Thuesen, Christian Langhoff2; Koch, Christian3; Monrad, David3; Henriks, Mette4; Lambrecht, Jan Fuglsig,4; Hall-Andersen, Henriette4
1 Planning and Management of the Built Environment, Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark2 Department of Management Engineering, Technical University of Denmark3 Aarhus University4 Teknologisk Institut
The construction industry is often characterised as a tradition bound low innovation sector which struggles with low productivity. Consequently, a small but significant strand of research has been conducted around innovation in construction e.g. Clausen (2002), Simonsen (2007) and Vind and Thomassen (2009). By adopting a theoretical framework from primarily strategic niche management research (SNM) (Schot and Geels 2008) this report presents an analysis of the innovation system of the Danish Construction industry. Theories within SNM look upon innovation in a sector as a socio-technical phenomenon and identify three levels of socio-technical interaction within which sectorial innovation can be explained (Schot and Geels 2008, p. 545). Niches form the micro-level where radical novelties emerge. The socio-technical regime forms the meso-level, which accounts for the dominating stabilized socio-technical pattern of interaction which is reproduced by institutionalised learning processes. The macro-level is formed by the socio-technical landscape, an exogenous environment beyond the direct influence of niche and regime actors (e.g. macro-economics, deep cultural patterns, macro-political developments). The analysis shows a multifaceted landscape of innovation around an existing regime, built in the existing ways of working and developing over generations. The regime is challenged from various niches and the socio-technical landscape through trends as globalization. Three niches (Lean Construction, Digitalization and System Deliveries) are subject to a detailed analysis showing partly incompatible rationales and various degrees of innovation potential. The report discusses how existing policymaking sits between two chairs; That of government and that of governance. A practice which seems inappropriate for nurturing innovation in the current organization of the sector. Based on the concepts from SNM the report introduces an innovation map in order to support the development of meta-governance policymaking. By mapping some of the most influential trends and promising niche innovations and relate these to the existing paradigm, the innovation map can act as a medium in which policymakers, interest organization and companies can develop and coordinate future innovation activities.