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Diffusion of a systemic innovation: A longitudinal case study of a Swedish multi-storey timber housebuilding system
Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8766-1957
Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8277-3378
2017 (English)In: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 17, no 1, p. 25-44Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to identify factors that influence the diffusion of a systemic innovation in the Swedish construction sector. The focus is on high-rise multi-storey timber housing; the development of which was enabled by a change in building regulations. This allowed building higher than two stories in timber.

Design/methodology/approach - A longitudinal case study was used with multiple data collection methods to study the development and diffusion of a multi-storey timber house system by a case study organisation.

Findings - The findings contribute to understanding for a number of interacting factors influencing the diffusion of a systemic innovation related to the case study organisation.

Originality/value - The research provides a holistic view of interacting factors influencing the diffusion of a systemic innovation. The results have value to the Swedish construction sector and to the global community of construction researchers, as it provides empirical findings that further increase the understanding for diffusion of systemic innovations in a specific context. 

© Emerald Publishing Limited

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2017. Vol. 17, no 1, p. 25-44
Keywords [en]
Sweden, Case study, Diffusion, Multi-storey housebuilding, Systemic innovation, Timber construction
National Category
Construction Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-35607DOI: 10.1108/CI-11-2015-0061ISI: 000413356900003Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85008441692OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-35607DiVA, id: diva2:1162312
Available from: 2017-12-04 Created: 2017-12-04 Last updated: 2018-02-08Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Diffusion of systemic innovations in the construction sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Diffusion of systemic innovations in the construction sector
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The amount of research dealing with innovation has increased dramatically, construction management research included. This thesis focuses on innovations with inter-organizational effects, systemic innovations, which may radically change and improve the construction process. The overall aim of the thesis is to contribute understanding of diffusion of systemic innovations in the construction sector through the study of two different types of systemic innovations, Building Information Management and Multi-Story Housing in Timber (MSHT). It explores what facilitates and hinders innovation diffusion, with a special focus on knowledge integration and mechanisms used in the diffusion process and their effects on knowledge development. The studies conducted were made in a Swedish context related to two separate companies work with diffusing the innovations, using a broad approach with different data collection methods.

The research departures in the interplay between the innovation content, context and process through which diffusion take place, displaying differences in how diffusion precedes and is affected. Where organizations are situated in the construction process and their ability to control the diffusion process is influential and diffusion is affected by established traditions and work procedures. For MSHT other structural materials form obstacles, while for BIM it is established work procedures and methods. Environmental pressure drives diffusion of MSHT and both innovations are supported by active clients. Diffusion also requires financial resources depending on the size of investment and associated risks. The cases show advantages with moving activities from projects into a continuous business that delivers to projects, where simplifying implementation is central. Mainly due to complexity, developing in steps enables simplifications and adjustments towards users in a controlled manner. MSHT to a higher degree depends on performing real projects for development and diffusion than BIM, which can be tested to a larger extent before diffusing into the real environment. MSHT in particular show a difference in relation to many traditional models of innovation and innovation diffusion where tests are assumed possible.

The research relates to and has emphasized interaction and dynamics in the diffusion process and has provided additional understanding for managing complexity in the diffusion process. Projects are the most crucial knowledge integration mechanism with many underlying mechanisms, since they are a result of the development and show consequences of work performed. The applicability of codified knowledge in combination with more interactionintensive mechanisms has been shown and the introduction of the knowledge type’s domain-specific, procedural and general knowledge, complementing the current use of tacit and explicit knowledge, has provided additional understanding for diffusion and related knowledge flows. There are however differences in how knowledge types develop for the innovations. General knowledge is more influencing for BIM, while MSHT is about developing domain-specific knowledge. MSHT is about learning something new, while for BIM it is about re-learning. Findings show relevance in both using and developing the framework of innovation in organizations by Rogers (2003) for future diffusion studies in construction management research as well as the necessity of developing knowledge concerning implementation.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Halmstad: Halmstad University Press, 2018. p. 114
Keywords
Construction Sector, Innovation Diffusion, Systemic Innovation, Knowledge Integration, Knowledge Development
National Category
Construction Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-36248 (URN)978-91-87045-82-0 (ISBN)978-91-87045-83-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2018-02-01, O104, Kristian IV:s väg, Halmstad, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2018-02-08 Created: 2018-02-08 Last updated: 2018-02-08Bibliographically approved

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Lindgren, JohnEmmitt, Stephen

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