The construction industry is characterised by the widespread use of project organisation. It has been suggested that the relatively low level of innovative activity in the industry can be explained by the temporary nature of firm boundary-crossing projects. Survey data from the Danish construction industry is used to investigate the importance of learning and 'anchoring' of project-specific knowledge at the firm level for participation in innovative activities. The data cover both the overall Danish construction industry and a specific region, North Jutland, which has a relatively high specialisation of construction workers. Latent class and regression analyses reveal that firms that make extensive use of partnering, together with internal product and process evaluation and knowledge diffusion (labelled 'knowledge-anchoring mechanisms'), are more likely to participate in innovative activities than firms which make less use of these mechanisms. This indicates that construction firms are able to compensate for the problems that temporary interorganisational projects may cause in relation to continuous learning at the firm level.
Construction Management and Economics, 2006, Vol 24, Issue 9, p. 921-931