The context of innovation management in construction firms

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Conscious management of innovation in construction firms is becoming more and more a necessity. However, the possibilities and ways to successfully put an innovative idea into practice depend on a range of contingencies. A framework of innovation management was devised to structure the context variables of construction innovation. Furthermore, an analytical approach was developed to enable researchers as well as construction managers to detect those variables which should be considered for managing construction innovation. The application of the approach to the case of a Swiss contractor revealed dependency on client and location, procurement form, innovation acceptance of the client and regulation degree as significant variables of the external environment. Service offer, knowledge strength, cooperative behaviour, financial strength and time needs were identified as critical variables of the internal environment. The implications are that the management of construction firms should advocate innovative ideas explicitly, make conscious strategic decisions about the direction of the firm’s innovation activity and provide methodical and hierarchical support during the innovation process. Establishing internal innovation brokers and using portfolio-based project checkpoints are supportive measures in this regard.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-578
JournalConstruction management and economics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • METIS-230622
  • context variables
  • Innovation management
  • Construction firm
  • IR-58577


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