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Byggbranschens innovationsbenägenhet: En studie om den svenska byggbranschens inställning till innovationer och branschens beredskapatt hantera innovationsfrågor
Linköping University, Department of Management and Economics. Linköping University, Faculty of Arts and Sciences.
1986 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
The Building Sector's Propensity for Innovation (English)
Abstract [en]

The attitude of the building sector towards innovation and its intellectual and organizational preparedness for dealing with the issues of innovation is the aim of this study. The core question can be formulated as follows: Why does a building company accept certain innovations but not others? The fundamental ideas of the study are rooted in the central European tradition of the historico-qualitiative school of thought. Another basic idea for the thesis is Dewcy’s and Bcntley's theory of transactional cognition introduced in Sweden by Hanssen under the term ""field concept" according to which the content and object of knowledge are seen as an entirety. The reason for approaching the problem qualitatively. that is through not highly structured interviews based on the author's long personal experience in the sector, is its compound and many face ted nature a long with the fact that verbal discussion is firmly grounded in building sector tradition.

Innovations has to pass trough three different filters. These filters are at the point where the innovation enters the company, during the bid preparation process and upon the absorption of the innovation into the project. Important factors influencing the passage through these filters arc papyrophobia, the old boy network (OBN) and the structure of the production system. Papyrophobia is expressed in a general reluctance to deal with theoretical issues and documentation. OBN denotes an informal communication network. Production is run by and within project organizations. i.e. repetitive ad hoc aggregates independent of the parent organization. These factors in combination with time and financial pressure obstruct the possibility of creating a research tradition.

Characteristic features of the socio-cultural tradition of the sector are that it is male dominated, that the educational system classifies those working in the field according to trade and profession, and that the strong position of production aspects have brought to the forefront the energetic practitioner. His values are strictly professional. Information is to a great extent transmitted orally. There is strength in the ability of Swedish construction firms to plan and improvise within an established frame. However, a certain streak of marginalism with the potential of inhibiting innovation does exist in their pattern of action. Also typical of the tradition is the ideal of the free entrepreneur and the organization of large companies as confederations of a number of small and medium size firms. Finally, a fundamental cultural feature of the construction industry is openness. News spreads rapidly to a competitor.

Innovations are disseminated in several ways, but one dominant pattern persists that cannot be seen in other industries. While the projects are important for testing and diffusion of innovations, the companies arc more intrumental in propagating information of innovations. The building materials industry's R&D work follows a pattern similar to that of production companies in other sectors.

The building sector's readiness to follow and work with innovation issues can generally be rated as low. The confinement of interest to production aspects combined with the marked open· ness provides ample room for the materials manufacturers and companies outside the sector to introduce new products and materials. In the long run, it is the gradual change in this assortment that will transform building techniques and technology. Change is generated by other sectors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 1986. , 302 p.
Linköping Studies in Management and Economics. Dissertations, ISSN 0347-8920 ; 15
Keyword [en]
Building sector; Dissemination of innovation; Innovation; Qualitative method; Socio Cultural tradition; Technical innovation
National Category
Building Technologies Construction Management Economics
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-122774ISBN: 91-7870-087-6 (print)OAI: diva2:873134
Public defence
1986-10-01, C3, Hus C, Campus Valla, Linköping, 14:00 (Swedish)

Felaktigt ISBN 91-7870-087 är angivet i avhandling. ISBN är korrigerat till 91-7870-087-6.

Available from: 2015-11-23 Created: 2015-11-23 Last updated: 2015-11-23Bibliographically approved

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