Enabling factors for innovation by small contractors
The inbuilt flexibility of small business can be one of its most effective assets. Despite this, the factors that actually enable small construction businesses to deliver innovation are diverse. In order to shed light on the processes involved, case study interviews were conducted with the proponents of recognised successful innovations. It was found that these proponents had close relationships with industry bodies covering their particular area of construction. These relationships were instrumental in enabling the small businesses to keep up with new developments. The industry bodies were also able to provide contacts and support during the establishment period of the innovation adoption. Furthermore, the successful innovators were likely to have formed consultative relationships with research bodies. The innovators found these relationships useful for independent testing purposes or for verification of internally-generated results. Community and individual goals were also shown to be a spur to the development and delivery of innovations.
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