Implementing innovation on commercial building projects in Australia

Manley, Karen, Blayse, Aletha M., & Swainston, Mike (2004) Implementing innovation on commercial building projects in Australia. In 'Clients Driving Innovation’ International Conference, CRC for Construction Innovation, 25-27 October, Gold Coast, Australia.

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Since the 1950s, economic theory has highlighted the ‘central importance of technological progress for maintaining long-term, continuous increases in real national income per head’ (Hall 2003, 498). Empirical work since that time has reinforced the importance of innovation to industry growth and national economic welfare. Hence, innovation can be considered a key means of improving construction industry performance. Yet, a recent study of efficiency improvement in construction reminds us that the industry has yet to embrace the value of innovation (Yiu et al 2004). That this is particularly so in the Australian context is evidenced by the findings of the recent Cole Royal Commission (2002b).

The industry in Australia and globally is slow to embrace change and there are powerful cultural reasons why this is so. The reason addressed by this paper is concern by industry participants about the risks associated with innovation and lack of information about appropriate implementation strategies. In order to improve this situation the key players and dynamics behind successful implementation of innovation are explored here.

The paper is based on three innovation case studies in the Australian commercial building industry undertaken in 2003. Each case involves innovation undertaken on a commercial building project by clients, contractors, consultants and/or suppliers.

The paper reviews the industry’s performance in Australia, before outlining the methodology and conceptual framework. Data from the case studies is then described and analysed. The evidence presented points to four key participants driving innovation processes; clients, regulators, technical service providers and consultants.

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ID Code: 7300
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: innovation processes, client, driven innovation, regulators, technical support providers, consultants, Australian commercial building industry
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > BUILDING (120200) > Building Construction Management and Project Planning (120201)
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > CRC Construction Innovation
Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Built Environment and Engineering
Deposited On: 02 May 2007 00:00
Last Modified: 29 Feb 2012 13:08

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