A and Aboagye-Nimo, E (Eds.), Proceedings 31st Annual ARCOM Conference, 7-9 September 2015, Lincoln, UK. Association of Researchers in Construction Management, 917–926.

  • Type: Conference Proceedings
  • Keywords: innovation, economic logics, improvement, technology
  • ISBN/ISSN: 978-0-9552390-9-0
  • URL: http://www.arcom.ac.uk/-docs/proceedings/fb5961cb45506286180bb65539362b19.pdf
  • Abstract:
    In the production of the built environment, construction, planning and design are ongoing problem-solving efforts involving fragmented, multi-tier supply chains. The complexity of operations entails multiple actors with disparate responsibilities and diverse operating modes and economic logics. Each actor has only partial involvement in a project, and often operates in several different projects at the same time. Technological improvements and creative, economical solutions to complex problems in design and in construction are rarely commercialised and reused in subsequent projects. Even if ingenious, many solutions are not institutionalised or do not become part of daily routine. Furthermore, innovative technologies often presuppose that one or more actors take on risks that they are ill-equipped to handle, while those who choose to invest in innovative technologies often experience that they are unable to harness any revenue from their new ideas. This contributes to innovation efforts in construction evolving within one particular situation having outcomes not being generalised, not being created in a form that makes it transferrable, and not being learned. Problem-solving and technological change, therefore, may happen without actually leading to innovation. We seek to understand this aspect of innovation in the construction industry by examining the economic logics of different actors in construction projects. The objective is to understand how diverse logics alone and together influence the outcomes of efforts to innovate. By characterising and contrasting logics, it is possible to understand how the attractiveness of various types of innovation will vary systematically between the actors, and how liaising and interactions between them may influence innovation patterns. By discussing specific empirical examples of attempted innovations, we will understand better why it is that resources such as solutions to intricate and novel problems and innovative technologies are not routinely seen as assets and brought forth as successful and consequential innovation in the industry.