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Modelling the causes and effects of problems in the construction process
Lund University, Lund, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7585-0718
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The construction process is faced with many challenges, not least dealing with concerns over an adversarial culture, weak suppliers integration and variable quality. With its different levels and numerous participants, the process can be a complex affair. There is a need to understand how the different elements of the process relate to, and effect, each other. The paper presents an analysis of the relationships between certain of these elements, by treating the construction process in a system' context. The particular use of casual loop diagrams to help improve understanding of the interdependences between elements that are considered to the problematic is explored. These diagrams can be used to identify connections of importance when seeking solutions and examples of their use are presented. They show the relationships between problems and those factors that may reinforce or balance one another. The approach advocated in this paper provides tentative steps towards unravelling some of the complexity that obscure the root cause of problems inherent in the process.

Keyword [en]
construction process, systems approach, modeling, cause and effect, casual loop diagrams, interlinked problems
National Category
Construction Management
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-31636OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hh-31636DiVA: diva2:948897
Funder
Swedish Foundation for Strategic Research
Available from: 2016-07-14 Created: 2016-07-14 Last updated: 2016-12-16Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Innovation Diffusion in the Construction Sector
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Innovation Diffusion in the Construction Sector
2006 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

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.

Abstract [sv]

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.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Lund: Division of Construction Management, Lund Institute of Technology, 2006. 69 p.
Series
Construction management publications, ISSN 1651-0380
Keyword
Anläggningsteknik, Construction technology, Industriell ekonomi, Commercial and industrial economics, Construction Sector, Innovation, Diffusion
National Category
Construction Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:hh:diva-30657 (URN)91-85257-93-1 (ISBN)
Public defence
2006-10-25, Lecture hall V:C, John Ericssons väg 1, Lund, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

ISRN: LUTVDG/TVBP--06/1024--SE

Available from: 2016-07-14 Created: 2016-04-01 Last updated: 2016-12-16Bibliographically approved

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