Technological development in construction: preaching to the converted or seducing the disbelievers

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The paper analyses the successes and failures of the transfer of technical innovations intothe Dutch construction industry. When in the nineteen-seventies calcium silicate stonewas introduced as the basis for a new construction technology, it rapidly became thematerial of choice for housing construction in The Netherlands. More recently the Dutchgovernment has been promoting timber frame construction as a sustainable alternative toconventional construction methods. The adoption of this method by the industry,however, is slow. The paper argues that differences in technology transfer practices inboth sectors account for the differences in their relative success. It views technologytransfer as a result of alignment processes between technical configuration and socialeffects; or, in other words, between form and function of a technology. Alignment, then,is not a purely technical matter. It involves tension and interaction between insiders andoutsiders of a network; between those who develop, those who build, those who regulate,and those who use a technology. By describing and analysing these processes ofalignment in the timber frame and calcium silicate stone construction sectors in theNetherlands, the paper aims to understand to what extent the adoption of constructionmethods can be anticipated and how it might be advanced.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInteractions, relationships and networks: strategic dimensions (on CD-rom)
EditorsH. Hakansson, C.A. Solberg, L. Huemer, L. Steigum
Place of PublicationOslo, Norway
PublisherBI, Norwegian School of Management
Number of pages32
Publication statusPublished - 9 Sep 2001
Event17th Annual IMP Conference 2001: Interactions, Relationships and Networks - Strategic Directions - Oslo, Norway
Duration: 9 Sep 200111 Sep 2001
Conference number: 17


Conference17th Annual IMP Conference 2001
Abbreviated titleIMP
Internet address


  • METIS-204484
  • IR-82748


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