By adopting a theoretical framework from strategic niche management research (SNM) this paper 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 identifies three levels of socio-technical interaction within which sectorial innovation can be explained. 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 are 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, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and System Deliveries) are subject to a detailed analysis showing partly incompatible rationales and various degrees of innovation potential. The paper further discusses how existing policymaking operates in a number of tensions one being between government and governance. Nurturing innovation in the current organization of the sector is challenging. 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.
6th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organisation – Shaping the Construction/society Nexus, 2011, p. 641-652
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6th Nordic Conference on Construction Economics and Organisation - Shaping the Construction/Society Nexus, 2011
Danish Building Research Institute, Aalborg University