Managing the implementation of component innovation within construction projects

Craig S. Thomson*, Andrew K. Munns

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    2 Citations (Scopus)
    85 Downloads (Pure)


    Over the past decade the construction sector has increasingly recognized the potential damage that low innovation levels has had on the long-term future and sustainability of the industry. Traditionally a low priority; a lack of value or importance has been assigned culturally to innovation and despite recent improvements its levels still lag behind other sectors. The problem centres not in the obvious idea generation and problem solving capabilities demonstrated within construction, but instead in the persistent inability of organizations and projects to effectively manage the implementation of innovations. The research aims to address an emerging need to engage with the problem from the perspective of the construction project. Projects are dynamic, complex, short-term, and unique in form. Within this context, innovation has traditionally been perceived as representing additional project risk and is often for a variety of reasons removed over the lifecycle of a project. This research focuses on the need to understand the management requirements surrounding the implementation of component innovations (i.e. the implementation of novel elements within a construction project). Legislative and market demands have seen a range of innovative products emerge as construction projects are required to adopt a sustainable path in their design and construction methods. To respond to this agenda, project managers need to understand the requirements associated with managing the implementation of such innovations as a process across the lifecycle a project. Presented are the findings of a mapping exercise of the innovation process displayed during three case study housing projects where the key phases, activities, and decisions points were identified. Interviews were conducted with those involved in the delivery of the innovation within the project; and explored the context, identified influencing factors and the experience of integrating the components with the project across its different stages. A model is presented, with the importance of aligning the innovation process with the objectives of the project highlighted.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of the 26th Annual ARCOM Conference
    Number of pages10
    ISBN (Print)978055239045
    Publication statusPublished - 2010
    Event26th Annual ARCOM Conference: Association of Researchers in Construction Management - Leeds, United Kingdom
    Duration: 6 Sept 20108 Sept 2010


    Conference26th Annual ARCOM Conference
    Abbreviated titleACROM
    Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


    • innovation
    • project management
    • sustainability
    • case studies

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering
    • Building and Construction


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