The distribution of absorptive capacity among construction supply chain participants

Manley, Karen, Rose, Timothy, & Lewis, Joanne (2014) The distribution of absorptive capacity among construction supply chain participants. In Proceedings of the CIB 2014 International Conference on Construction in a Changing World, The University of Salford / International Council for Building (CIB), Heritance Kandalama, Sri Lanka, pp. 1-16.

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The absorptive capacity of organisations is one of the key drivers of innovation performance in any industry. This research seeks to refine our understanding of the relationship between absorptive capacity and innovation performance, with a focus on characterising the absorptive capacity of the different participant groups within the Australian road industry supply chain. One of the largest and most comprehensive surveys ever undertaken of innovation in road construction was completed in 2011 by the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), based on the Australian road industry. The survey of over 200 construction industry participants covered four sectors, comprising suppliers (manufacturers and distributors), consultants (engineering consultants), contractors (head and subcontractors) and clients (state government road agencies). The survey measured the absorptive capacity and innovation activity exhibited by organisations within each of these participant groups, using the perceived importance of addressing innovation obstacles as a proxy for innovation activity. One of the key findings of the survey is about the impact of participant competency on product innovation activity. The survey found that the absorptive capacity of industry participants had a significant and positive relationship with innovation activity. Regarding the distribution of absorptive capacity, the results indicate that suppliers are more likely to have high levels of absorptive capacity than the other participant groups, with 32% of suppliers showing high absorptive capacity, ahead of contractors (18%), consultants (11%), and clients (7%). These results support the findings of previous studies in the literature and suggest the importance of policies to enhance organisational learning, particularly in relation to openness to new product ideas.

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ID Code: 67044
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Australian road industry, Absorptive capacity, Learning capacity, Innovation activity, Suppliers
ISBN: 978-1-907842-54-2
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Civil Engineering & Built Environment
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Please consult the authors
Deposited On: 07 Feb 2014 01:09
Last Modified: 06 Sep 2016 04:26

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