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  • 1.
    Manley, Karen
    et al.
    School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
    Widén, Kristian
    Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL), Sustainability, Innovation and Management in Building (SIMB).
    Prefabricated housing firms in Japan and Sweden: Learning from leading countries2019In: Offsite Production and Manufacturing for Innovative Construction: People, Process and Technology / [ed] Jack S. Goulding & Farzad Pour Rahimian, Abingdon: Routledge, 2019, 1, p. 399-418Chapter in book (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Rose, Timothy
    et al.
    Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.
    Manley, Karen
    Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL), Sustainability, Innovation and Management in Building (SIMB).
    Widén, Kristian
    Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL), Sustainability, Innovation and Management in Building (SIMB).
    Do firm-level barriers to construction product innovation adoption vary according to position in the supply chain?2019In: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 19, no 2, p. 212-235Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Purpose

    The purpose of this study is to examine product innovation as a means of addressing infrastructure shortages in developed economies and to improve the sustainability of infrastructure. The obstacles to product innovation in the road industry are compared between different types of participants in the supply chain to provide guidelines for interventions to improve innovation rates.

    Design/methodology/approach

    This exploratory study uses descriptive data from a large scale survey of the Australian road industry. The three top-rated product innovation obstacles for the following four types of participants are examined: contractors, consultants, suppliers and clients.

    Findings

    The four groups were found to disagree about the relative importance of the obstacles. Contractors and suppliers ranked “restrictive price-only tender assessment” used by clients as their number one obstacle, while consultants thought there was too much emphasis by the clients on direct costs compared with whole-of-life costs. On the other hand, clients felt suppliers do not do enough thorough testing prior to proposing a new product and disagreed with suppliers about who should carry the risk of new product failure.

    Research limitations/implications

    The conceptual framework was found to yield novel insights with significant policy implications. The construction-specific contextual determinants that were integrated by the authors into a broad innovation diffusion process proved useful in categorising road product innovation obstacles across the four surveyed supply chain groups – without overlap or omission. The new framework also proved useful in ordering the key obstacles across groups for interpretation and discussion. In disaggregating product obstacles according to groups, these contextual determinants were proven to be mutually exclusive and to represent important focal points in promoting the uptake of product innovation in construction. Although the current study has usefully provided quantitative data concerning construction innovation obstacles, there are limitations due to its reliance on descriptive statistics. Future work by the authors is proposed to analyse the relationships between innovation obstacles and supply chain partners using inferential statistics to further develop and validate these early findings. The current study is an interim step in this work and an important contribution in identifying and addressing firm-level barriers seen to be constraining construction product innovation.

    Practical implications

    Results suggest there is a need for government clients to carefully consider the differing perspectives across the supply chain when developing strategies to encourage the adoption of mutually-beneficial innovative products on their construction projects. Inclusive focus groups examining the drivers, configuration and benefits of collaborative procurement systems are recommended to reduce innovation obstacles.

    Social implications

    Society relies on urban infrastructure for daily living and the current study contributes to stretching infrastructure investment dollars and reducing the environmental impact of infrastructure provision.

    Originality/value

    No previous study has compared the perception of product innovation obstacles across different road industry supply chain partners. This is a significant gap, as differences in opinions across the supply chain need to be understood to develop the shared expectations and the improved relationships required to improve product innovation rates. Product innovation is important because it has been shown to improve efficiency (potentially addressing the road investment gap) and reduce deleterious environmental impacts.

  • 3.
    Steinhardt, Dale
    et al.
    School of Civil Engineering and Built Environment Science and Engineering Faculty, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane, Australia.
    Manley, Karen
    Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL).
    Bildsten, Louise
    Department of Industrial Management and Logistics, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.
    Widén, Kristian
    Halmstad University, School of Business, Engineering and Science, Centre for Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Learning Research (CIEL), Sustainability, Innovation and Management in Building (SIMB).
    The structure of emergent prefabricated housing industries: a comparative case study of Australia and Sweden2019In: Construction Management and Economics, ISSN 0144-6193, E-ISSN 1466-433XArticle in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Prefabricated housing is a disruptive innovation struggling to take hold in a traditional complex product system (CoPS). It is quicker to produce and has improved environmental performance compared to traditional housing. CoPS have more dense and complex network connections than commodity industries, making disruptive innovation more difficult. Effective relational capabilities can achieve the coordination necessary to address this challenge. The prefabricated housing industry needs to develop a structure that drives these capabilities. Using a case study methodology, the structure of the industry is examined in two contrasting countries, namely Australia and Sweden, as they represent an early and late stage of industry emergence, respectively. A new framework is proposed for this purpose, enabling a repeatable, orderly and comprehensive disaggregation of industry structure to examine the latent drivers of relational capability. The main empirical contribution is to (1) describe an industry that is yet to be formally recognized by national statistical agencies and (2) show how the adoption of prefabricated housing can be accelerated. The study found that younger industries need a focused industry association with diverse membership to act as an effective system integrator. © 2019 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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