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Architects’ perception of the innovativeness of the Swedish construction industry
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology. (SBER)
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology. (SBER)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-4405-1056
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Technology, Department of Built Environment and Energy Technology. (SBER)ORCID iD: Ecotechnology
2017 (English)In: Construction Innovation, ISSN 1471-4175, E-ISSN 1477-0857, Vol. 17, no 2, 244-260 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Purpose – The aim of this paper is to enhance the understanding of architects’ perceptions of the propensityto adopt innovations in building construction.

Design/methodology/approach – Based on a theoretical underpinning of the multilevel perspective on socio-technical transitions, a web-based questionnaire (n = 412) was used to empirically investigate Swedish architects’ perceptions of innovativeness in the building construction industry. Specifically, the study looks at perceptions of the level of innovativeness (propensity to adopt innovations), relevant barriers to the adoption of innovations, the influence of different actors and ways of facilitating innovativeness.

Findings – Architects perceive a low level of innovativeness in the Swedish building construction industry because of a number of barriers of varying relevance. These barriers belong to interwoven regulative,normative and cognitive rules (i.e. institutions) that guide actor behaviour, which contribute to the path dependency of the industry. The site-specific nature of building construction, promotional activities from suppliers and the level of competition in the industry is perceived as being of little relevance. The findings suggest that a number of interventions are necessary to facilitate innovativeness of the Swedish construction industry. To change the lock-in mechanisms of the established cognitive and normative rules, regulative rulesneed to change as well. According to architects, contractors and construction clients are the most influentialand therefore have the most power to change the rules associated with path dependency.

Research limitations/implications – The focus on a single construction professional in Sweden necessitates a discussion on these perceptions from the standpoint of other actors.

Practical implications – Architects perceive a need for change in the construction industry and suggestthat changed regulative rules can help overcome path dependency and facilitate innovativeness. Considering the strong interrelatedness of the lock-in mechanisms that guide the actors of the industry, policies may be needed to encourage and support the establishment for more sustainable development.

Originality/value – A multilevel perspective is used to analyse the type of barriers to innovativeness that the architects perceive as relevant and how they contribute to the resistance to change and path dependency in the building construction sector.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 17, no 2, 244-260 p.
Keyword [en]
Construction, Innovation, Sweden, Barriers, Perceptions, Architects
National Category
Architectural Engineering
Research subject
Technology (byts ev till Engineering), Sustainable Built Environment
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-62587DOI: 10.1108/CI-06-2015-0038OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-62587DiVA: diva2:1090727
Available from: 2017-04-25 Created: 2017-04-25 Last updated: 2017-05-10Bibliographically approved

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Hemström, KerstinMahapatra, KrushnaGustavsson, Leif
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
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