Implementation of innovation by manufacturers subcontracting to construction projects
Engineering Construction and Architectural Management
Purpose To explore the role played by manufacturers of patented products on construction projects. Methodology Four projects are reviewed to investigate the research question "How can manufacturers ensure the successful implementation of their product innovations on construction projects?" Findings Using a framework comprising six key innovation determinants, case-study analysis demonstrates the critical role played by relationships and knowledge-flows in creating conditions that support
... -based innovation by manufacturers. Such conditions comprise: 1. advanced procurement systems, 2. robust internal firm competencies, 3. performance-based regulations, 4. effective technical support providers, and 5. project-imbedded manufacturers. Research Limitations The study was designed to meet industry needs and hence does not emphasise theoretical aspects. Practical Implications Manufacturers can improve the diffusion of their product innovations on construction projects by using relationship networks to promote the above conditions, or to locate contexts where such conditions prevail, or to leverage those conditions that are most favourable. Originality The paper addresses four gaps in the construction management literature (1) there is very little literature on the role of manufacturers in innovation on construction projects (2) the literature on subcontractors tends to assume easily substitutable supplies (3) there is a focus in the literature on large projects, and (4) the literature is dominated by quantitative studies. By undertaking a qualitative analysis of manufacturers of patented products subcontracting to small projects, this paper addresses the above shortcomings.